Friday, November 18, 2011

Peoples Court

Just when I thought things were toning down to a dull routine, out of the blue yesterday I got a call from the associate producer of Peoples Court.  They are interested in "helping" me with my case.  I haven't talked to them personally yet, but I am considering allowing them to look more closely at what the Columbus Court is too overburdened to do.  I have never been to New York City and I would consider making the journey if I were paid to go on the show.  In my imagination a Judge like Marilyn Milian would be able to see through all the deceptions and would put the evil ones in their place on national TV.  I don't think Nesley's tricks would escape the detection of the media hounds that would be looking back at my web logs, my pictures, and my receipts.  Perhaps Nesley would just drop her case rather than be exposed for the slum lord she is.  For sure they would look into Blankenships disbarment, and probably boot him off the set.  Horay for Hollywood.  Here is what I found out about Peoples Court:

These days, daytime television is filled to the brim with sassy judges who have become celebrities in their own right, but People's Court is where it all began.  In 1981, with the no-nonsense Judge Wapner presiding and Doug Llewelyn acting as "court reporter," the Los Angeles-based People's Court started televising small claims cases as a form of entertainment.  People from the show would go through the public court records and dig up some of the more intriguing cases that had been filed, then call up the plaintiffs and defendants and ask if they would be willing to have their dispute settled in the People's Court.  What most viewers don't realize is that People's Court is not a judicial court at all.  When they go on the show, the litigants are consenting to what is known as "binding arbitration," with the judge acting as the arbiter over the case.  The "court room" in People's Court, where the action takes place, is just a set to add to the drama.  The litigants are also paid an appearance fee of $200.
The original People's Court had a good run from 1981 until 1993, but was then canceled when ratings dropped to an all time low.  The show was revamped and resurrected in 1997 and moved to New York City with former NYC mayor Ed Koch presiding.  A couple years later, Jerry Sheindlin (husband of the infamous Judge Judy) took the bench, and then in 2001, Marilyn Milian took over.  Judge Milian's 'supporting cast' includes court reporter Curt Chaplin, bailiff Douglas MacIntosh, and legal expert Harvey Levin. Many people do not realize that the "outside" shots of Harvey Levin are shot at a different time to the show, but the magic of TV editing brings it all back together.
Although some litigants are found via the People's Court website, most of the litigants on the show are discovered through the seemingly tedious task of reading through all the local small claims cases (BTW it's all public record and open to anyone to read) in the New York boroughs and contacting each of the relevant parties to see if they would like to appear on the show instead.

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