Posted by: anniewilson | August 13, 2008

The ENTIRE story of my experience on a judge show

 

I’ve been wanting to tell this story for such a long, long time. But, I didn’t want to do anything that might interfere with that check being sent to me. Now that it has been received and spent, I can finally tell you my story. It’s a long one, so make sure you have time to read it or come back later. But, it IS a good story.

Last October, my sister and her boyfriend broke up. They had been together for 8 years and he kicked her out of their home. I don’t know why she left, I wouldn’t have, but it’s really irrelevant here so I’ll just skip to where I thought that it would be a good idea if she came to live with me. The idea was that we could split the expenses and I could afford to stay in this house. If she hadn’t agreed to come live with me, I could have gotten a studio for less than my alimony payment. Instead, since she was coming, I was able to stay in this house…and avoid moving.

She’s an optician and it never occurred to either of us that she wouldn’t find work immediately. I went to LA in October and I was supposed to stay there for 3 months as a traveling nurse. I had a job already set up. But, at the last minute, I felt uncomfortable leaving my sister alone in my house so soon after she had gotten there. I decided to spend a couple of weeks in LA and come home for the time being. It was a good thing that I had never quit my job here, I was able to go right back to work.

My sister and I ran into some problems immediately. I won’t list them here for the same reason that I didn’t mention them on TV…I wouldn’t do that to my sister on national TV, unless she slept with my husband which she did not do. Suffice it to say that I had a very good reason to be angry with her at the time.

At one point, I went to help my father take care of his dying wife. I decided to rent a car because I didn’t trust mine to make the trip. My sister took me to the car rental place and dropped me off. I told her to park my car and put the keys on the hook in a kitchen cabinet where I keep keys. When I got to Tampa, I called her but she was nowhere to be found. I didn’t know what had happened to her until Monday when my son called me and said that she had come back with the car and a story about being in jail over the weekend. She later admitted that it wasn’t true and I’ve since totally forgiven and forgotten.

We knew it wasn’t true for a few reason. First of all, she never called the house and then she told my son it was because my phone didn’t take collect calls. For as long as I’ve been a mother, my phone has accepted collect calls. Also, she came back in my car. Cops tend to impound your car after they take you to jail. She walked in without any paperwork and everyone who gets out of jail gets SOME form of paperwork. She never had a court date after that and she never told any jailhouse stories. Anyone who has spent as little as 24 hours locked up has SOME sort of jailhouse story to tell. Anyway, we knew she hadn’t been in jail. But, since she had disappeared in the past, from Tampa, not from my house, we never called the cops looking for her.

(I had to forgive her because, as she and I have since found out, my son was manipulating both of us by telling her bad stuff about me and vice versa. At this point, neither of us know what’s true and what’s not as far as the things that my son told us are concerned. After we began speaking again, we learned that most of what he told each of us was not the truth. Not by a long shot. And both my sister and I had no reason not to trust my son. He was good at what he did. I was amazed myself when I figured it out. So, we can’t consider anything that he said. She is my sister and I love her dearly. Our relationship is more important than anything else. We could have chosen to be all full of drama, but we both let the entire incident just roll off our shoulders. Consider the rest of this story with the knowledge that my son was playing us both and he was the main person involved in all communications between us at this point.)

Anyway, that weekend disappearing act was the last straw. I felt as though I had no choice but to evict her. Not only was my son playing with my head, my father was trying to get me to “help” my sister by tossing her out on her ass. Between the two of them and the fact that neither my sister nor myself ever picked up the phone to call the other, I was convinced that evicting her was the right thing to do. Since I was in Tampa, my son was the one who filed the papers at the courthouse here in Marietta.

When I got home, my sister still didn’t have a job. I wasn’t home very long when my step mother died and I had to go back to Florida. The funeral and the eviction were both happening at the same time. And, on top of all of that, my step-mother’s death put me out of a job. I quit one job to go help her stay out of a nursing home. No one ever expected her to die so soon. Also, at that point, my father told me that he would need me for a while after her death. That never materialized because of the way that things transpired with my sister. I was still stuck in this house and anything that I did to help myself financially involved, and to this day STILL involves, a commitment to living in this house and this state longer. For example, by the time my sister DID get a job, she left and paid rent to someone else. I had gone through my savings trying to keep the house going by myself while she was here. I wasn’t able to work as many hours as I had been because of health problems. By the time she left, I was so screwed that I had to get a roommate and that meant that I would have to stay here longer than I wanted to.

Shortly after the funeral, my sister finally got a job. That was during the month that she was supposed to be evicted. When I got back from the funeral, she told me that she had found a job. I couldn’t put her out into the streets so, even though I didn’t stop the eviction process, I allowed her to stay after the court papers said she had to leave. Shortly after that, she did move out and started paying rent to someone else.

By the beginning of May, knowing that she owed me well over ten grand, she agreed to go on a television court show so that I could get some of my money back. Knowing that the limit was 5 grand, I stopped getting documentation after I went over that amount. The past due rent, utilities and a $500 loan all added up to slightly over 5 grand. I knew that she owed me that much, she knew that she owed me that much and I could prove what I had paid so why did I need any more receipts? I figured that I didn’t. I could easily prove that my sister owed me more than the limit so I got all of that info together and stopped documenting the money owed me.

I called the Judge Joe Brown Show because he seems nice enough. He never tries to make anyone look foolish unless they really, really deserve it. I would never have gone on Judge Judy because, although I love watching her, she IS a bitch and I wouldn’t take a chance at accidentally earning her wrath.

So, because of Joe Brown’s lovely demeanor and the fact that my daughter lives in LA, my sister and I began making plans to go on that show. The show assured us that THEY would handle the local lawsuit and that we didn’t have to do anything about it.

The producer that I worked with initially at the Judge Joe show told me that it had to be a legitimate lawsuit. That meant that I had to file suit here at home first. Only after my sister had been served would the show would begin talks with me. So, I did that. It cost me 73 bucks to file that suit.

These shows may only have one executive producer, but they all have a LOT of “producers”. The lady who we started working with at Judge Joe eventually gave us to some guy who took over our case. He went so far as to have the itineraries delivered by Fed-Ex one day with taxi vouchers for rides between LAX and the hotels at which we were staying. They had our flight reservations and our hotel reservations all confirmed with hard copies of everything in the Fed-Ex. We were booked on separate flights and into separate hotel rooms. Anyway, that stuff arrived on a Tuesday morning and we were set to leave the following morning for a Thursday taping.

That Tuesday afternoon, the producer dude called us to say that they “had too many landlord/tenant cases” and they weren’t going to do our case. By this time, I had put a LOT of time, money and effort into doing all of the things that the show required, like filing the suit, gathering the bills and faxing exclusivity agreements, witness statements and forms with personal information on them.

They asked such questions as, “Do you have all of your teeth?” Apparently litigants all have teeth so they wanted US do have teeth, too. They requested work information, educational level, family members, what prescription medications you take and a credit check. Gathering all of that stuff was a part-time job in itself. I even had to have my father sign paperwork in case we said his full name on the show.

So, I was quite disappointed when they dropped our case, especially since it meant that I wouldn’t be seeing my daughter who lives in LA. She and I had MAJOR plans for the time we would be spending together. The show was going to fly me out there and put me up for a couple of nights and then I could stay with my daughter for the rest of the time. It didn’t matter to the show when I flew home, but they would only put me up for two nights. They also give you $35 a day for food in the form of a voucher that can be spent at the hotel restaurant or for their room service. The only cash you need is money for tips.

Anyway, my daughter was going to stay in the hotel with me and then we were going to spend a few days together sightseeing and spending time together at her house. The biggest disappointment of all was when I had to call her and tell her that they canceled the show.

Right after the guy called me to cancel, my sister called me to say she had gotten the same phone call. We were shocked because we had so much invested in the show. My sister said that she would do something about it. So, she called the guy back. I don’t know what she said to him but he told her that he knew another producer in Chicago who was working on a new judge show starring Judge Jeanine Pirro. If I remember right, it debuts September 22nd.

So, now we had our third producer who quickly passed us off to a fourth. That lady was a doll. Her name is Jacquie and she’s a blast. I really enjoyed working with her. She did a great job taking care of us.

When Jacquie and I spoke, I told her EVERYTHING that my sister had done. I was bound and determined to get on THIS show. It’s very possible that we were actually bumped from Judge Joe because we were too sweet. I don’t know what my sister told them and she didn’t know what I told them but we both knew that neither one of us were going to screw the other. She wanted me to get the money she owed me and I NEEDED to have it back. This was about the time that I broke my foot and couldn’t work at ALL. I needed that cash badly.

I had to go through the entire paperwork process again with the new show so I did that. Now we were headed for Chicago instead of LA. The Judge Jeanine Pirro Show is filmed in Chi-town, in the same building as Judge Mathis. Actually, I believe that Mathis is the executive producer of the new show but don’t quote me on that.

So, eventually my sister and I flew to Chicago. Since we’re both from Chicago, we were happy about that although I would have rather seen my daughter. Like LA though, I had places to stay in Chicago after the show was over. That was with my girlfriend who lives in Elgin and my daughter’s friend who lives in River Grove. My sister had plans of her own.

She was going to meet her ex boyfriend (the jerk from Tampa) up there and spend a couple of weeks at a cabin in Wisconsin. So, she already had her ticket TO Chicago. Since the show didn’t have to pay as much for her trip (they just paid a $75 fee for changing the reservation), my sister demanded some of the money that the show saved on her ticket back from them. She also somehow talked them into giving her a larger appearance fee than is customary. I don’t know what she ended up getting paid, I never asked her. But she got a LOT more than I did for actually DOING the show. I got the usual $200 and I was only allowed to spend ONE night in the hotel…The Embassy Suites in Downtown Chicago. My sister made them put her up for two nights and she stayed at the Comfort Inn, also in Downtown Chicago.

So, on the morning of Wednesday, June 23rd, my sister and I got a ride to the airport and we boarded separate flights for Chicago. We were to be at the TV station on Thursday for the taping.

When my sister and I got to the airport, we immediately had to separate because, as I said, we had separate flights. My flight left first so I walked into the airport and I went straight to the US Airways check-in counter. Some nit wit whose job it was to point people to the machines, even if they need to see a person, directed me to a computer check-in terminal.

I checked myself in on the terminal and when it asked how many bags I wanted to check, I put 1. The very first bag was 15 bucks and I didn’t have it on me. So, I went back and answered zero. The machine printed out my boarding pass and I breezed through security like the tortoise breezed over the finish line. Then, as I was boarding my plane, the lady at that counter told me that the suitcase was too big to carry on. She told me to leave the case at the end of the jetway but instead, since she was 100 feet behind me, I just carried it onto the plane.

Well, it was too big. I couldn’t fit it under the seat and I couldn’t even lift it high enough to try to shove it in the overhead compartment. The stewardess (I don’t care, I call them stewards and stewardesses, you don’t have to like it.) saw me and told me that I was supposed to have left the suitcase outside of the plane door. Apparently she called the person who should never have let me on the plane with a bag that big who told her that I was a bad girl who had been told to leave the bag outside the plane. I knew that…I just thought that I could get it past them. But, at this point they didn’t charge me, they just took my bag and carried it to God knows where because it wasn’t in Chicago when I got there.

What I did find in Chicago was a driver with a sign bearing my name. I had to say something quickly to get him to put the sign down. I didn’t want anyone seeing my real name in O’hare airport when I was behaving in a clandestine manner so that the name of the judge show didn’t get out until I was ready to put it out there. Anyway, I looked for my luggage and it wasn’t there so I told the luggage people where I was staying and they promised to have it at the hotel as soon as soon as possible.

Next I was driven to Downtown Chicago in a limo. I felt so important but the windows are black so no one could see how important I was. I checked into the Embassy Suites and was quickly contacted by another plaintiff from the show, a private detective from Roanoke Virginia. Imagine that…a town that I lived in for 14 years!

She asked me to meet her for a drink during the free drink time that The Embassy Suites has. The only problem is that I only drink when I shoot pool. Oh…and I wanted to get a good night’s sleep so that I could get up bright eyed and bushy tailed for the TV cameras. But, I wanted to be sociable so I went down there and let her get herself two drinks at a time for a while. They gave her two thinking that I was drinking one.

When I finally said that I had to go back to my room, she told me the plan, we were going to pool our meal vouchers and order a smorgasbord. There was a slight problem with that plan. I didn’t want to do it. I like staying in nice hotels and ordering room service so that I can lie back and eat food that someone else cooked and make a mess that someone else has to clean. And…I like being alone and the fact that maybe 2 other people on the planet know where I am. I liked that idea and I like my privacy. I also like little bottles of shampoo, lotion, and free combs if you need one, which I did. So, I went back to my room and ordered the Fillet Mignon and ate it as planned, in front of the hotel TV from a nice comfortable hotel couch in the hotel living room and then I went into a recumbent position in a hotel bed. Ahhhhh.

At that point I was still pretty confident in my case. After all…I was fricking RIGHT!

I fell asleep with visions of 5 grand dancing in my head.

The original plan was for me to be ready for a 7:30 pick-up on Thursday morning. They called my room the evening before and said that the plans had been changed and that they would be picking me up at 9 instead. I changed my wake-up call from 4 AM to 5 AM and then I went to sleep. Other than the guy who finally DID bring me my suitcase from the airport, there was no one else to bug me. No wonder flying is so expensive, they deliver suitcases to your hotel door.

I should tell you that I felt as though someone, you figure out who, was keeping tabs on me. If they were, it wasn’t because of anything that I did, it was just business as usual. The other lady’s lawsuit had nothing to do with her job, but she WAS a private detective. She was as charming as she could be and if I wanted to hang out with anyone, she would have been the one but I didn’t want to do that.

When I woke up, I saw that I had slept through a few phone calls…one from the other lady and one from the show. I didn’t even bother listening to the messages because it was too early to call the show and the lady had asked me to meet her downstairs for breakfast. I had awoken early enough to be dressed to the nines by the time she wanted to meet…7 AM…so I didn’t mind meeting her at all. After all, I had to eat and I was ready.

When I got down there she was in a hurry and she was also pushing me to hurry up. At first I thought she was turning all Type A personality on me but we finally realized that SHE had to be ready for a 7:30 pick-up. My car wasn’t coming for another hour and a half. I wasn’t even packed at that time. So, she hurried off and I went back upstairs to enjoy the view of Chicago from my 12th floor hotel room. I watched the local news as I sucked coffee and then I packed my stuff. Then, apparently leaving my cherry pajamas behind, I went downstairs to catch my limo for the ride to the studio.

I was quite pleased with the way that my hair turned out and I had my make-up on just right. I had chosen the dress two months before that day because I was originally supposed to go on Judge Joe. This whole court show thing had been up in the air for a while but the only thing that I knew for sure was that IF I ever got to the show, I was wearing my Anne Klein dress. It has an adorable little jacket and it really looks good on. I get compliments EVERY time I wear that dress. Here’s a picture of it:


I’m showing it to you because of the black jacket that I will get to shortly. This picture was taken months ago so that I could show the dress to my daughter. I was wearing the very same cherry PJ’s that I left at the Embassy Suites. If anyone out there has my cherry jammies, send them to me.

If I thought the lady that I met at the hotel was a Type A personality…I KNEW that everyone I met after I got out of that limo was. There was a young man wired for sound and carrying a walkie-talkie with him as he greeted me on my exit from the limo. He must have been waiting for me on the street. I was, for the time being, a very important person. I was whisked past the line where a studio audience was waiting. I had a folder with me so I put that up on the side of my head that faced the people in the line. I wanted them to wonder who I was that I had to hide myself. Tee hee.

I was taken upstairs to the Green Room to sign papers and wait. While in there, I could have also eaten apples, granola bars or raisins. What I couldn’t do was relax because there was a man with two toddlers and a lady and her mother with another noisy wee one. In such close quarters, you can’t avoid kids that age and sooner or later, you almost have to say, “What a sweet little girl/boy you are!” In reality, you’d rather tie her/him to the doorknob.

The studio was divided into two parts. In one part, all of the rooms begin with “P”. I was in P5 which I assume is Plaintiff 5. I imagine there’s a D5 for the Defendants. At one point some dude came in and asked if he could have access to my bra so that he could wire me for sound. There are mics at the podiums on these judge shows but they’re props. They don’t work. The people on the show are, as was I, wired for sound. I have a very comfortable bra that I’ve had for 3 years. I had the misfortune to wear it that day. It fits fine and all but there’s a hole in the back by the hooks and that’s exactly where the guy needed to attach whatever it was he attached back there. I felt like a moron but there was nothing that I could do so I just unzipped my dress and exposed my back to him, wholly bra and all. When he was finished, I had a functioning mic on my lapel. At that point I was afraid to say ANYTHING. I didn’t know who might be listening.

Various people were having me do one thing or another and eventually I was taken to hair and make-up where the hair that I had just spent 45 minutes flat-ironing was curled. The make-up that I had applied so meticulously was removed and replaced with hideous shades of purple. Purple eye shadow, purple lipstick but NO blush. Not even purple blush. I NEED blush! I had left my purse and suitcase with the first guy that I met so I couldn’t do anything but wash some of the foundation off. It was enough to make my skin sag from the weight of it.

Then, as an affront to fashion everywhere, they took my orange jacket and forced me to wear a black jacket because of how “bright” the orange jacket was. The reason I showed you the dress was so that you can see that although it does have a TINY bit of black in it, it’s mainly a brown dress. A brown blazer would have been OK…but that black blazer is going to make me look like a redneck skank who doesn’t know how to color coordinate. Not to mention the fact that they trimmed my eyebrows with some battery operated thing when my eyebrows are so blond that you can’t even see them anyway. I’ve never even plucked them. I don’t have to, you can’t SEE the stupid things! But, they shaved them anyway only to draw in fake eyebrows that made me look like Cruella DeVille.

It could have been worse, some people came in cheap street clothes and doo-rags so they were dressed from head to toe. Those plaintiffs were at the mercy of the staff and after what they had done to me, I felt quite badly for anyone who had to be TOTALLY dressed by them.

Once I had the hideous make-up on and my hair had been trashed…and I was in mismatched clothing…I was ready to go on national television. The only thing they did after that was apply more foundation every time I stood still.

The entire time that I was being made to look foolish, I was being coached as to how to tell my story. I also heard the other plaintiffs being coached. No one was trying to hide what they were doing at all.

The “litigants” are coached quite a bit before they go in the front of the judge. I can only speak of my own experience…I’ve never been on Judge Judy so I don’t know what, if anything, those litigants are told to do but looking back after years of watching Judge Judy and other shows like it, I would personally opine that they have been coached. Also, I’ve been paying strict attention to such things since I got back. It seems apparent to me after my own experience that these people were told something similar to what I was told. I could be wrong and if I am, I’m sorry. It’s just my own personal opinion.

The coaching is done in the Green Room and in hair and make-up…pretty much wherever you are. (The hair and make-up people don’t coach you…the “producers” and their assistants do.) Here are a few of the basic things that we, myself and the other litigants that I was there with on that day, we’re taught to do when we finally did get in front of Judge Jeanine Pirro:

Don’t call her “Ma’am”, she hates that.

This is where decades spent in the South had me at a disadvantage. I say “Yes ma’am” and “No sir” all the time. It’s a respect thing down here and second nature to me now. But I got lucky. Once I got out there, I never felt enough respect to call her “Ma’am”.

Next, to my surprise, we were told, “If you hear the defendant (they used the name of the person here, they didn’t refer to them as the defendant) say something that you don’t like or is not true, don’t be shy! Just shout out what you have to say!”

Now, I’ve seen people do that on TV. I always wondered why in the hell they would be so stupid. Now I know. They were, most likely, told to do that. I’m sure that some of them are bigger asses so they behave poorly anyway, but now when I see someone behaving badly on a court show, I’ll always have to wonder if they’re doing it because they’ve been coached to do so. I couldn’t do that out of fear of having the judge yell at me. I didn’t need any more help looking foolish.

“You’re more likely to get your money if you tell the judge all about the bad things that the defendant did!” This is where they would actually LIST the hideous things that the other person had done to you. The message was QUITE strongly implied that, “You will get more money if you throw dirt at each other.” It was more than implied, it was stated outright.

The “dirt” that I had on my sister had absolutely zero relevancy to what I was suing her for. A nasty fight between my she and I that occurred in November didn’t have a damn thing to do with the rent, utilities and loan for which I was suing her. But, I was told, directly and with absolutely NO misunderstanding, TALK ABOUT THAT FIGHT AND ALL THE DETAILS THAT GO ALONG WITH IT!!!

At some point during all of these mad house antics, someone tells you that, “You’ll be on as soon as this case is over.” I had either one or twenty minutes left before I had to do what I had been waiting for two months to do. I decided to go into the bathroom and have one last whiz just to be safe. While I was in there I scraped off about an inch of the foundation that they put on me and I tried to get some of those hideous eyebrows off of me. I wished that I had brought blush but this was nothing that I had even remotely considered. If I thought they would do Halloween-like crap to me, I would have slipped make-up in through my bra if I had to.

I took one last look in the mirror just like I had done that morning before I left my hotel room. There was a HUGE difference. That morning, I looked like a lovely lady with a touch of class. When I was standing there in the restroom, minutes before I was to be on national TV, I looked like crap. I couldn’t look anymore. I just had to get out of the bathroom and wait for them to lead me onto the set.

I had already taken a peak of the set earlier when no one was in there, just to get a feel for the room. When I was standing behind the door through which the litigants walk on their way into the courtroom, there was one person with me. Her only messages were to “wait in case they wanted to film me after the case” was over and “OK then, it’s time…just walk through those doors.”

Gulp.

I walked into the courtroom, basically a confident woman. I had my case prepared and other than the way I looked, I was actually in pretty good standing. After all, I was suing my sister, she wasn’t suing me. I had no reason to worry.

That’s where they get you.

We were sworn in by the bailiff (guess what race he is? I’ll give you a hint…Judge Jeanine is white.) and before I knew it, I was telling the judge my case. She began interrupting me right away. The questions were stupid and irrelevant. Somehow, and I don’t know how, I was immediately put on the defensive. I didn’t expect that at all. I wasn’t prepared for it. As I said, the questions were stupid and nothing for which I would have EVER prepared.

“How do you feel?” I was asked by the judge. I don’t even remember what I said but I’ve thought of a thousand fricking answers since then!!! I should have said, “I feel as though I’m about to be fucked.” because that’s exactly how I felt.

When I told her about the incident with the car where I told my sister not to drive it, the judge asked me, “Well, if she couldn’t drive the car, how could she look for a job?”

I think people actually applauded that stupid comment. Think about it, she had been with me for 6 months and had no job. As I said, we had our problems. She had done a few things that had each of my children ask me individually and unbeknownst to each other, “Mom, what does she have on you that you let her stay there after all she’s done?”

(My answer was always the same. The preacher at my mom’s funeral said that her last request of her children was that we “Take care of each other.” I’m a mother, I know what she meant. On top of that, this is my youngest sister, the baby of the family. She’s not perfect but neither am I. She isn’t an angel but she’s not a demon either. She’s my sister, I didn’t do anything to deserve the crap she did to me…but I’m over it.)

I had been paying ALL of the bills through ALL of this crap. I even bought her non-necessities that I never would have bought for myself, like flavored water. I was drinking tap water rather than spend a lot of money on bottled drinks of any kind. If I wanted flavor I could make iced tea or Kool-Aid.

After paying for EVERYTHING for 6 months, I was supposed to continue to provide her with a car and gas money to drive around Atlanta looking for a job? Yeah, right. Did I mention that by this time, my savings were pretty much gone because of my sister? I didn’t have the money to gas up the car for her after gas prices went nuts.

There was NO way that I could ever have predicted that attitude from a person with enough brains to complete law school. You just sort of assume they have a triple digit IQ. I keep forgetting about quota’s.

To be honest with you, the whole thing happened so quickly and I was so blindsided by the judge’s stupidity that I don’t remember everything that was said. I do remember that I was aware of the fact that I was looking like the bad guy and the audience was agreeing with that perception. The only way that I could have turned it around was to tell the judge the ENTIRE story…the story that the producers wanted me to tell. But I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t do that to my sister because I love her.

So, I just said something along these lines, “OK then. I’m an evil wench from hell, I just want my money back.”

The decision was this:

I was given the rent money for the 6 months. That was the 3 grand. I don’t think the judge wanted me to have that but she said something about she HAD to give it to me. She almost apologized to my poor sister as she awarded me the rent money. She denied the $1,500 in utilities because I “would have had to pay them anyway.” Well, no, I wouldn’t have. As I said, I was going to rent a studio, actually it was a mother-in-law apartment in a family’s basement. It was adorable and only would have cost me $600 a month, utilities included. I could even take my animals since they would have stayed inside my place unless I let Payton out and I would have just walked him instead of letting him eat a bush or some daisies. So, the judge was wrong, I WOULD never have had to pay all that money if my sister hadn’t been there.

She asked me why I let the gas get turned off. From the beginning, the gas thing was a total misunderstanding, I thought it was already cut off when it stopped working but it turned out that my furnace was broken. By the time I figured that out, the bill was so high that I couldn’t pay it. I bought electric heaters and the place was perfectly warm. But the judge made an issue out of the gas being turned off. I was a terrible landlady because I had a tenant who wouldn’t pay me so I couldn’t afford to pay all of the bills that she was supposed to be paying half of. Can you see why I was stunned?

The judge totally forgot to address the $500 personal loan that my sister admitted owing. She banged her hammer and was truckin’ out of there before I could say, “Wait bitch! You still owe me money!” But I didn’t do that so all I received was 3 grand…$500 a month for 6 months. No utilities, loan repayment or court costs. I was terribly annoyed.

Just to look foolish, I followed my sister out of the courtroom. I hadn’t seen her in a while and since it was over and they screwed me, I just decided to walk out with her. But they came and got me and made me walk out the door that I had just walked in. I did it in front of the audience, of course, and I looked like a mismatched dress wearing, purple lipstick wearing, big dark eyebrow wielding redneck with bad hair who doesn’t know what door to walk through. That was like being a bad pitcher with a paisley mitt.

After the case was over they quickly took back their sound equipment which meant another look at my bra with the hole in it. I asked about the loan and was told, “Oh, I’ll check with the legal department.” I never heard a word about it again. I just got the check for 3 grand which has already been spent paying all of the bills that I’ve accrued since last October when I was doing just FINE. I have $160 of that left and there were still a couple of things that I haven’t paid that I need to pay.

So, after I was de-microphoned, I was abruptly pushed out the front door. If I had been going back to the airport to fly home, they would have taken me. But since I was hobbling to Union Station to catch a train to Elgin, they couldn’t help me. They would have passed Union Station on the way to the airport. I walked a long way that would have been a ten minute car ride, even after you factor in traffic. It was busy but it wasn’t rush hour.

I later learned that my sister was also abruptly shown the door…only she was pushed out the back door. We didn’t see each other for another 2 weeks when she came back to Georgia. I stayed in Chicago for a week myself and I have LOTS-O-STUFF to tell you about that, too!

It was a beautiful day on Chicago. A beautiful day in Chicago is one fricking BEEEE-UUUU-TEEEE-FUL day. I hobbled to the Art Museum and then to The Bean in Millennium Park. It was lovely. Somewhere along the way my left knee started hurting more than my broken right foot. It was dreadful. I wanted to cry but I was afraid to get any of that make-up on my Anne Klein dress.

Anyway, you can just watch the fiasco on national television soon. As I said, I think it debuts on September 22 or something like that. The week that I was there was the second week of filming so I would think that I’ll be on soon after the show starts to air.

The worst part of it all is that I still haven’t seen my daughter whom I miss something awful and I won’t be having the money to visit her anytime soon.

😦

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Responses

  1. Thanks for posting this — I have not seen anyone else post about their experiences with a “judge show”. This has some valuable lessons in it (I will always remember to wear a nice bra and keep some make up hidden there!).

  2. Oh, how I wish someone would have told me those things!

    Good luck!

  3. I too went to Chi-Town to appear in front of Judge Pirro. She did try to make me look like a fool in the beginning but I quickly gave her the “juicy” details about the defendant….(my husbands ex girlfriend who is a she-devil).
    And so her focus turned to her and I LOVED EVERYTHING about what she said to the witch!! But my opinion was that Judge Pirro was trying a lil too hard to be animated for the cameras…..
    Who know if she’ll even last considering there is already a “Judge Judy”. LOL

    I thought they put way too much makeup on me as well. My hair is really thick and I had it in a side bun. When they attempted to do something with it it was TOO wet still.LOL So they took some of it out and took my bangs out too. (which worked to my advantage cuz the girl pulled out a chunk of my hair when we got into a fight) But I didn’t have to change an the makeup artist kept being sarcastic and saying things like “I wanna kno where you shop at cuz yo outfit is the talk of the town, they ain’t tryin to change you at all.”
    LOL
    Im awaiting payment and I think Ima get jipped too!! LOSERS!!

  4. Well, I sure did! They totally ignored part of my claim. Jeanine can’t be a Judge Judy if she keeps asking people “how they FEEL”! I SO didn’t expect THAT!

    And if it had been my hubby’s hoe, I would have sung like a bird. But…it was my baby sister.

    🙂

    Congrats on winning something anyway!

    Annie

  5. I wish I would have read this BEFORE I went on the Judge Mathis show. I have a similar story, but now my defendant is taunting me because this falsified courtroom has given her some strange notion that she was right in skipping out on rent for a couple months.
    My case was second to last of the day, and it was pushed through quickly. Some parts of the claim were never addressed. Judge Mathis let her half of a Facebook message qualify as evidence enough to combat my SIGNED lease. My case was filmed on September 18, 2008. I lost about $600, and my defendant slandered me about untrue “drug habits” on national television. I would never advise anyone to go on one of these shows.

  6. They also tried to make me look like some trashy ghetto chick, and “coached” me into starting my argument with something that had nothing to do with the case. Judge Mathis said “I don’t see what that has to do with anything.” I wanted to say “Well neither do I but your fucking producer told me to say that.”

    As I’m a student of journalism, I am writing an article and submitting it to any newspaper that will take it (after I get my money, of course).

    Also, do you know anything about legal recourse? Once the “Judge” has made his final decision, can I still take my case back to a local Small Claims Court? I am having some of my friends in law school check it out, but I wondered if you knew. If so, please e-mail me!

  7. Sara,

    I would love to answer your questions. I am an actress and I have to be on the set by 5 AM this morning and I don’t know how long it will last. I WILL address your questions because I was an annoyed as you were. It sounds like the same things happened to both of us!

    Let’s get together on this one…I’m sure we can make a fuss, I always do and you sound fiesty enough!

    Be back this evening!

  8. How do I email you?

  9. Omg i hate the juge pirro show i had to go on as a witness for my friend who was being sued by someone and not only did she make a mochery of my friend but of me as well and im not even suppose to be involved in this whole ordeal i was just trying to help out my friend and give a third parties point of view. not only that but the plaintiff brought in false documents that supposedly i had written and when i tried to tell the judge that yes i wrote it but i didnt write it to my friend it was written to the plaintiff she cut me off and told me to be quite. i would love to make a complaint againt the show however i have no idea how to so if anyone can tell me how please let me know. i have several lawyers in my family and i am also going to school to be a lawyer, ive done many moch trials and i have also seen several real trials and this was nothing like a real courtroom and i understand it is a tv show but does that mean it doesnt have to adhear to the law?

  10. T, I know that an agreement was signed between the show and the parties. But I don’t know about the witnesses. I didn’t have any. It’s an interesting question and I’d be curious to know the answer. That dumb show still owes me money. My sister owed me thousands but I stopped collecting receipts when I got to 5 grand, it was open and shut, she admitted she owed it to me, I said she owed it to me and Pirro said she didn’t. There was a loan that wasn’t even addressed.

    If you find out, let me know.

  11. Hello Annie,

    First off, you are a passionate writer, and your story to me has a level of
    extraordinary greatness, and yet, all it took to write this story was for
    you to simply come face to face with the beast Jeanine Pirro and her
    corrupt tactics.

    You wrote:

    “Oh, how I wish someone would have told me those things!”

    The Westchester News = Jeanine Pirro
    All you need to know about Jeanine Pirro, you will find on
    my award winning online news, The Westchester News.
    Go to the SiteMap, read every page because she mostly
    is on every page, over 100 pages about the corruption
    of Westchester County, Starring yours truly “The Beast”
    Their are plenty of videos that will make you HEE HEE!
    She’s a Modern Day Hitler! Jeanine Ferris Pirro – She’s
    not an Italian! She’s an Ah-rib! I’m an Italian!

    I am going to link your story to The Westchester News!
    Send me pictures of how you did yourself up before they
    turned you into a red neck, jpeg. Send a brief summary,
    and I will link to your blog. Let me know when the court
    show is on, so we could do a before and after shot.

    Hold your head high because you are in good company
    with the rest of us Professionals who have met “The Beast”
    face to face. Jeanine Pirro is nothing but a lie!

    We’ll Talk Soon,

    Barbara Ricci, Publisher
    The Westchester News
    http://thewestchesternews.com
    914 237-8631


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