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Judge Forces Attorney to Bring Newborn to Court and Taunts Her
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Judge Forces Attorney to Bring Newborn to Court and Taunts Her

Summary: An attorney, who was denied a continuance for a hearing scheduled during her maternity leave, was humiliated by a judge when she was forced to bring her newborn to court with her.

According to The Stir, an attorney was humiliated during a court proceeding by a judge when she asked to continue the proceeding. Her reason for the request? She had just given birth six weeks earlier and was on maternity leave.

  
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Stacy M. Ehrisman-Mickle tried everything to make other arrangements for her newborn so that she could attend the hearing, but due to circumstances beyond her control, she simply could not. Her husband was traveling for work. A daycare would not accept the child because it was under 6 weeks old. On top of the exhausting stress of giving birth and taking care of a young baby, Ehrisman-Mickle was new to the area, so she did not have a law partner who could take over the hearing for her.

Although the opposing attorney in the case consented to the continuance, the judge still refused to grant it. Stacy M. Ehrisman-Mickle was then forced to show up for the immigration hearing with her newborn baby in tow. The judge, Justice J. Dan Pelletier, Sr., then felt the need to humiliate the new mom.

Ehrisman-Mickle recalled in the complaint she filed against the judge, “He scolded me for being inappropriate for bringing her. He questioned the fact that daycare centers do not accept infants less than 6 weeks of age. He then questioned by 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.”

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The Daily Report added that Ehrisman-Mickle notified the court well in advance of needing to postpone the hearing. She requested a continuance on September 8. The hearing was scheduled for October 7, and Ehrisman-Mickle’s due date was September 12, and she was scheduled to be on maternity leave until October 24. In response, the judge wrote, “No good cause. Hearing date set prior to counsel accepting representation.”

When Ehrisman-Mickle showed up for the hearing, she had her 4-week old daughter on her chest in a baby carrier. When the tiny baby began to cry, the Judge started his tirade.

However, Ehrisman-Mickle is glad she stood up for herself, although she fears a bit of backlash for complaining and speaking to the media. “…I believe what I was doing was right. As a woman, we’re always fighting in this profession. I’m ready for it. I’m not looking forward to it. But it’s part of the game, I guess.”

Ehrisman-Mickle did receive a call from Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Elisa Sukkar with the Executive Office of Immigration Review in Miami. Ehrisman-Mickle said, “She was very supportive. She said she would look into it more. I have no idea what that means, though.”

Due to the fact that the judge turned off recording in the courtroom, there is a “presumption of facts in [her] favor.”

Photo credit: carolinalive.com



 

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