I got the idea from the thread about Rain Man and Judge Wapner. Do you have a favorite case from The People’s Court or Judge Judy or any similar show?
My favorite was on The People’s Court. Both sides agreed on the facts. (How often does that happen on these shows?) A blind woman called for a cab at a certain time. The cab arrived at that time, but the driver refused to take her to her appointment, because she had a guide dog with her. He said that as a Muslim, he could not take a dog in his cab because it was unclean. She called for another cab, but by the time it arrived, she had missed her appointment.
She brought in a copy of the law requiring cabs to take guide dogs. He brought in a copy of the U.S. Constitution, claiming freedom of religion.
There was a Judge Judy case that impressed me. The plaintiff was a young man who had been conned out of money by some extended family members. The trouble was, he didn’t really have evidence to prove it. They claimed it was just a business deal that didn’t work out. For some reason Judge Judy believed him and started grilling the defendants. In just a couple of minutes of questioning she got them to contradict themselves, expose their dishonesty, and admit to facts that proved the plaintiff’s case.
One on the New People’s Court with Judge Millian. The defendant ended up threatening the plaintiff under their breath in another language. Unfortunately for them, they chose Spanish. She heard, tore them anew one and ruled for the plaintiff.
I remember a People’s Court episode where the defendant’s dog killed a chicken that belonged to the plaintiff. The plaintiff was suing for whatever the top dollar amount available was (let’s say it was then $2,000) citing pain and suffering because he loved that chicken like a pet. Wapner, an animal lover, awarded him $2 for the value of the chicken and went into a rant about how there was a motion afoot to raise the damages in Small Claims Court to $5,000 and he was against it because “I have no doubt people like this man would clog the docket swearing he the dead chicken was worth $5,000”.
Judge Judy’s strident sermonizing on things that aren’t related to the case (yes, I agree that having three kids with three dads is trashy, but what difference does it make to whether she damaged the other woman’s car?), but seeing her turn it full fury on The eBay Scammer was great. In a follow-up on TV, that woman later went to jail for various charges; I’m wondering if Judge Judy ever did get a case file opened on her as well.
I didn’t see this one. I just remember people posting about it, so if I get the details wrong, I apologize.
Some sort of spat between a woman and her boyfriend ended with him telling her he had put viruses or some other malware on her computer. She spent several hundred dollars on techs removing suspected malware. Turned out, the boyfriend had lied, and not actually done it. In any case, she wanted her several hundred dollars back.
From the discussion on the case, Judge Judy apparently didn’t have clue about viruses and computers.
Judge Judy had a case where the defendent was accused of stealing a woman’s tax return.
The defendent allowed Judy access to her bank records, Judy came back out and said there were dozens of tax returns being deposited in her account and advised her to get a lawyer, she ended up not ruling I think.
What kind of moron goes on national TV and exposes the fact they have committed serious felony crimes?!
A few weeks ago, I think it was Kevin Ross, had a case where a guy had an affair with a woman at work. Someone sent the mistress a gift basket full of haircare products that contained Nair or some other such depilatory, causing her hair to fall out. She took the man’s wife to court for damages, but didn’t have any proof that it was her. Just as Judge Ross was ruling in favor of the wife and dismissing the case due to lack of evidence, the cheating husband spoke up voluntarily and said that he had noticed charges for the haircare products on his wife’s credit card statement. Then Judge Ross not only ruled in favor of the mistress, but also referred the case to the D.A.‘s office for perjury charges against the wife. It was awesome. I bet the husband got an ass-whoopin’ when he got home.
Oh, another interesting Judge Judy one, one I saw on reddit a while back - this woman was being sued because she was running an ebay scam (advertising cell phones, and then only sending the winners photos of the cell phones – “gee, I never said the auction was for the phones themselves…”). It’s a complete scam, and the woman doesn’t even bother trying to deny it. This moron actually thinks she’s in the right, and seems proud of her scam. Of course, Judge Judy brings down the full-force of Judge Judiness on her.
This was way waaaay back when I was a kid, watching Wapner while home sick from school. The plaintiff was a prostitute who had been sentenced to prison. Her defendant was the judge who found her guilty and pronounced the sentence. Her claim? She didn’t think it was fair that he got to decide that she was guilty and send her to prison, so she was suing him to compensate for the time she lost inside. Wapner laughed her out of court and asked the other judge why he’d bothered showing up. He said that he had nothing better to do, and thought it might be entertaining.
This could actually have been a brilliant scam, with the defendant an innocent xth party.
Think about it: All you’d need would be her account number and just one of her checks.
Steal other people’s tax returns out of their mailboxes, sign them “Pay to the order of Ms. X,” and deposit them into her account over a period of days and at different branches of the bank so that no one twigs to what you’re doing.
Do this during the period between bank statements. When that month is almost up, take the check you stole from her (chances are she’ll never know it’s missing, especially if you rip it out of the back of her checkbook), make it out to yourself, and cash it at her bank for the full amount you deposited. The money should still be in her account, so they won’t question the sum.
Ms. X won’t have the slightest idea of what’s going on until she gets her monthly statement in the mail. Then she’ll probably freak and seek legal help. (Or maybe not; she’ll probably just think the bank made an error and corrected it, since her original sum is still there.)
Start all over again with a different mark at a different bank. Do this as many times as is necessary until you can retire to Tahiti. (Be prepared to blow town if your case makes the ten o’clock news. But it should take at least a couple of months before anyone really gets wise to you.)
Just make sure you steal the refund checks from lawyers, politicians, former bosses, and so on. They’re the only ones with refunds large enough to make the scam worth the risk, and they probably weren’t planning on using the money for anything special anyway.
Also, disguise yourself any time you go near one of the banks for illegal purposes so the surveillance cameras can’t nail you.
My God! Sounds like something Frank Abagnale would have dreamed up! Sometimes I amaze even myself…!
Don’t these shows have some sort of disclaimer stating that both sides have agreed to drop the actual court case and instead abide by the decision of the TV judge?
I wonder if this defendant figured she was going to lose the case anyway and thought she was insulating herself from further legal trouble by signing the agreement… If so, that’s a brilliant kind of stupid.
I recall only vaguely seeing a moderately successful comedian named Drake Sather on The People’s Court; I think his girlfriend was suing him for something or other. Never saw him again after that, and I heard some years later that he’d committed suicide. I’ve since wondered if it was over that same woman.
I used to watch Judge Judy and always liked the cases where one side sabotaged their own case so thoroughly that the other side didn’t even have to make an argument - I can’t describe a particular case in which that happened, but it happened from time to time.
Can’t remember which show but a bank error had deposited the plaintiff’s money into the defendants’ account. They withdrew the whole amount (something like $5000) before it could be reversed and refused to return it.
Their argument was that, clearly, God wanted them to have that money. Otherwise, how would it have ended up in their account? And to prove how religious they were, they bragged to the judge they had tithed the money.
“How much did you give?”
“Tithing means ten percent. You gave $500?”
After a few attempts to dodge the question they finally told her they gave under $50.
In one case, a woman cheated on her husband just after they got married. She got pregnant, and the baby wasn’t the husband’s. They divorced, and she married her lover.
As part of the divorce settlement, it was agreed that the baby would be covered for one year under the non-father’s insurance. Unfortunately, when the baby was born, she had some disability that required more expensive treatment than the insurance would cover. The non-father would not appeal the insurance company’s judgment, nor was he willing to pay for the extra care out of his own pocket. So, the mother took him to court.
Judge Judy listened to the mother’s case. She then asked the defendant if he had anything to add. “No, Your Honor.”
“Good, because you don’t need to. Case dismissed.” Judge Judy then suggested that the actual parents of the baby find more or better employment to support the child themselves.