(Last updated December 13, 2005)

Ohio Hall of SHAME! P4

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Jeff Bloebaum with his kids

Ohio Stay-At-Home-Dad (SAHD), Jeff Bloebaum, was called for jury duty by the Mason Municipal Court in October 2005.   Jeff was the sole care giver for his 2-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, and had no one he could leave his children with while serving on a jury.

He contacted the Mason Municipal Court about his situation three times, and was assured by a court clerk that the matter would be taken care of.  On November 15, 2005, Jeff received a letter from the judge, notifying him he was being held in contempt of court, for his failure to report for jury duty on Oct. 21st. 

Frantic at the prospect of a 6-month jail sentence, Jeff searched the Internet for anything that could help him. 

Jeff found this website, http://www.familyfriendlyjuryduty.org, and discovered that there was Family Friendly Jury Duty legislation currently being considered by the Ohio legislature, HB 256, sponsored by Rep. Thom Collier.   Jeff called Terri Weeks, a Clermont County mother of three who initiated the FFJD legislation for Ohio, and asked for her help.

Terri contacted the local media and told them about Jeff’s situation and his upcoming hearing. 

The Cincinnati Enquirer was present at Jeff’s hearing.  He was also interviewed by national television on ABC’s Good Morning America program.

Fortunately for Jeff, the judge did ‘the right thing’ and dropped the contempt charge AND excused Jeff from jury duty, likely due to the pressure of public scrutiny.

 

“I still think there needs to be some legislation on the family-friendly jury duty bill that’s out there…”, said Jeff in an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer.  “I would have liked to have done (jury duty), but my situation, as it is, doesn’t allow for that.”  

Excerpts taken from:

 

·          “Missing jury duty could cost dad”, by Sheila McLaughlin, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Dec. 1, 2005

·          “Jury duty charge dropped”, by Sheila McLaughlin, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Dec. 2, 2005

·          “Ohio needs family-friendly jury law”, by Terri Weeks, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Dec. 6, 2005