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the court system has asked me to PROVE I am BF!

(96 Posts)
aaaghHumbug Thu 18-Oct-12 20:35:49

I have been called for jury service.

I filled in the form saying that I couldn't as I am BF (giving the DOB of baby).

I got a letter back asking for a letter from my GP or HV to confirm that I am BF.


I phoned them in a rage (but politely) saying that I found the letter insulting. The admin person agreed that the wording is "unfortunate" and told me that they have received photos before. WTF?? They also said that a copy of my employers letter stating that I am on mat leave would do. I don't think this is good enough and would like to complain about the BF issue.

Any help with a letter back would be appreciated.

(Unless you think I am a loon and that this is a reasonable request?)

thixotropic Thu 18-Oct-12 20:39:43

Sorry, no help at all, but I have a mental image of spraying them with milk from an overfull Boob. not that I did this to a poor chap in IKEA cafe oh no

CelineMcBean Thu 18-Oct-12 20:40:30

How old is your baby? I think that's an important factor.

The suggestion to send photos is a bit odd I agree but asking for proof is not necessarily unreasonable.

PickledFanjoCat Thu 18-Oct-12 20:42:32

Surely if your on maternity leave that's enough?

Bloody hell!

bumpybecky Thu 18-Oct-12 20:42:42

I don't see how a photo would prove it. You could fake it fairly easily, just need a sleepy small person and a boob. The GP and HV only have your word for it too.

I think it's unreasonable of them to require any mother (or father if they are the primary carer) of a small baby attends jury service, no matter how the child is fed.

How old is the baby? I think there's sliding scale of reasonableness of getting out of jury service. So although I don't have the slightest issue with a breastfed 5 year old, I think using the BFing as an excuse at that age has less merit! Under a year old seems about ok to me.

Zombieminx Thu 18-Oct-12 20:47:00

Can you put up the full text of their letter so we can pull it to shreds in a suitably viperish pithy reply?

PickledFanjoCat Thu 18-Oct-12 20:48:33

I think you should just sent back a block of breast milk cheese.

CelineMcBean Thu 18-Oct-12 20:49:29

If you're on maternity leave from an employed job would your payslip not show SMP? That would probably be enough but the birth certificate would also do.

Until we know the age of the child breastfeeding might be a red herring.

That said I was asked for absolutely no proof of anything when I was called for jury service when pregnant.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 18-Oct-12 20:54:20

grin at thixo.

mamij Thu 18-Oct-12 20:55:03

Am shocked, especially if you're on maternity leave. As said above, photos can be faked and GP/HV won't know for sure you are bf. And they are supposed to keep your photo of you bf on record?!

aaaghHumbug Thu 18-Oct-12 21:02:45

Baby is almost 8 months.

The exact wording
" I acknowledge your recent request for excusal from Jury Service.

I regret that at the present time we cannot excuse you without evidence of your circumstances. To assist us in dealing with this matter, please send official documentation from your GP or health visitor confirming you are breastfeeding"

Yours faithfully,"

The admin person was NOT suggesting I send a photo-I think she mentioned this to indicate that others have found it an odd request as well.

Pochemuchka Thu 18-Oct-12 21:03:13


An even more baffled by the photo idea!

You could send them a sample of your finest breastmilk or better still, like another poster said upthread, pop in with an engorged breast and spray it in their eye!

LineRunner Thu 18-Oct-12 21:07:11

I think you have stumbled, OP, upon one of the most arcane, insane aspects of jury service excusal protocols.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 18-Oct-12 21:08:27

That is absolute shocking, and how the feck do you prove it?

izzywizzyisbizzy Thu 18-Oct-12 21:08:55

what's the big deal?? people try to get out of jury service all the time, so they are used to people making excuses, just because you weren't

izzywizzyisbizzy Thu 18-Oct-12 21:09:21

sorry, hit post,

just because you werent there is no need to take it as a personal insult

LonelyCloud Thu 18-Oct-12 21:09:27

Surely anyone could fake a photo if the baby was sleepy?

Do you have to send the photo in with photo ID so they know it's really a photo of you?

IvorHughJackolantern Thu 18-Oct-12 21:10:53

This evening I am mostly following PickledFanjoCat about the board (not on purpose, honest) and laughing at everything she posts. Love the cheese idea.

I'd love to help with your angry letter because I love writing angry letters - but the thing is, I agree with you, it's weird and not good, but I can't work out why I am so insulted by it. Or why you are. Even though I think we're both right confused

Basically, it's just fucking stupid

CelineMcBean Thu 18-Oct-12 21:11:30

I think breastfeeding is irrelevant. You are primary carer for a small baby. Statutory maternity leave in UK is 12 months. If you are considered to be needed at home to care for a baby then you cannot be expected to be on jury service at the same time.

Your employer should have written to you to confirm your maternity leave and pay. I would send that if you have it or the child's birth certificate.

If they refuse to accept your evidence and threaten penalties you could refer to The Equality Act 2010.

This is so bonkers I'm not even sure where to begin.

LineRunner Thu 18-Oct-12 21:11:40

I have never been called for jury service and would love to be to judge others.

The idea that a woman would pretend to breastfeed, and need a witness to her honesty on this, is insulting. The phone call about photos is surreal.

BlueyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 21:11:47

The jury duty system was toughened up some years ago because too many people were avoiding jury duty. So now the exclusions are limited and they are tougher on those asking to be excused, which I guess is the reason they are asking you to prove you are BF as that is what you offered as your reason. I agree it's a bit of a strange thing to be asked to prove though.

When I was called I was on mat leave and simply asked to defer rather than excuse myself completely. Is that an option, OP?

CelineMcBean Thu 18-Oct-12 21:12:42

And what Ivor said. Where to even begin?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 18-Oct-12 21:14:08

Unfortunately to get out of this period of Jury Service I think you're just going to have to play by their rules to get it postponed. Once you've succeeded in doing that, I would persue the issue of why you should have to provide proof and all that that entails.

FWIW, I was called up to do Jury Service when DS1 would have been about 5 months old. I was exclusively bf him. I wrote back immediately explaining this and that therefore I would not be available as a juror. I was swiftly sent a letter with a start date as a juror exactly a year later. Work weren't too pleased but had to accept it.

I'm in South Wales btw.

ShowOfBloodyStumps Thu 18-Oct-12 21:14:48

Presumably they would expect you to pay for this GP's letter too. Is £25 here. I dread ever being called for jury service as I simply would not do it. Which is not an excuse really.

DH was called for jury service a few years ago. He let them know that he wouldn't be able to do it on account of the fact that the court was slap bang in the middle of the area he polices and it was highly likely he'd know the accused in a professional capacity. They refused to accept this and on the day he was supposed to turn up for jury service I got an angry phonecall asking where he was. He was there as it turns out. Preventing evidence for the prosecution.

SirBoobAlot Thu 18-Oct-12 21:15:04

Go to the office and whip your norks out?

Sorry I'm absolutely bemused by this, how utterly bizarre! go to the press

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