Judge Makes Lawyer Bring Newborn to Court Then Humiliates Her

judge, courtFor all the advancements that we enjoy in this country, there is a major shortcoming that we moms know all too well. There are many employers who don't respect the notion of maternity leave. One of the most egregious cases I've heard recently involves a lawyer who was forced to bring her newborn to court because the judge didn't think that was a good enough reason to delay a hearing. Despicable, right. It gets worse. Wait until you learn what he said to her as she stood before his bench.


Attorney Stacy M. Ehrisman-Mickle asked for a continuance in an immigration hearing while she was still on maternity leave. Despite the fact that opposing counsel agreed, Justice J. Dan Pelletier, Sr. rudely denied the request. To him, having gave birth six weeks earlier was not a good excuse for delaying a court appearance.

Her husband was traveling for work, so the new mom first tried to put the baby in a daycare, but children under 6 weeks old are not permitted. New to town, she had no law partner who could fill in for her, so Ehrisman-Mickle had no  choice but to bring her baby to court. As if that wasn't bad enough, the judge unleashed a nasty tirade on her. According to a complaint she later filed against him,

He scolded me for being inappropriate for bringing her. He questioned the fact that day care centers do not accept infants less than 6 weeks of age. He then questioned my mothering skills as he commented how my pediatrician must be appalled that I am exposing my daughter to so many germs in court. He humiliated me in open court.

So would giving the baby to a stranger she barely knew a better solution? Would that have made her a good mother in his eyes?

I assume this man was born to a woman and not sprouted like a weed out of a dirt patch, but you wouldn't know that from his attitude. Where is the human kindness? Where is the empathy? If only this was a rare occurrence. Sadly, this situation is emblematic of a horrendous problem women face when they become mothers. And it's not just men who treat mothers this way.

Too many moms to count have been laid off on maternity leave, demoted, or denied promotions after starting a family. Taking off time after you have a baby is not special treatment. It's a necessity in order to heal your, nurse your baby, and find adequate child care.  We are just happy that Ehrisman-Mickle isn't staying silent about the horrific way she was treated in open court. Pelletier -- and those who would agree with him -- deserved to be shamed for their barbaric behavior.

Do you think this judge was out of hand?


Image via © Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis

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