Natalie Hegedus had waited two hours to face the judge. And her 5-month-old son was hungry so she felt she had no choice but to breastfeed him.
Judge Robert T. Hentchel felt just the opposite and gave the Michigan woman a tongue lashing that she said left her humiliated and tearful.
And now her post on the BabyCenter Community has gone viral and even made national news.
Hegedus wrote she was in court for getting a ticket this summer for operating a watercraft without attending a water safety class. She said she was a 32-year-old woman and did not realize the law now required such a class.
"While waiting for my turn, my son got hungry," she wrote.
She said he wasn't in daycare because "we have been fighting a fever from his first ear infection."
And, of course, Murphy's Law struck.
"As luck would have it, my name gets called as he is (feeding)," she wrote. "Now nothing was showing as I made sure, but when I responded, 'Just a minute,' the judge asked me if I thought it was appropriate to feed him in court."
Hegedus said she replied that because her son was hungry and it wasn't against the law that she felt like her action was proper.
"His response was, "My court, my law,'" she wrote. "When I got up to the stand, I saw a note that his court aide had wrote: There is a woman breastfeeding in court."
The case against her was dismissed, but Hegedus said she fled the courtroom in tears. She would like to see the judge reprimanded.
"I have never felt so humiliated," she said. "I am now calmed down, but still hurt that our justice system feels that they can ignore the federal rights of breastfeeding women."
A Grand Rapids television station reached out to the judge who did not respond. But the chief judge in Michigan said the media attention was unwarranted.
"I'm not defending this judge, I just don't think it is a story," said Chief Judge Paul Hamre. "A one- to two-sentence exchange has now turned into a national story."
Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:32:59 GMT
Authorities are investigating after three people were killed and two others were critically injured in shootings in a south Kansas City neighborhood.More >
Authorities are investigating after three people were killed and two others were critically injured in shootings in a south Kansas City neighborhood. Police are seeking the public's help in finding the gunman. More >
Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:12:05 GMT
The World Food Program says it provided food to a record 4.1 million people inside Syria last month.More >
Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant...More >
Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-09-02 20:42:09 GMT
Canadian police say pop star Justin Bieber has been charged with dangerous driving and assault after a collision between a minivan and an ATV led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario.More >
Canadian pop star Justin Bieber faces new charges after he was arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and an ATV that led to a physical altercation involving a photographer, his...More >