Judge Judy

By Erina Caradus

Summary

You are about to enter the courtroom of Judge Judith Shiendlin – the people are real, the cases are real … well, they’re about as believable as Judge Judy’s. An over-the-top look at 3 cases where the defendant has yet again been ripped off: loss of reputation, loss of property and loss of time and personal space. Justice is brought to you by the biggest con artist of all – the charming but uncompromising, Judge Judy.

Characters

Judge Judy – watch TV 3 and you’ll see her!
Bailiff – see Judge Judy show
Angelo – Italian chef
Jones – well dressed, average sort of person.
Mr Lux – smooth, not to be trusted salesman.
Mrs Melville – wealthy, fussy woman
Ms Hankey – flamboyant, over the top counsellor
Basil Brown – ‘mummy’s’ boy, wide eyed, babyish voice

Dress
Judge Judy – lawyers gown (a lace collar can be made from a paper doily)
Bailiff – keys, nametag, clothes the correct colour (see show)
Angelo – chefs coat, black and white checked trousers, cardboard chef’s outfit, black moustache, eyebrows and back hair
Jones – casual business suit
Mr Lux – suit but unusual looking. We used wig with side burn
Mrs Melville – well dressed, hat & gloves
Ms Hankey – new age, flowing brightly coloured dress, dangly earrings etc
Basil – school uniform with short shorts, hair parted in geekish style

Note
The script consists of four cameos. Each is bordered with videoed material, which adds to the effect. We interspersed these during the service. You can leave off the final cameo if you are short on time. (If you want to see our video material, or use the Judge Judy sequence email us and we can send you a copy.)

Script

Scene 1
(Video footage from TV Judge Judy: ‘You are about to enter the courtroom of Judge Judith Sheindlin. The people are real, the cases are real. This is her courtroom. This is Judge Judy.’ Lights up on Judge Judy’s courtroom with chair behind a cardboard structure with a plaque saying: Judge Judy Sheindlin. Bailiff is standing and the defendant (Jones) and claimant (Angelo) are seated. Enter Judge Judy.)

Bailiff: (to audience and actors) Order. All rise. (Hand Judy a piece of paper) This is case 49: Angelo V Jones. Parties are now sworn in, Judge. (To audience) You may be seated.

Judy: Mr Angelo – I see you are suing the defendant $2000 – don’t you have a surname?

Angelo: Scusilo? Everyone calls mio Angelo.

Judy: Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?

Angelo: Si! Mio cuisine, it is famoso on the TV 3. I was Angelo – bringing you a slice of heaven-a, ma alas no more… (Wipes eyes with hand)

Judy: Tell me about it? Your cooking programme is gone?

Angelo: Si. Terribile! All because of this difettoso (points at Jones) I am rovinato – ruined – no body wants-a mio desserts-a. Mio reputation – it is in the pieces!

Judy: (interrupting) Yes. Yes. I see here you are suing Mr Jones for ruining your business and destroying your reputation. Mr – Jones – is this true?

Jones: Well, maybe.

Judy: I said, is this true?

Jones: Well, I have told my friends and relations that Angelo is a crook and his desserts are disgusting.

Angelo: Devastazione! (Sobs. Judy passes box of tissues to bailiff who gives to Angelo)

Judy: Why did you deliberately set out to destroy this man’s reputation?

Jones: Well, ma’am. He sold me a stale dessert. I have the docket to prove it (hand docket to Bailiff) Wasn’t fit for the pigs.

Angelo: It was my delicious deathamo – a treat to die for!

Judy: And so?

Jones: So, I took it back but this swindler chased me out of his shop with a carving knife. Angelo: Non, non, non!

Judy: You chased a customer with a carving knife?

Angelo: Non, it is falso! I offer ‘im another Delicious Deathamo or ‘is money back. Ma, ‘e say, non! And ‘e scosse the cake – poof! Into mio faccia!

Judy: And the money?

Angelo: Pah! What is money? My reputation, it is sparito! The TV 3 men say, “Arriverderci”. He tell about me to the world. He tell the Holmes show, he write to the ODT, he talk to the Wilma lady!

Judy: Enough! (Pointing to Jones) Pay him $421.05 – that’s 500 less the price of the stale dessert. Case dismissed – that’s all.

Bailiff: Parties are excused – you may step out.

(Video footage - in the foyer of the courtroom. Each video sequence should be done in the same way as the Judge Judy programme with the person talking close to the camera and the other seen in the distance over their shoulder)
Angelo: He ruined me. I hate-a dis Jones but I am glad to get the dollar.

Jones: His desserts are disgusting. I hope he never cooks again.

Angelo: It will not arresto here. (Waving a knife) I have friends in the mafia. He is a dead-a meat-a. He will be found  floatin face down in the harbour-a.
Video: ‘Judge Judy in a moment. Stay tuned till after the break’
 

Scene 2
Video: ‘Real cases, real people… Judge Judy

(Lights up on Mrs. Melville and Mr Lux standing and Judy and Bailiff in position.)

Bailiff: You may be seated.

Judy: Mrs. Melville, you claim that the defendant owes you $500 for the cost of a new carpet?

Melville: Yes. Ma’am, my carpet’s ruined.

Judy: What did he do to ruin your carpet?

Melville: He vacuumed it.

Judy: Are you trying to tell me that Mr Lux ruined your carpet with a vacuum cleaner? Mr Lux, what is your job?

Lux: I’m a salesman, ma’am. Satisfaction is the trade name. (Hands her his satisfaction CD) Right now I’m selling the Wet and Dry All Purpose Multi Functional Cleaner. Like a catalogue? (Hands to bailiff to Judy)

Judy: (to Melville) This man tried to sell you a vacuum cleaner?

Melville: He is the pushiest salesman I ever met. Into my house before I could blink. Sprinkled powder on my couch, my bed …

Lux: (interrupting) Merely to demonstrate the superior action of this magnificent machine.

Judy: Was that all?

Melville: (indignantly) No, it was not all. He poured a glass of red wine on my new shag pile!

Judy: Is this true?

Lux: Standard practice, ma’am but with the new wet and dry option it comes out in a jiffy – no stain, no smell – like magic.

Melville: My carpet is ruined. There’s a stain ‘this big’ in the middle of my sitting room. This is the quote to have it replaced. (Hand to bailiff to Judy)

Judy:  (to Lux) You didn’t get the wine out?

Lux: Most of it! Most of it! But it is not my fault! I did it at the lady’s request.

Judy: You asked him to pour wine on your carpet?

Melville: I most certainly did not.

Judy: Explain yourself.

Lux: She asked me to prove it was a better cleaner than the one she already had.

Judy: That’s it! $500 for a new carpet (yelling) Pay it!

Lights out
Video footage (in foyer of courtroom)
Lux: I haven’t been treated fairly. It was an accident, a misunderstanding.

Melville: I’m the winner today. I know my rights. That will teach him to go round ruining people’s carpets.

Lux: While I’ve got your attention: Feel like life has ripped you off? Then you need: Satisfaction
(Shows on screen a picture of Mr Lux with words Satisfaction – this comes from the original drama)

Video: ‘Judge Judy in a moment. Stay tuned till after the break’

Scene 3
Video: ‘Real cases, real people… Judge Judy
(Lights up on Ms Hankey and Basil Brown standing and Judy and Bailiff in position.)

Bailiff: Case 51. Hankey V Brown. You may be seated.

Judy: Ms Hankey, can you tell me what you do for a job?

Hankey: My official title is 'Student Support Service Team Leader' - 'counsellor' has such a controlling ring to it, don't you think? I’m sponsored to work in schools by the 'Just Do It' campaign. We aim to promote well-being, self-esteem and a strong sense of individuality. Wonderful, isn't it?

Judy: And the defendant, Basil Brown is a client of yours?

Hankey: Client is such a clinical sounding term. At the 'Just Do It' Sponsored Student Support Service we believe there are no set boundaries. Our aim is to support you into a place where you believe only good about yourself.

Judy: I see you are claiming $1000 for (surprised) harassment! (To Brown) What have you done to her?

Brown: Your honour, Ma’am. She’s a wonderful counsellor. She makes me feel so good about myself. She’s so wise and understanding. I love to spend time just listening to her. I could do it all day. I haven’t done anything wrong, Ma’am. I just love Ms Hankey.

Hankey: Oedipus complex, poor toilet training, failed mother syndrome -the pesky kid just won’t leave me alone.

Judy: Enough of this psychoanalytical mumbo jumbo. Let me hear it straight. Just how does he harass you?

Hankey: He books in with the school office to see me every day. He rings my cell phone for advice. He writes me long letters about all his problems (holds up wad) and he leaves messages like this on my answer phone. (Plays message: Ms Hankey, I must see you)

Judy: How old are you, Ms Hankey?

Hankey: (hesitating) 29.

Judy: (holding up Bible) 29?

Hankey: 39 … well, all right …49.

Judy: 49? I think you are old enough to handle the adoration of one weedy little third former. Out of my court! Both of you, out!

Video Clip (in foyer of courtroom)
Brown: I don’t think I like Ms Hankey so much now. She said some pretty mean things about me. My feelings feel very hurt.

Hankey: If that little brat bothers me one more time, I’ll ring his precious neck. After all, what can be more important than doing whatever we must to bring true happiness to our own inner self?

Brown: I think Judge Judy is wonderful. I’m always going to watch her programme now. She is so understanding and caring. I’m going to send her a thank you letter.

Scene 4
Video clip: After the programme. A street person encounters Judge Judy.

Smith: Judge Judy, can I have $2. I need to buy a meat pie. I haven’t eaten for 2 days. Have mercy!

Judy: Haven’t you heard of the fair trading act? I’m not into handouts. I’ll want some thing for my money. What have you got?

Smith: I could give you this. (Holds up Satisfaction CD)

Judy: No good, I’ve got one.

Smith: How about a signed photo of some bloke called (looks at photo)… Angelo

Judy: He’s a ‘has been’, utterly worthless.

Smith: Well … the only other thing I’ve got is a one hour complimentary session with the (Reading) ‘Just do it’ sponsored student support service.

Judy: Now, that’s more like it. (Snatches the voucher, throws him a dollar and walks off)

Smith: Heh, that’s only one dollar!

Judy: So – sue me!

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© Erina Caradus (Dunedin City Baptist) 2001
All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. Our drama group can be contacted at the following address: Caradii@xtra.co.nz