US woman faced theft charges and time in prison for confiscating iPhone from 15-year-old daughter

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A mother from the midwestern state of Michigan had to stand before a judge on Tuesday (Sept 18), all because she took away her daughter’s cellphone as punishment to get her point across. But her disciplinary action was labeled a crime, after she was accused of stealing that phone.

Jodie May from the city of Grandville said that she took the iPhone 6 from her 15-year-old daughter in April after the girl got into trouble in school. “I was just being a mom, a concerned parent and disciplining my daughter,” she said.

May was arrested in May after her ex-husband took exception to her discipline and filed a police report claiming that the confiscated phone was his. Though she was immediately released on a $200 bond, May faced a misdemeanor charge of larceny, which is punishable with a fine of up to $200 and 93 days in jail.

Just before May’s trial was to start on Tuesday, prosecutors added a second charge over the same alleged phone theft charge, which was punishable by an additional 93 days in prison. Then minutes before any witnesses were were called, the prosecutors unexpectedly asked the judge to dismiss the case.

It turned out that the authorities had not done a thorough job in determining who the phone belonged to, and it was established that it actually belonged to May’s daughter.

The prosecutor said: “The mother defendant being the mother of the minor child, I believe that changes the case significantly. Therefore we’re requesting that the charges be dismissed.”

May who left the courtroom without any criminal record said: “I think it’s ridiculous! I can’t believe I had to be put through it, my daughter had to be put through it, my family. I’m very surprised, but I’m very happy with the outcome.”

May’s court-appointed attorney said that it was a case of parental discipline and asked why the charges were filed in the first place. She said that she was ready for a court fight.