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Judge throws mother out of courtroom for breastfeeding during custody hearing

By Mason White 10:05 AM April 15, 2016
Stephanie Rhodus 

By: Chan Yuan
(Scroll down for video) A mother who lost temporary custody of her son, feels that the judge’s decision was based on breastfeeding her son inside the courtroom.

Stephanie Rhodus, 25, of North Carolina, had her son, Archer, in the Henderson County courtroom. The judge was accommodating when she said that she did not have other arrangements for him.

However, during the court proceedings, the eight-month-old child became fussy and wanted to eat. Rhodus began breastfeeding her son in front of the judge.

After five minutes, Judge Peter Knight ordered her to leave the courtroom and “button up” immediately, despite the fact that breastfeeding in court is legal.

The judge told the mother: ”Ma’am, you need to cover up. For you not to realize that is absolutely ridiculous. Step outside, and cover up right now. Stand up, and go.”

Rhodus, who has three children, was in court as a defendant and she represented herself.

Her mother, who wanted custody of the eight-month-old boy, also has custody of Rhodus’ oldest daughter. Rhodus’ mother alleges that her child is being abused.

After the breastfeeding issue, the judge gave Rhodus’ mother custody of the child along with a six-month protective order so Rhodus has to stay away from her child.