My generation of cops used to have a saying: “Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
Mother arrested for taking 15-year-old daughter’s cell phone
By Ocala Post on September 21, 2018
A mother who was disciplining her 15-year-old daughter by taking her cell phone away was arrested and charged with Larceny Theft Under $200.
Later, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office added an additional charge of Larceny by Conversion.
The charges are punishable by up to 93 days in jail each.
In a court statement, the Grandville, Michigan mother, identified as Jodie May, said, “I was just being a mom, a concerned parent and disciplining my daughter.”
According to court records, May had taken her daughter’s iPhone 6 in April after she got in trouble at school.
The girl’s parents are divorced and share custody of the 15-year-old.
Everybody involved in this incident ought to be ashamed. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In order to feel shame, one must possess some degree of self awareness. Not in Ottawa County, the deputies, investigators and judge all fell over each other, vying for the title of “dumbest son-of-a-bitch in the criminal justice system. When the deputy knocked on her door to serve a misdemeanor warrant, Ms May was breast feeding a four week old baby. The deputy had to peel the baby off her teat in order to take her to jail.
Let’s break this down into bite size chunks. Mama and Daddy are divorced. They share custody of a fifteen year old girl. Daughter screwed up in school. Mama took here cell phone away. I suppose this could have been a permanent situation. I suspect that it was conditional: “You get your cell phone back, when you stop fucking up.”
In order to fulfill the elements of theft, the state must prove that actor intended to permanently deprive the owner of the item. The cell phone was a gift from the girl’s father. He is the one that filed the report. What is it about “gift” that is unclear? Daddy is in no position to claim victim-hood. He might have a bitch coming, if his ex-wife piled up the minutes on the phone. That is not what she was charged with. Instead these badge wearing rocket scientists took a theft report.
What else could they have done? There is the direct route, my preferred method. I’d have told him to look up asshole in the dictionary to see if his picture was there. Secondly, the cell phone may be the catalyst but this issue is about child custody. “This is a civil matter, contact your divorce attorney. Have a nice day!” (Have a nice day is police talk for Fuck You.) Either of these actions probably would have pissed off the father.
Assuming the above wasn’t an option, because the reporting deputy has balls the size of BB’s, there is one other step he could have taken. The deputy could have; wait for it, actually conducted an investigation. This would entail talking to Mama and the actual victim, the daughter. An interview probably would have established that this was a family discipline matter and that there was no intent to permanently deprive the daughter of the phone.
With both sides represented in the initial report the deputy could declare victory. He took the theft report from daddy, thus making him happy. He interviewed Mama and determined there was no intent to permanently deprive daughter of the phone. With that established, the elements of the offense for theft are not present. The report is closed exceptionally. There is no reason to bother the detectives or the judge. No reason to ruin an infant’s lunch days later.