The thing you have to remember is reality court shows like “Judge Judy” are mostly fake. The producers scan the small claims court dockets of economically challenged areas looking for litigants.
If you’re from Detroit, Houston, Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Kansas City, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Gary, or Atlanta, I’m calling you no matter what the case is about. Why? Because that’s where crazy lives.
I’m also going to call you if you’re suing for pain and suffering, mental distress, mental agony, nightmares, and my favorite, loss of enjoyment of life. I also love it when Plaintiff wants to sue Defendant for being “triflin’.” That’s good stuff!
They’re flown to LA for filming, put up in a hotel, groomed for television (including false teeth where necessary) and encouraged to say bad things about each other to enhance the drama – but not to “Jerry Springer” levels, of course. Then, no matter who “wins” or “loses”, the producers pay all the fees incurred. Why wouldn’t you agree to do it?
“Judge” Judy is no longer actually a judge (she was one in family court) and she presides over what is called arbitration, not court. Litigants must agree to abide by the results as if it were a real small claims court. Many courts encourage arbitration to lessen their case load, so that’s probably the closest to reality the show gets. Arbitrators are not judges, hence the quotes. They are also often biased towards one side or the other making arbitration a sucker bet for some.
“Judge” Judy herself is one of the worst judges I’ve ever seen. Most of her cases seem to be pre-determined – she “knows” who is guilty and innocent before they even open their mouths. Given the show favors the less fortunate the litigants often struggle to express themselves to begin with and stand no chance against her sharp tongue and rapid-fire abuse. Her approach apparently was acceptable in family court but I would hope it would draw criticism were it to be unleashed anywhere else.
“Judge Judy Justice” is an oxymoron.