October 20, 2008,
L.J. asks from De Pere, WI on October 17, 2008
Nursing and Jury Duty?
I'm 27 years old and FINALLY got a jury duty summons! Normally I'd be very excited as I've been waiting for this for a long time... but... I have a nursing 6 month old. So, how is this going to work? He doesn't take a bottle, we've already tried a few times, and since my jury duty is in the next county, I couldn't "hurry" and get home to feed him. So what's a nursing Mom to do??
So What Happened?™
Thank you for all of the responses!! I will be calling the clerk tomorrow morning and hopefully they'll extend it for me. I don't know when we'll be done nursing, so hopefully they give me at least a year from now, but we'll see. I am excited for jury duty because it would be a great opportunity to see our justice system at work, and to actually have a part in it. I'm not sure why everyone dreads those words, we should all be excited about it! Anyway, my husband said it would be "no big deal, just pump while you're there", but he clearly has never breastfed a baby... getting the milk out is only half of it... there's still a baby that needs to get the milk in his mouth! He's a nursing baby, he needs his mom. You have all given me hope that they'll extend this for me, so I'll be crossing my fingers when I call tomorrow morning!
J.L. answers from Milwaukee on October 18, 2008
I'm pretty sure that nursing is an acceptable reason to turn down jury duty--check with your local government.
D.K. answers from Milwaukee on October 18, 2008
You can ask for an extention on your "calling"for jury duty. That way you might be finished with your nursing responsiblities and able to leave your child for the jury summons. You will be called again most likely within the next year.
Best of luck.
M.C. answers from Minneapolis on October 18, 2008
I was on jury duty when I was breastfeeding and I called them and I tried to get out of serving but you can postpone but I didn't want to use my once in a lifetime postponment since I didn't know how long I'd be breastfeeding. Good thing because I'm still feeding. Ask them for a room and they'll find you something. Bring a cooler pack and your pump and you'll be set.
J.C. answers from Des Moines on October 20, 2008
My sister was called for jury duty - also while she was nursing. She was excused for that reason, but I think she had to go the first day.
C.S. answers from Minneapolis on October 18, 2008
Don't worry. You'll have your chance to be on jury duty. My friend just went through the same thing in the last year. She got called when her boy was 6 months old and got excused because of the breastfeeding issue. Exactly 6 months later, she got called again. This time she was able to do it because she had decided by then to begin weaning the baby and so wasn't breastfeeding constantly anymore. She did have to bring her pump though.
A.G. answers from Minneapolis on October 18, 2008
As a nursing mother you can be legally excluded from jury duty if you wish.
A.G. answers from Minneapolis on October 17, 2008
I am pretty sure that you get out of jury duty if you are nursing your baby, I believe I heard that at one of my La Leche League meetings. I would contact them and find out!
E.I. answers from Duluth on October 18, 2008
you need to call the number there that is listed for questions and ask them about your situation. most likely they can make it a day long one, instead of having to be available for the whole month (im a day care provider and i just got a summons as well, and since i cant leave my families out cold without day care, including my own son, they let me be available for one day only)
talk to them - they can work something out
why are you so excited about being summoned? im totally not. lol
again, just talk to them.
A.H. answers from Omaha on October 18, 2008
I honestly don't think there's any way you could do jury duty and nurse. You pretty much answered your own question: You could't hurry home to feed him b/c you are in another county. That's a no brainer. Your child should come first during this time.
H. answers from Minneapolis on October 17, 2008
I had the same situation when my daughter was 3 months old. I called the jury office and they very hesitantly postponed my duty for one year.
A.B. answers from Minneapolis on October 18, 2008
I would call the number on the paper work and see if their is anyway that they can reschedule you for sometime next year or a few months from now. I was summons for Jury Duty in June 02 and that was the month I was due with DD. Then because I had moved I didn't get summons again April of 07. Which then again was my due date for my DS. I was also nursing him at 6 months. I just made sure to nurse him and pump before I left. And just so you know too that just because you are summonsed doesn't necessarily mean you will have to actually go. I ended up only having to show up 1 day and then didn't even get selected so I was their for only 2-3 hours max. Don't stress about it or you'll actually affect your milk supply.
S.C. answers from Minneapolis on October 20, 2008
I wrote asking for an exemption. They granted me one without question. I felt bad about it too as I wanted to serve, but I just couldn't figure out how it would work and what if I got put on some serious trial where I was sequestered or couldn't get home? I opted out for this round.
Good luck in your decision.
M.H. answers from Minneapolis on October 19, 2008
I looked into this since I am nursing as well and I found out that, at least in the state of Wisconsin and many others, it is considered a hardship and they will either postpone or excuse you from duty. If you are a stay at home mom then it is really a financial hardship and they have to postpone until your children are at least school age.
J.H. answers from Minneapolis on October 17, 2008
It's the law that they have to accommodate your breastfeeding. Contact the office or whoever you need to contact and they should postpone your duty.
L.Y. answers from Wausau on October 18, 2008
You should write a letter to the judge and explain that you are nursing a six month who has never been given a bottle. They may excuse you for the circumstances. Be sure to explain that you are excited to have been summoned and you look forward to serving in the future when you little one is a bit older.
C.K. answers from Minneapolis on October 18, 2008
Every county is different. Call the number on your summons right away and explain your situation. Ask them if you can postpone your summons.
I had jury duty in Hennepin Cty, MN, and at the time I served, anyone could postpone their summons for 6 months, for any reason, no questions asked.
C.W. answers from Minneapolis on October 18, 2008
I would just contact the county and ask them what they suggest you do. I was selected for jury duty last summer and had a newborn at home. I called the Courthouse and asked what they thought....I was very surprised when they said something like, "fine, is there sometime you could sign up to serve in the next year." I gave them a couple of weeks when I knew things would have calmed down and I "served my time" then. Good luck!!!
S.T. answers from Minneapolis on October 18, 2008
I just got my first summons too but had to delay because I don't have childcare. Maybe you could postpone until you're done nursing?
L.M. answers from Minneapolis on October 17, 2008
My boob-only baby girl started using a sippy cup at 6 months because she was SOOO against an ocassional bottle. Give it a try, you might be surprised! Also, is he eating any foods yet? If so, he could get full enough on those during the day and you could pump away your pain on bathroom breaks. Good luck!
T.P. answers from La Crosse on October 18, 2008
If you call the clerk of court and explain the situation they will probably take you off there list for this cycle and add you to the list for te next cycle, most juries do 3 month cycles and by then your baby will be eating other foods.
A.H. answers from Davenport on October 18, 2008
L., this, actually, is an easy one. I have first hand experience with it...and so do several of my friends. When you go in for jury selection, you simply tell the judge that you are a nursing mom and you are not willing to stop nursing, so if you get selected, you will have your 6 month old with you in the jury box. The judge will excuse you from duty. I understand that you WANT to be a juror, but you will get another summons. Sometimes the judge- depending on how strongly he feels about your "civic duty" will arrange for you to be called again in say 6 months when you might be done nursing. Continuing to breast feed your baby, giving him/her all those benefits is way more important than being a juror right now.
R.B. answers from Duluth on October 20, 2008
I would call the courthouse and see if you can get out of it. There are lots of "rules" that apply to nursing mothers. Good luck!!
H.N. answers from Cedar Rapids on October 18, 2008
I also got a jury duty notice while breastfeeding. I called them as well and my time was also post ponned.
K.A. answers from Madison on October 18, 2008
You should call the phone number provided on the form and explain that you need to be exempted because you're exclusively nursing. I've done it twice.
S.S. answers from Dubuque on October 18, 2008
I also received a jury duty summons for the first time while my exclusively breastfed firstborn was only a couple months old. I informed them of this and they didn't require me to serve. Three years later I then received my second summons when my second born was being exclusively breastfed and again I was not required to serve. It has been three years now since then and I have not received another summons yet.
H.L. answers from Milwaukee on October 18, 2008
I got a jury duty summons when my son was a couple weeks old. I postponed it the maximum time of 6 months, but then I had the exact same problem as you. I was on reserve jury duty, and called to ask what to do. They basically said the odds were I wouldn't have to go in, but unfortunately they were wrong and I DID have to go in. I could have gotten out of it at the jury registration place, but I didn't find that out until after I had read the piece of paper they handed me as I registered - and once I was registered I was assigned to a case and had to go through with the jury selection process. (Not the smartest system, exactly.) So I sat through the whole jury selection and finally when the judge asked if anybody had a reason they thought they wouldn't be able to serve I explained my situation. I didn't get selected. SO, I'm sure you'll be able to postpone, but if you for some reason have to go in be sure to immediately explain your situation to the people that sign you in!
L.P. answers from Minneapolis on October 18, 2008
I sent a letter after my summons that I was a nursing mom and they let me out of it until next time. It was not a problem. Unless they are really desperate, it shouldn't be a problem.
J.A. answers from Omaha on October 18, 2008
Tell them you are a breastfeeding mother and will have to serve at a later time. Do NOT let them tell you otherwise. Been there, done that twice...