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Michigan mom charged with larceny for taking away daughter’s phone as punishment

Jodie May of Grandville, Michigan, was facing larceny charges for taking away her 15-year-old daughter's cellphone as punishment. The assistant prosecutor dismissed the charges before the trial started. (Image source: Ottawa County Jail)

Jodie May of Grandville, Michigan, was forced to appear before a district judge earlier this week on a larceny charge for taking away her daughter's cellphone as punishment.

May took the iPhone 6 from her 15-year-old daughter in April after the teenager got in trouble at school, according to reports.

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

How did this happen?

What began as discipline became a criminal matter after May’s ex-husband reported it to Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and claimed she committed a crime.

After the mom's arrest in May, she was immediately released on $200 bond. May was facing a misdemeanor larceny charge, which carries a punishment of up to 93 days in jail, the TV station reported.

Shortly before the bench trial began on Tuesday before Ottawa County District Judge Judy Mulder, prosecutors added another charge to the case: larceny by conversion. That charge was also punishable by up to 93 days, according to the report.

But before the first witness was called, yet another twist was added.

"I've had an opportunity to discuss this case with the victim in this case, or at least the person we believed owned the property," Ottawa County assistant prosecutor Sarah Matwiejczyk told the judge.

The prosecutor said she determined the phone is in fact owned by the daughter, not the ex-husband.

"The mother defendant being the mother of the minor child, I believe that changes the case significantly," Matwiejczyk reportedly said. "Therefore, we're requesting that the charges be dismissed."

How did the mom react?

May called the entire situation “ridiculous.”

"I think it's ridiculous," May told the TV station. "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, Jennifer Kuiper-Weise, said she was ready for a court battle.

"We knew this was parental discipline," said Kuiper-Weise, a former assistant prosecutor in Ottawa County. "We knew that it would come across that way."

She also questioned why the charges were ever filed.

“The case was authorized on a probable-cause basis, and unfortunately at times there are misdemeanor cases that are not thoroughly vetted, and unfortunately Miss May was a victim of that," Kuiper-Weise told WOOD.

One last thing…
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