Monday, September 22, 2008

Reality Court

Some of you may or may not know that I've filed a small claims court case against the guy I was working for. I was only doing very part-time work, but he struggled to pay me in full or on time from early on. He would get me just enough money to be willing to keep going. I finally drew the line and called it quits last spring. I tried to handle getting paid myself during the summer, but to no avail. He either cannot, or will not, pay me what he owes me. And that just isn't OK with me! So I filed suit for what he owes me. He's been served and we're waiting to see what his response is: a) pay me b) request a hearing/trial, or c) ignore it and I get a default judgement.

Then I get a phone call last week from an associate producer from a new court show, Judge Pirro, asking me about my case, etc. They said if I would agree to take my case to their show, and if the defendant agrees as well, then we'd be flown out to Chicago and put up in a hotel with meal vouchers, and should I prevail in the case, they (the show) would pay me my judgement. I would be guaranteed my money instead of trying to collect from the defendant. That right there makes it appealing because at this point I doubt I'll ever see the money from him. If nothing else it was worth a good laugh at getting such a call - they've never called back. I'm guessing they couldn't convince the defendant to do it.

Then today I come home to a message on my phone. YET ANOTHER associate producer from a DIFFERENT court show, Cristina's Court, was calling me about appearing on their show! What gives?! I mean, there is nothing dramatic or exciting or sexy about my case. It's very boring and straightforward: he owes me money, he knows it, and I have proof that he's admitted it. Game over. But for some reason my little case is piquing interest. Or their desperate. Probably the latter. Regardless, the lady from Cristina's Court did tell me that they would guarantee me the money should I prevail but that the defendant wouldn't have to pay them. They just pay it on his behalf. That right there should be reason enough for him to do it! But I doubt he'll ever agree because there is no way he ends up looking good here. He's at fault, plain and simple. His business isn't generating ANY money, so why publicize it to the whole country? But, should he want the exposure and the chance to make me go away without the money coming from him, this is how to do it. And wouldn't it be sort of a fun, surreal experience to be on one of those shows? I'm sure I'd get some sort of lecture about allowing myself to work as long as I did without payment or something - gotta provide the "learning" aspect for the viewing public - but I don't think they could make me appear TOO badly. He's never once objected to any invoice I've sent him. He has paid me, intermittently, over the months. I have emails in praise of my work. I have emails promising me payment of what he owes me. I have other businesses he owes money to willing to offer their support and/or testimony. But still -it IS cheesy reality court show television, and it would be airing dirty laundry in a public forum. Would YOU do it?

although 15 minutes of fame sounds fun, as does an expense paid trip to Chicago, I think I would say no.

These shows are for entertainment - somehow you are going to be made to look stupid ("housewife looking to earn a little extra money gets taken advantage of by slimy boss").

Or could be a reality show rouse...your husband is not having an affair and wants to tell on national TV is he? Just kidding...

Just my thoughts...
I personally wouldn't but just because I'm an introvert and something like that is just not something I would ever do willingly. If you would have fun with it, and get your money, then go for it!
Go for it MP!!!!! Expenses paid, a trip to Chicago. Who really watches these shows? My point exactly! Plus, you will get paid what you are owed!

As Nike says, "Just Do It!!!!!"

Best wishes,
I think I would be tempted. Except when I get mad I cry and that would be too embarrassing on TV. But if you are a good angry person -- it would be fun -- as fun as court can be. Have you ever heard of these shows? How do they get your name?
I would suggest watching Christinas Court before going. From what I have seen of these "court" shows, they always make everyone look bad and make a "point" of everyone's case. Hope you make the decision that is right for your family. Good Luck!!
Wow how interesting. Ofcourse, if the other party doesn't agree then you cannot go on. I am glad your taking action against him, you are due that money. Can you sue for interest on those lost wages, for example if that money would have gone into savings?

Keep us updated, this sounds interesting. I don't know if I'd go on anyones show except Judge Judy and The Peoples Court. They seem to bump up with new shows every season.
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