Skip to comments.IPod mom to plead case to Judge Judy
Posted on 09/23/2006 7:40:07 PM PDT by martin_fierro
IPod mom to plead case to Judge Judy
September 23, 2006
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter
A suburban legal brawl over a missing iPod looks like it's going to be settled on national TV.
An Aurora mom who filed a $335 small claims lawsuit after her 14-year-old daughter's iPod Nano vanished said Friday she's received notice that TV's "Judge Judy" wants to take the case.
Melanie McCarthy said she's been told to fly to Los Angeles to present her case during an Oct. 5 taping of the nationally syndicated courtroom program, hosted by retired Judge Judith Sheindlin.
"I'm very confident," McCarthy said late Friday. "I love Judge Judy. I think she's very impartial and very smart."
McCarthy filed the small claims suit in DuPage County after her daughter's iPod disappeared June 6 during the last day of class at Still Middle School in Aurora. McCarthy's daughter, Shannon, had worked and saved for about six months to buy the device, which she lent to classmate Stephanie Eick of Naperville.
McCarthy says the iPod wasn't returned. The Eicks and their attorney insist Stephanie gave back the music player.
A spokesman for the show would say only that a decision to put the legal battle on the air is still "pending" -- but added a formal announcement could come next week.
To appear on the program, both parties have to agree to accept as final the decision made by the TV judge.
That isn't a problem, says McCarthy, a single mother who works for the U.S. Postal Service. She and her daughter believe they are doing the right thing by taking the issue to court -- even if it's a TV courtroom.
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<< To appear on the program, both parties have to agree to accept as final the decision made by the TV judge. >>
Every one of the court TV shows have a disclaimer at the very end of the program - very small print, maybe only a second - that states the awards that are doled out by the judge are paid for by the program. As a result, the accusers and accused don't have any personal stake in the outcome, just a windfall if they win. Answers the question why people who knew they would lose would go on, the money doesn't come out of their pocket. It also answers why the TV courtroom doesn't deter insolence or badass attitude from the losers - there is nothing the court can do (punative damages, legal record, etc.), other than the intimidation capability of the judge. Some, like Judge Judy do it well.
I have much more respect for these TV judges once I understood this limitation on their ability to slap wrists. They have to appear in control while dealing with really negative people in bad situations. And you thought your job was bad.
That show caters to the lowest common denominator.
Actually, it's not a bad gig at all. These "TV" judges make a much more lucrative living with their shows then if they were in a regular courtroom.
As another poster said in this thread, there is definitely a lower common denominator appeal with these shows. Kind of like a Jerry Springer appeal. Most of the "litigants" who appear on it are, let's face it, white trash. But since it is basic human nature to want to "look down" on people and feel superior to others, shows like this are money in the bank. That explains the broad appeal of other types of low-budget, long-running shows like COPS, Jackass and America's Stupidest (Funniest) Videos.
OK, I admit it. I'm a big fan of COPS. I love to see just how stupid some criminals are and how they make such jackasses of themselves on camera (and then allow themselves to be shown on national TV). What amazes me about COPS is that they aren't allowed to show the videos unless the perps agree to sign a disclaimer form for a small fee.
They almost never say no.
Why is this in the news? A lost $335 IPod?
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