Iowa Hall of SHAME!

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(Last updated September 1, 2005)



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Dorinda Harald, a nursing mother of a 3-month-old baby was called for jury duty in March of 2001.† Even though she was breastfeeding and had no one else who could care for her infant, she was NOT excused!†
This is her story:


In March 2001, I received a letter (from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa) that I would be on call for jury duty for SIX months, from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2001.†

If I had a reason that would keep me from serving, I was to write them and let them know so I could be excused.† At that time, I had a 3-month-old that I was breastfeeding, and didnít have anyone else to care for him. (The court) still told me I would need to serve if I was called, and if I didnít, I would be held in contempt (of court).


I was called to report to the Federal Building in Sioux City twice during that time.† The first time, was towards the end of July.† I had to be there at 8.00 a.m.† I showed up, of course, after an HOUR-long drive, with my baby boy.


They went through the jury selection.† My number hadnít been called so they excused the rest of us.† But by then it was 11:30 a.m.† I had sat there with my son for 3-1/2 hours trying to keep him from becoming fussy and disrupting everything.† The other people who had been called...couldn't believe they hadnít excused me since I didnít have anyone to care for (my baby).††


The second time I was called was in the middle of December.† I again showed up with my son.† I only had to wait for 1 hour that time.† One of the lawyers had seen me there with him and told the judge about me.† He then said I could be excused, but if I were called again before my 6 months was up, ďI HAD BETTER LEAVE MY BABY AT HOME!Ē

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