(Last updated December 12, 2005)

Ohio Hall of SHAME! P3

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Ohio

Stephanie Weaver of Cardington, Ohio received a jury duty summons from the Morrow County Municipal Court in June 2004.  Stephanie, a full-time mother of four children ages 2, 4, 6, and 12, filled out the questionnaire that was included in the summons which asked if there was any reason that would keep her from serving as a juror. 

She wrote that she cares for her children full-time, had no family, neighbors or friends who could help out, and her husband was unavailable to care for the children since he was working two jobs.

 

Two weeks before her scheduled report date in August, she received a card in the mail denying her request for deferral.

Stephanie then called the court and explained her situation to a bailiff, who said she had to serve and there was nothing Stephanie could do about it.

 

On the day she was to report for jury duty, Stephanie made one last call to the court and tried to explain her situation to an unsympathetic female court employee.  This person rudely interrupted Stephanie saying that she would be in contempt of court if she showed up with her kids.

 

Fearing the worst, Stephanie immediately called her husband at work and asked him to meet her at the courthouse.  It was very difficult for him to take off from work since his day job involved driving severely ill people to their doctor appointments and medical treatments (such as dialysis. etc.). If his company couldn’t quickly find a replacement driver, their clients’ health would be endangered!

 

When she arrived at the courthouse and explained her situation to the judge, he angrily  asked her, “How long does it take to get a babysitter?!”  When Stephanie told him she exhausted all her resources, the judge replied harshly that if Stephanie could not find someone to care for her kids while she was serving jury duty, she would have to turn her children over to Children’s Services! 

 

Right before she had to go into the courtroom for the Jury Selection process, Stephanie’s husband arrived and was able to prevent their children from being taken away by the court.

Later on, the judge insultingly asked Stephanie, “‘Miss’ (instead of ‘Mrs.’) Weaver, you had a ‘problem’ -- did we get that taken care of?”

 

Warning!  If Stephanie’s humiliating experience is any indication, it seems that the Morrow County Municipal Court is hostile to children, and considers them to be ‘problems’ to be handled by government Social Workers instead of parents!

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