A nursing mother in court claimed a judge said she would be held in contempt of court if she brought her feeding baby back to her traffic case.

However, Danielle Bell didn’t know what to do because her baby needed to eat.

The mother of 3-month-old Penelope told WRAL that she was breastfeeding her child in a sling while waiting for her traffic court case to be called.

The child was covered, but a judge told her to leave because no kids under 12 were allowed in the courtroom.


Bell then left her daughter with her husband in the hallway and came back to speak with District Court Judge Resson Faircloth about her predicament, and she was told to not bring her child back into the courtroom even though state and federal laws permit public feeding.

The mother told the judge:

“If I leave her home, she’s unable to eat.

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. And that’s when I walked out of the courtroom crying.”

She added:

“I definitely have fear of going back to the courthouse. I am worried about the consequences that will happen.”

WRAL confirmed that, according to judges in other counties, no children under 12 are permitted in the courtroom to minimize disruptions during proceedings — though laws permit women to nurse their children in public spaces.


The mother, who returns to court on May 20, said she felt “discriminated against.” She added:

“This is the way she survives — by breastfeeding — because she refuses a bottle.”

Watch the video below:

Several judges reportedly said the no-children-under-12 rule is at the judge’s discretion.

Bell said she doesn’t go anywhere without her 3-month-old, but she was reportedly told to figure it out to avoid jail time.

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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7 Replies to “Mom in Court for Traffic Violation Gets Kicked Out and Threatened With Jail Time for Breastfeeding Her Baby”

  • Carol 1 year ago

    Feed baby before coming to court. Babies should not be in court. Doesn’t make sense to have a baby so dependent on mom. What will happen if mom goes to hospital or should become sick and can’t nurse?

    • ML 1 year ago

      It doesn’t make sense to have a baby so dependent on mom??? That is literally, historically, biologically what a baby is supposed to do!!! They are 100% SUPPOSED to be 100% DEPENDENT on mom! Her husband can keep the baby in the hall, but that comment is pure stupidity.

    • Valerie 1 year ago

      I opted to have a home birth with my last child and we had two certified midwives present. This was my 5th birth and 2nd at home. Complications arose several hours after she was born and I was hospitalized needing blood transfusions. I was allowed to sign a waiver for her indicting she was my guest and my newborn stayed at the hospital with me. My point is that your suggestion of what will happen if she is hospitalized is a flawed one. Also a baby a 3 months old is literally entirely dependent on their mom if their only nourishment is breastfeeding. Not all babies can or will take a bottle. Some babies nurse every two hours for the first 6 months of life…if not longer. Hell one of mine (a preemie) nursed for 45 min every two hours for her first 8 months. I can help but think that either you are from an older generation when formula was popularized and breast were taboo or you are young and do not have children yet because while you are entitled to your opinion it has quite a few flaws in the logic section. But that’s just my opinion

  • sarah 1 year ago

    agreed ML

  • Deb 1 year ago

    Its only a few hours. She can store breastmilk and dad can feed her while moms in court. It will mot hurt the baby.

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    They don’t eat constantly. She can feed then go in for a few hours and Dad keep her. Baby will be fine. She just wants attention.

  • Bnp 1 year ago

    She could have managed easily. Some babies do refuse a bottle yes. But they make all kinds of gadgets to help with that these days. Also it’s not hard to feed your baby before you go into the courtroom. They don’t eat constantly.

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