Judge Judy, etc.

How do these shows work? If someone goes on the show and wins, does the show pay them or do they still have to collect from the person they sued?

Their websites don’t seem to forthcoming on this subject and I’m thinking if you still have to go through hell collecting a judgement, then what’s the point?

On the other hand I suspect if it got out that the show pays the judgement then what’s to stop me and my friends from suing each other (under false pretenses) and going there and collecting?

I’ve read in the small print at the end of some of these programs that the show pays the awards. Being that it’s entertainment more than anything, getting with your friends probably won’t be a showstopper unless you’re really obvious about it.

On “El Corte del Pueblo” (kind of like a Spanish language People’s Court) I’m positive I’ve seen reference to the litigants being actors but the cases being based on real life. If that’s really the case, I have to give them a lot of credit on their quality compared to other United States produced Spanish language programs.

On “The People’s COurt” - the original, with Joe Wapner - the litigants were paid from a pool, from which the award was deducted or added.

For example, the pool may be $2000. If the lawsuit was for $500, the winning plaintiff would receive $1500 - his half of the $2000, plus his $500 judgement. The losing defendant would receive $500 - his half of the $1000 less the $500 judgement he lost.

If the lawsuit was for $3000, then the winner got $4000, and the loser had to ante up $2000 out of pocket.

I can’t speak to the practice of any show today.

  • Rick

Bricker, that’s the way I understand it to be with the current shows as well.

Speaking of these things. Judge Hatchett has reached a new low. The past couple episode have been nothing but “DNA tests to prove whose the baby daddy”
There is no complaint, no lawsuit, nothing. Just two people arguing about who’s a whore, who’s a lying bastard etc. She has no order or control of her court. She just lets them argue back and forth for like 10 minutes, then she gets out the test results and reads it off. If she had the results the whole time, what in the world is the point of the arguing. Where’s the discussion? Just read the results! Then there is no judgement made, no mention of child support or fines, or payments of any kind. It’s like their ratings sucked so bad they had to become “Maury” or “Rikki” or some crap like that.

They get interns or whatever to go to court houses and look up real suits that were filed. They collect ones that seem interesting and contact the parties to see if both of them are willing to appear on TV. The chances of you and your friends being found by the intern are next to nothing.


About the OP’s last question…yes you can easily go to court under false pretenses…my friends did it, got a trip to california for free, got on the show, and sued each other for the highest amout the show would pay. and they got the money a couple of weeks later. jugde judy is just a television show that doesn’t solve any problems…ahh to go back to the happier times in broadcasting.

Hajaro, you can also contact the show about your grievances, and you just might get a spot.

I find this hard to believe. How, exactly, did they pull this off?


Oops. Simulpost.

I wasn’t aware of that. That definitely wasn’t the case in the Wopner days but I guess times change.


they got lucky…they called and they told them their “problem” and they made it on.

I seem to recall, in the opening credits of one of these phony judge shows, that the litigants had agreed to drop the real case in a real court, and would abide by the fake judges ruling.

I guess i just don’t get it then. I mean how good are your friends that Jude Joe Brown can make you look like an asshole for $500?

That’s probably a high average.

Only in America.