Judge’s denial of a delay request forces lawyer to bring newborn to hearing

By the time an Atlanta Immigration attorney’s clients could afford to hire her, she was very pregnant and about to have a baby.

After discovering her first court appearance on the calendar was 4 weeks into her maternity leave,  Stacy Ehrisman-Mickle lfiled a request to have the hearing delayed but Immigration Judge J. Dan Pelletier denied the request.

“No good cause. Hearing date set prior to counsel accepting representation,”  the order denying the request stated.

Ehrisman-Mickle said she expected the request to be approved and only discovered it wasn’t the Friday before the hearing during a time her truck-driver husband was on the road.

“I was in a state of panic,” Ehrisman-Mickle  told The Associated Press on Thursday. ” I didn’t know what to do with my baby,”

With no family in the area and her infant daughter too young for daycare, Ehrisman-Mickle got clearance from her newborn’s pediatrician to take the baby to the hearing so long as she wore the baby in a front facing carrier and didn’t let anyone touch her.

During the October 7th hearing, the baby cried leading Judge Pelletier reprimanded the mom for inappropriate behavior and comment that her pediatrician would be shocked that she was exposed to all the germs in the court.

“I was embarrassed. I felt humiliated,” she Ehrisman-Mickle said.

Pelletier eventually delayed the hearing.

What a mess, huh? Insensitive is the polite word for that judge. Ehrisman-Mickle filed a complaint about the judge following the hearing. No word yet on its progress.

photo: courtesy Stacy Ehrisman Mickle

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