So, I am sueing my mother and father in law in small claims in El Paso County. She was served her paperwork last week. Now, the Judge Mathis show is blowing up my phone with phone calls. She tried telling me she "pulled up my case". Are those records public, or did my mother in law contact them?! I highly doubt a tv judge can pull random court records. Can I refuse to be on there?
The records are public, and I don't doubt that the tv show uses a search algorithm that focuses on family suing family.
As far as: do I have to be on the program? Absolutely not. It takes both sides to agree and it is usually done under arbitration rules with the tv judge as your arbitrator. If either side refuses, you go to the regular county court.
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It is probably real. Court filings are public record. But as already stated, the court T.V. shows are done as arbitration, so both sides must agree to do it.
The outcome on those T.V. shows is not that much different than real court outcomes, so you might consider having some fun and go on the show.
When I was in law school, these shows routinely hired law students to go to the courthouse to review the small claims court complaints and send in information on cases that sounded interesting. It is absolutely possible.
You have no obligation to participate, but there are some advantages if you decide to be on television. My understanding is that the program will pay any judgment you win so you don't have to figure out how to collect from your in-laws and will pay for travel and lodging. However, fewer people will see the proceedings in the real courtroom.
You can reach Colorado Legal Solutions by phone or email. Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado and the State of Massachusetts. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Colorado Legal Solutions and any person. Sometimes free advice is only worth as much as you paid for it. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.
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