The People's Court

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Premiered Sep 12, 1981 In Season

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7.6
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The People's Court

Show Summary

The People's Court - a throwback to 1950s syndicated courtroom fare such as Traffic Court and The Stand Accused - was set in a small-claims court. The litigants had both agreed to bring their grievances to a California small-claims court, where retired Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Wapner heard the cases. The plaintiffs could file a claim for up to $1,500, while the defendants sometimes filed a countersuit if they felt they were due compensation. While most cases were run-of-the-mill complaints over poor service, broken contracts, ownership rights and malfunctioning merchandise, others had odd twists. For instance: * The overweight stripper who was not paid because the bachelor party-goers thought she was unattractive. During the arguments, she reveals she had gone at the request of her friend, the bride-to-be who found out about the party. * The mother who refused to pay a clown after he came to a birthday party dressed as a towering purple monster (he was supposed to play a Smurf); the clown ended up terrifying the party-goers. * The woman who requested a male friend make good on a verbal contract to pay half of the cost of her daughter's abortion, when she thought he was the father. He had backed out when he was sterile. * A woman who sued the owner of a pitbull after he jumped on the hood of his car. The pitbull's owner claimed she struck the dog and requested payment for the dog's injuries; and even suspected the resulting damage to the car was from a prior accident. And the list of odd cases went on. Each litigant (who, as the announcer reminded viewers each day, were not actors) stated his case before Joseph A. Wapner . After he was through asking questions, he retreated to his chambers before rendering his decision. More than once, he refused to support either side. Each litigant was then interviewed by the courtroom reporter (originally Doug Llewelyn from 1981-1993); sometimes, he gave the results of how courtroom spectators would have decided the case. Usually two cases were heard per show, though some longer cases took up the entire 30 minutes. If time permitted, Wapner fielded questions from the gallery; or legal expert Harvey Levin gave advice on handling that episode's legal scenario (i.e., confronting a car dealer about a car suspected to be a lemon). Each episode ended with Llewelyn admonishing viewers with some variation of the age old advice: "When you get mad, don't take the law into your own hands ... take 'em to court!" The original version of The People's Court ran for 12 years. When The People's Court returned to syndicated TV in 1997, the show expanded to 60 minutes, with Judge Ed Koch (the former New York City mayor) now presiding. Koch lasted until 1999, when Judge Jerry Scheindlin took over in 1999. Judge Marilyn Milian has presided since 2001. The format of the revised The People's Court was essentially similar, except the small claim's court limit was upped to $5,000. Sometimes, the interviewers also asked spectators on-camera their thoughts of a case before the judge's verdict was announced. Related Shows The People's Court UK Carol Smillie is set to present a new UK version of the People's Court for ITV1's new daytime line-up titled itv DAY.moreless

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 0/0/0

Season 2 : Episode 9

Marilyn Milian

Marilyn Milian

Herself/Judge (2001-)

Douglas MacIntosh

Douglas MacIntosh

Himself - the Court Officer (2001-)

Davy Jones

Davy Jones

Himself - the Court Officer (2001)

Rusty Burrell

Rusty Burrell

Bailiff (1981-93)

Ed Koch

Ed Koch

Judge (1997-99)

Harvey Levin

Harvey Levin

Host

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Tow truck exposide

    3.5
    I saw your show on 11/13/14 I as a tow man know how they damage the car sorry but you were wrong,but I still love your show if you would like me to explain how I know call me 718-251-6308 thank you
  • Cant get enough!

    10
    I love Judge Milian's presence on the show! I've been glued to it for over 10years! I really hope she stays around for a long time!
  • Dog Daze

    10
    Regarding Dog Attack: The woman with the Labs said the little one attacked her dog. The woman suing for medical treatment said that the two labs attacked her small dog. The one dog had already attacked another dog and should have been reported and banned from the park. They have strict rules. The judge thought they should be on a leash. That's against the rules; behavior issues. You have to watch your dog at all times. Dog parks are a good idea. Most the dogs are behaved and enjoy running and playing with other dogs. My dog loves to swim. Its fenced in for the dog's safety The judge doesn't like dog parks because her dog has a big yard and a big family. That's fine. We like it. The woman with the small dog should have gotten all of her money back. As far as waiting to see the vet, you can't blame her for that. All dog park dogs have all their shots, so until the bite became infected why did she need to go? For that matter; who cares? Her dog was attacked by a vicious dog who shouldn't have been in the park to begin with. I think she should have had to pay the entire vet bill. Half? Wrong!!!!!moreless
  • Repeat upon repeat

    1.0
    Too many repeats of the same shows over and over again. I watch 2-3 weeks and find in short time the few new shows become repeats of repeats in short time. Will not watch repeats.
  • Get rid of her please and her big mouth

    1.0
    Can not stand this judge, she gets a 2

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Themes

long running show, Legal, mainstream america