Judge Judy is arguably the most infamous television judge in America. Known for her quick wit, cynicism, and catch phrase “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” Judge Judy is one tough cookie. Nonetheless, there is a never-ending stream of people with small claims to dispute in her courtroom.
Why do they do this? Because the Judge Judy television team will cover all the costs of appearing in court – not only giving you and your family free airfare, hotel room, and monetary reward for appearing on the show, but also (and most importantly) will completely cover the costs of the judgment settlement – up to $5,000.
So if you are wondering how do you get your case heard on Judge Judy – it is surprisingly simple:
1. Watch several episodes of Judge Judy
So you’ve decided to try to get your case on Judge Judy. Good for you. Now before you go ahead and submit your form, I want you to head over to Youtube (or to your DVR) and watch a couple episodes of Judge Judy.
Are you back?
Good. Now put yourself in their shoes. Will you be able to take that verbal abuse (with no way of justifying your previous actions) with a smile on your face?
Yes, you can? Alright, well then it’s time for you to submit your case to the Judge Judy tv show.
2. Write out your case
When you apply to get on the show or submit your case to the team that chooses which cases go to Judge Judy, each member of the trial (plaintiff or defendant) will need to submit their “claim.” The team reads the claim and decides if your case is worthy to go to Judge Judy.
Don’t try to pull the wool over their eyes; they can spot a fake case. Also, be careful what you write, because everything you write can and will be used against you.
You will need to fill out personal information about you and the defendant (as well as provide the docket number of your case if you filed an official lawsuit in claims/civil case court). The maximum you are allowed to sue for is $5,000. Try not to inflate the costs; Judge Judy hates it when defendants and plaintiffs do that.
3. Submit your case
The easiest way to submit your case is online – at the Judge Judy website. To go to that form, click here.
You can technically submit your case by phone, but there is a pretty high chance you will get an answering machine. From online forums, I’ve found that it is much easier to just submit your case online.
4. Get the other party (or parties) to agree
This might be hard. Judge Judy is known for being, well, mean. She verbally abuses most everyone in her courtroom, buy agreeing to go on the show, you and the other party are agreeing to be verbally abused. It makes for great television.
So why would anyone agree to be on this abusive tv show? For the money.
A little known fact: the Judge Judy production team covers the judgment settlement. If you sue your “ex-friend” for an unpaid $2,000 loan and Judge Judy rules that your friend owes you the $2,000 back, the show will cover the costs. The “ex-friend” doesn’t have to pay anything.
Furthermore, most guests also receive money for being on the show (anywhere from $300 – $700) as well as free airfare (occasionally in first class), a free hotel room, food, and “on-air” time on television.
It’s a win-win situation. I mean, aside from the verbal abuse.
If the Judge Judy team things you case in interesting (remember, they are constantly checking to make sure you aren’t submitting a “fake” claim to make money or appear on television), they will email or call you asking for additional details. You will also have to submit a much longer claim form (so keep track of what you wrote on your previous application).
Make sure the defendant or other parties have agreed to be on the show; the Judge Judy team will contact them as well.
6. Gather your materials
Get police reports, written statements, receipts, contracts, cell phone bills, before and after pictures, and anything else you can think of. If Judge Judy asks for it and you don’t have it, she will hold it against you (and pretend that the document in question never existed).
If you think you might need it, bring it.
7. Fly out to the Judge Judy studio to present your case on television
The airfare is free, along with a nice hotel room. Most subjects get to fly first class to the studio (but are given regular, economy class for the flight back home). Dress nicely, wear appropriate make-up, wear professional clothes, and keep a professional attitude at all times.
For more advice, check out “How to Win your Case on Judge Judy“
8. Keep your cool while she verbally abuses you (and whoever you are in trial with)
There is no escaping the wrath and cynicism of Judge Judy. The entire reason this show is so popular is because people tune in to watch this smarter, experienced judge belittle and make fun of people who made mistakes.
Lived together before marriage (or with no intention to get married)? Too bad “There are no courts of playing house.”
On welfare? Judge Judy won’t like that
Have more children than you can ‘take care of?’ Judge Judy really won’t like that.
Don’t have a job because you ‘don’t need one?’ Judge Judy really REALLY won’t like that.
9. Go home with your money
At the end of the day, you leave the show a richer man or woman. Sure, your dignity may have taken a hit – but you can always try to score a copy of the tape and replay it at family reunions for the next couple years. I’m sure they would get a kick out of it.
Above all: Judge Judy is not to be messed with. Don’t try to act funny. Don’t try to act witty. Present your material in an efficient, timely fashion and then shut up.
“There is only one attitude here. And that is mine.” – Judge Judith Sheindlin