Stay-at-Home Mom Who Asked to Be Excused From Jury Duty Claims Judge Shamed Her for Not Having Childcare

A stay-at-home mother of three said she felt belittled by a Fresno, California, judge after he allegedly insulted her, along with another pregnant woman.

Christa Pehl Evans took to Facebook to slam Judge James Petrucelli for her humiliating encounter in his courtroom when she appeared for jury duty on November 20.

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Evans who said, “being a mother is the hardest job I’ve ever done,” asked Judge Petrucelli to relieve her of jury duty because she’s breastfeeding a 16-month-old and homeschooling two other children under the age of 7.

However, “in front of the entire courtroom,” Evans claimed she was berated for not having childcare.

In a now-viral post, the mother-of-three recounted the incident.

Yesterday I was selected to be a member of the jury on a trial that would continue for the week after Thanksgiving. I…

Posted by Christa Pehl Evans on Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Evans explained that she was selected to serve on a jury for a trial that would last about two weeks but she needed to take care of her children. She wrote:

I am a homeschooling mother of three, including a 16-month-old nursing baby that I have never left for an entire day, much less over a week.

The mom reportedly told judge Petrucelli that childcare was her job.

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According to her post, he responded to her by saying:

‘I don’t care about your children.’

‘Who is going to take care of your children when you get hit by a mack truck?’

‘What do you do when you are sick?’

Evans replied:

‘I take care of my kids,’ and he shook his head at me with a disgusted expression on his face.

The heated exchange allegedly culminated by Petrucelli telling her and another “very pregnant” woman with a 20-month-old child:

‘I just don’t understand these people with no childcare.’

According to the Sacremento Bee, court documents support Evans’ claims.

After reviewing court transcripts in an interview Petrucelli stood by his remarks but claimed the questions were not meant to be offensive but designed to “identify a financial hardship.” He said:

“It’s my responsibility to ask those questions. I’m not offended by anything I said. But people have different sensitivities.”

According to Evans, motherhood is a legitimate “occupation” and should have excused her from the courtroom.

The stay-at-home mother was ultimately selected to serve on a jury for a two-week trial.

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