WOAH! Judge threatens to TAKE mum's baby after she has to breastfeed in court
She says she had no option.
Editor / May 02 2019
An upset mum is alleging a judge threatened to take her baby away from her because she was breastfeeding at the back of the court.
Danielle Bell was in court to contest a traffic violation at Johnston County, North Carolina, USA.
As she waited to be called up to the stand, the mum said she sat at the back of the court and breastfed her three-month-old daughter, Penelope, who was in a sling.
But a court bailiff approached her and asked her to leave immediately, saying that children under 12 were not allowed to sit in the courtroom.
Bell said she walked out, even though state and federal laws permit women to breastfeed in public facilities and she and the baby had been covered up by a sling.
“I felt discriminated against,” said Danielle. "This is the way she survives – by breastfeeding – because she refuses a bottle."
After she left, Danielle left the baby with her husband in the hallway.
But as her case was called, Danielle claims she tried to explain to Judge Resson Faircloth about her breastfeeding situation with her daughter.
“I said, ‘If I leave her at home, she’s not able to eat.’
She alleges that he dismissed this, she told WRAL.
"He then replied to me that was not his problem and that, if I had any other excuse, he was going to take her that day and have me put in contempt."
She says Judge Faircloth then told her he would put the baby in the custody of Child Protective Services, she said.
"That's when I walked out of the courtroom crying," she said. "I definitely have fear of going back to the courthouse. I am worried about the consequences that will happen."
The judge and Johnston County Chief District Court Judge Jackie Lee both declined to comment on Bell's allegations - and Danielle is due back in court on May 20.
Frances Sheen has been a magazine and website journalist & editor for the last 20 years - both in Australia and the UK. She's appeared on countless TV and radio shows to discuss parenting and launched her own social media parenting brand. She's the mum of two little girls and juggles that with a busy working life.