- Circa 2000: An early case involved an elderly grandfather who had made a $500 gift to each of his son's four children for their future needs, and was suing his son and his wife for withdrawing $1500 of the total $2000 sum to use for household expenses. In response, the plaintiff had taken back the remaining $500 and planned to open a new account for his grandchildren. Judge Judy was incensed, pointing out that the defendants essentially stole money from their own children and then had the gall to countersue the plaintiff for the $500 he had withdrawn. She eventually uncovered the defendants' motive: the plaintiff's son believed he was entitled to the money because the plaintiff had been an absentee, alcoholic father. Judge Judy was unmoved.
Judge Judy: Well, let me tell you something. If you were my son, maybe I wouldn't see you either. Judgment for the plaintiff on his claim; counterclaim for the $500 that he took back and that he's going to put back into the account is DISMISSED! You folks are outrageous!
- 2007?: In this case, a woman buys what she thinks is two Nextel cellphones from an eBay seller. The seller sends her two pictures on copy paper of the cellphones, and the woman takes the case to Judge Judy. The seller explains that she was selling only pictures of the cellphones. Judy proceeds to expose her as a scammer and take her down so hard that she can't get near a computer again without an extreme case of Internet Backdraft. Judy gave the plaintiff the maximum judgment of $5,000 (for two $250 phones!) because the scam was just that egregious.
Judy: (to defendant) Listen to me! I'm older, smarter; if you live to be a hundred and twenty, you're not going to be as smart as I am in one finger. You may weigh more, but you won't be smarter than I am in one finger.
- Sure, the defendant didn't have to pay it (the production team does from a $5,000 "pot", with whatever remains being divided between the participants; if the ruling's for the maximum amount, the loser gets nothing), there's a consequence even she did get money: the loss of dignity. Having millions of people watch you on TV after Judge Judy finds out you did something nasty like screw someone out of casino winnings they won fairly (for example) will wreak havoc on your personal life when your family and friends and everyone you care about find out.
- Employers these days will look up your name on the web, usually for your Facebook/Twitter account, and for any criminal records on your person. The defendant is forever marked not only as a scammer, but as "the scammer Judge Judy ripped apart on national TV". Since then, she went to prison, lost custody to her children, divorced from her husband, and went into hiding once she got out of jail. Either way, she may never be hired with such a record, and that's good enough justice.
- Kelli Filkins, the "Ebay Scammer", passed away of undisclosed causes in January 2017.
- 2013?: In this case, a plaintiff and her son sued the defendant for damage to the plaintiff's car caused when the defendant's daughter crashed it. The defendant's daughter was killed in the crash and her mother was visibly devastated, sobbing openly in court. The defendant countersued for her daughter's loss of life. During the cross-examination, it was revealed that the plaintiff always left her keys in her car and even allowed her son, who didn't have a license yet and was 14, to drive it on their property.
) There is something very wrong with you! Because, rather than saying to this lady ... "I can't tell you how terrible I feel that in MY HOUSE, in MY CAR, WITH THE KEYS THAT I LEAVE IN THE CAR, your daughter met such an early death." Instead of saying that, you sue her for the damage to your car! YOU'RE AN IDIOT! Judgment on the counterclaim for $5,000, your claim is DISMISSED!!!! OUT!
- As of March 25, 2017, the woman's son has been arrested for attempting to assault and rape a woman. He's now facing 38 years to life in prison.
- February 2014: A defendant, clearly in the wrong after not paying a babysitter for services rendered, is making so many bad excuses that he's contradicted his own testimony several times.
Judy: Hey, are you playing with me, or what? Making you appear to be foolish is my specialty. If you're gonna double-talk me, it'd be my pleasure. Hone my skills for next year. If you, however, wanna say, "You know what? We stiffed her, and I got fired [from my job], and then there was no reason to have her anymore," then I'd say to you, "You know what?" (Judy shrugs as though to say, "Hey, at least that's honest.") And then you leave here, at least with your dignity intact. Do we understand each other?
Judy: Great. How much do you owe her?
- 2014: A man sued his ex-wife for false arrest for domestic violence. As per usual, Judy saw right through the defendant and noted how she kept giggling throughout the case and even questioned how she was even able to get away with abusing the justice system if she can't keep a straight face. The kicker? Her epic speech to her when she got up and was about to head to her office at the end of the case... and caught her giggling AGAIN:
Judy: You know, I don't know why you think this is funny. I don't find it funny at all. I find it SAD. Because if what you're telling me is that since this all happened, he's been getting supervised visits (to their child, of course), then YOU, madam, are a truly outrageous person!!!!
- Judy makes a commentary on how funny it is when people are able to remember small details during a case but not the crucial ones:
Judy: Let me explain something to you, my husband once offended me on July 6th 1978. I can tell you exactly where I was sitting, and what he was eating. Most people have a memory of important dates and times. Now if somebody, gave me/loaned to be $5000 I would remember some of the circumstances surrounding it - because you, sir seem to have a very, very good memory of everything you did - calling the bank, calling the title company, getting the checks, sitting down and going over everything - the only thing you don't have a memory of is "Can I borrow $5000?"
- Judge Judy tears apart a private Christian school that locked a special needs child in a storage closet for bad behavior. The best part is her using a surprisingly quieter tone when she discovered the principal had an associate's degree, and the teacher only a high school education. Not enough to legally teach a public school, let alone be qualified to teach students with special needs.
Judy: I would sue you for a lot more than the return of his tuition. How dare you? How you take children who have special needs...
- Circa 2005: Judge Judy heard a case from a young mother named Rachel who was suing her daughter's grandmother for an alleged assault, with the child's father in court as a witness for his mother. Turned out Rachel had a taste for alcohol - in particular Remy Martin cognac - and openly admitted to being in a hotel room drinking Remy with her new boyfriend in the presence of her infant daughter shortly before the alleged incident. The defendant claimed the alleged "assault" was self-defense and took place after she had babysat for her granddaughter, when Rachel showed up drunk and high to pick up the child and the defendant refused to let the child go with her. Needless to say, the judge was outraged to learn that the plaintiff still had custody of the girl and encouraged the girl's father to fight for custody. The kicker came when Judge Judy asked Rachel to take a hair follicle test to determine whether she had used drugs recently, and the plaintiff refused. In response to that, the judge announced that she was not only dismissing the lawsuit, but sending a copy of the tape to Child Protective Services.
- Circa 2012: A Mexican-American plaintiff from Dallas brought a young African-American couple to court for allegedly filing false charges against him for threatening them with a gun. The incident stemmed from a dispute between the plaintiff and defendants over use of a vacant lot from which the defendants were selling floral arrangements. The plaintiff admitted to pulling a gun on the defendants but claimed they attacked him first. Her Honor was having none of it.
Judge Judy: You pulled a gun on them! You pulled out a gun, and you shot the gun over FLOWERS! Are you a MORON?!
Plantiff: No, ma'am.
Judge Judy: Well, there's something wrong with you! I would be hiding under a rock and not acting as plaintiff in a lawsuit! There's something wrong with you!
- Needless to say, the plaintiff lost the case and the defendants won on their counterclaim for emotional distress.
Judge Judy: Once you're shot at with a gun, you never view the world the same way!
- Circa 2013 (Wilcoxon vs. Munoz): The plaintiff sued her former roommate for unpaid rent. One of several issues at play in the case was the defendant's testimony that she had seen the plaintiff, who was sleeping off a night of drinking at the time, literally knock her two-year-old daughter across the room. When Judge Judy told the plaintiff that she believed the defendant's story, the plaintiff lost her temper and began shouting back at the judge. Her Honor determined that the defendant's ejection from the premises had been retaliation for filing a complaint with Child Protective Services after witnessing the aforementioned incident and dismissed the plaintiff's case, advising the plaintiff's sister, who was in court as a witness, to make sure the two-year-old was well taken care of.