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
  • proper use of English

    4.5
    Judge milian is proud of her spanish heritage. Not sure if this is why when she speaks the 2 syllable word "CHIMNEY" she likes to an another syllable, now making it be cute but not thw proper pronunciation. Check the dictionary- it is a 2 syllable word,not three. Surprised the producers of the show did not advise her of this.
  • Not a good Judge

    1.0
    This woman is a witch with a capital "B". she will ask ten questions at 90 miles per minute then she doesn't allow the person to answer. She speaks Spanish to make a point and the point is: THIS IS AMERICA!! She has no respect for anyone unless the person is Spanish. This is all for TV and money and there is NO RESPECT! I had to stop watching because she made me throw up!! (Not to mention that idiot who stands outside asking stupid questions after the case is over). What exactly is his purpose???moreless
  • I don't care for her

    1.0
    She seems like a Judge Judy wannabe. In most every show I've watched of her, she seems to make a lot of noise, and goes off on anyone she feels like, usually good people that don't seem to need being hollered at. I think it's all an act, that she's doing this to try to improve her ratings. I'm not impressed. I liked Judge Wapner MUCH better than her, or Judge Koch, Judge Judy, or Joe Brown. IMHO, this woman is a rude bigmouth, not a real good judge. I just don't like her. She looks irritable and her hollering never seems justified.moreless
  • Unprofessional and Unforgiven

    1.0
    I went on a couple years ago because my neighbors dogs killed my puppy and in the end she awarded them $5,000 for murdering my 10 week old puppy! I won in a real courtroom for justice to keep control of his dogs (which they are still neglected today, 2 of them died already from neglect, one dog is missing a leg and the other is suffering) but for compensation of the vet bill and cremation of my 10 week puppy it all came out of my pocket and not a dime back. On top of everything I watched her walk to her "throne" where she feels empowered (its the millions of dollars that she makes that gets to her) and right away i noticed, pink flip fops, this lady came out in pink flip flops.....moreless
  • Queen of The Court

    10
    I think she is AWESOME! I would go in front of her anytime. I wish I could see the whole episode where she threw the Dr. Lawyer, whatever he was out of the court telling him if Douglas beats him to a pulp she would be delighted. If you want to see Judges that wont let you speak come to Ohio LOL. you get slammed fined and can speak when you get home.moreless
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More Info About This Show

Themes

long running show, Legal, mainstream america