Theft Charges Dismissed Against Woman Who Took Daughter’s iPhone

September 20, 2018 Updated: September 20, 2018

Charges against a Michigan mother who took her daughter’s iPhone away as punishment were dismissed on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Jodie May of Grandville said she took the phone away from her 15-year-old daughter after the girl got into trouble at school.

“I was just being a mom, a concerned parent and disciplining my daughter,” May told WOOD-TV.

Ex-Husband Alleges Theft

That’s when May’s ex-husband got involved. He said he owned the phone and claimed what May did was a crime of theft.

May was arrested by deputies with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office in May and faced a misdemeanor charge of larceny, which could have landed her up to 93 days in prison if convicted. Prosecutors added another similar charge just before the trial was set to start on Sept. 18, which effectively doubled the time she could have spent in jail.

Just minutes later, though, Ottawa County Assistant Prosecutor Sarah Matwiejczyk told Ottawa County District Judge Judy Mulder that they had new information. They had learned that the ex-husband didn’t own the phone, the daughter did.

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

“Case will be dismissed, thank you,” said the judge, reported KNDO.

Matwiejczyk refused to talk to the press after the conclusion.

Mother ‘Surprised’

May said what happened is ridiculous.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” the mom said. “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.”

Her lawyer, Jennifer Kuiper-Weise, added that the case illustrated problems in the court system.

“The case was authorized on a probable-cause basis, and unfortunately at times there are misdemeanor cases that are not thoroughly vetted,” she said. “Unfortunately Miss May was a victim of that.”


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