Mom Arrested and Charged With Theft For Taking Her Daughter's Phone Away

mom arrested for taking daughter's cellphone
ABC News 10

When a tween or teen is acting out, taking the kid's cellphone away is a go-to punishment for most parents. These days, taking away a phone essentially means cutting the kiddo off from socializing, entertainment, and electronics all in one swoop. It's just like an old-school grounding, but with a physical tech component. Jodie May, a mom from Michigan, thought this was what she was doing when she took her daughter's cellphone after the girl got in trouble at school. Little did she know, she'd get hit with a charge of theft and threatened with jail time.

  • May was arrested in April after she took her 15-year-old's phone away and had to fight charges in court this week.

    According to ABC 10, the mom was charged with misdemeanor larceny, which is punishable by up to 93 days in jail. Then, just minutes before her trial started, the judge added a second charge of larceny by conversion, punishable by up to another 93 days.

    The charges came after the teen told her dad, May's ex-husband, about her punishment, and he filed a report with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office alleging that the mom had no right to take the girl's phone away because he had paid for it.

    "I was just being a mom, a concerned parent and disciplining my daughter," May told ABC 10. "I think it's ridiculous. I can't believe I had to be put through it, my daughter had to be put through it, my family."

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  • Luckily, the absurd charges ended up being dismissed in court because prosecutors found out May's ex fabricated his story.

    It turns out May's daughter is the phone's actual owner, not her dad. Still, you have to wonder how in the hell something this ridiculous made it into a courtroom in the first place. If the teen really wanted to, could she have pressed charges herself just because she owned the phone?

    According to ABC 10, court-appointed attorney Jennifer Kuiper-Weise said the mom's actions were clearly disciplinary in nature and the case never should have made it to court. "The case was authorized on a probable-cause basis, and, unfortunately, at times there are misdemeanor cases that are not thoroughly vetted, and unfortunately Miss May was a victim of that," she explained.

  • The case left many parents baffled.

  • Others said the ex-husband should be charged with something for wasting tax dollars and everyone's time.

  • May told ABC 10 she was "surprised but very happy" about the outcome. As she put it, "Mom prevailed."