who's on judge mathis today? #202

an idiotic recap of the greatest syndicated courtroom show of all time

plaintiff: latonya from st paul, minnesota. this show always reminds me of the bonkers clothing items of yore that i’ve shoved to the bottom of the abandoned laundry pile in the back of my brain, and latonya’s outfit is no exception: it’s a beige cowl neck batwing ¾ sleeve sweater that is fitted at the waist but is kinda breezy throughout the body and remember when they tried to make us wear those?????? “here’s a short sleeved sweater (?) that essentially has three enormous holes where your head and arms go (??) guaranteeing that if you wear it when it’s seasonally appropriate your forearms and neck will be frostbitten (???) oh also we made the waistband extremely tight so it’ll ride up and expose your low back/top butt to the cold (????) so have fun spending your entire day awkwardly tugging at your shirt!” anyway she looks hot even though her top makes me mad.

defendant: angela from maplewood, minnesota. love to see my fellow midwestern black ladies representing on my favorite show! angela is tall as hell, like wnba tall, and is wearing a pink pullover dress shirt (another item of clothing that begs the question “just, why???” i’m supposed to iron this collared tunic and starch it so it doesn’t look like fancy pajamas and then, uhhhh, pull the shit on over my head and mess it right back up??????) with an enormous statement necklace and large hoop earrings. needless to say, a style icon.

the complaint: latonya agreed to go on a cruise with angela, but she then found a better deal after she had given her former friend a deposit; latonya wanted her money back, but angela refused, so now she’s suing her!

what does she want: $350!! okay………..should i maybe change my stance on these low stakes cases? i mean, the litigants get a bus ticket and a hotel room and a picture with the fountain or the bean and (hopefully) a malnati’s classic (if you’re gonna eat a deep dish pizza in chicago it’s the best one, i’m not arguing with you about this because i am right), so maybe it’s worth it to come battle it out over a piddly amount??????? i mean, it’s not a life-altering amount of money, you can probably repair the relationship afterward if you want to, maybe suing your ex-best friend for the cost of a used playstation is the way to do this!!!!!!!!!!!

how it went down: latonya begins her testimony the exact same way i would: “hello judge mathis, can i just say…you are even more handsome in person than you are on television.” first of all, judge mathis is fine as hell. second, the man loves a compliment, so why not try to get him on your side right out the gate??? greg acts all bashful like “aw shucks ma’am” and uh ohhh angela better watch out. flattery will get you everywhere!

latonya says that angela posted about a cruise on facebook (hell yeah brother, we love black auntie facebook drama™ around here) and she thought a cruise sounded like a good idea because she had just lost her parents. i have never been on a cruise, because i require too much medicine and dry land to be in the middle of the sea for an hour let alone a goddamn week, but i know so many people who love them. everything about a cruise appeals to me except for the whole being on water far away from a hospital part: love a tiny room where no one can bother me, love a 24-hour buffet, love watching ice skating right next to a casino where a celine dion impersonator is performing, love catching norovirus. what is the on-land emergency room-adjacent version of this? should i take a trip to vegas???

latonya says she talked to angela about the trip then angela came by her house to pick up the $300 deposit. we already know the moral of this story, right? only get into a business relationship with an actual business! sure, mister carnival cruise can’t drop by your crib to pick up his deposit, but he can draw up a legally binding contract that makes clear his refund policy!!!!!!! okay so latonya gives angela the money and then over the next couple weeks they’re keeping up on the phone, gossiping and talking about what outfits they’re gonna bring, getting hype for the trip, etc.

angela starts by giving the judge a list of bullshit ~credentials~ which takes at least a minute and a half to get through, which is an eternity in judge mathis case time. seriously it’s like “i was in the military and i’m chair of the usher board at church and i started a committee for young moms” and on and on and on? i was waiting for her to pull out her report card and ask for a lollipop. anyway, angela says she told latonya that their cruise was going to cost $800 apiece. latonya interrupts to say she saw that carnival had cruises available for $479 and told angela, and angela said she was going to “check that out.” after a few days angela called latonya back and said she didn’t want to sign up for that promotion because it included a different kind of room and, i gotta say, i’m team angela on this one. i, too, am a fussy toddler who wants the thing she wants and/or needs, even if there’s another thing that doesn’t cost as much. and i’m not hating, i wish i could be the kind of person who could stay in a youth hostel with a backpack but the truth is: I AM NOT. and angela doesn’t look like she could either!

latonya says that since angela didn’t want to go for the $479 deal she told her to just give her her money back, which angela promised she would do as soon as she found someone else to take latonya’s place. hold on, is there a piece missing here? is this part of some church or school group trip or something??? because if it was just two friends going on a fun vacation she wouldn’t need to replace her right? angela says she created a facebook event and told any of her internet friends who wanted to go on the cruise that they should let her know (that is the most dangerous thing i have ever heard???????) and that she’d collect all the money and put down a deposit. again, it’s not clear why she did this as a group rather than just telling everybody what cruise it was and to book their own tickets themselves, but since i can’t put her on the stand maybe we’ll never know.

angela says that actually latonya had called her and asked if they could change it to a cheaper cruise in a different month (funny that she left that out) and angela said that even though the trip was planned in october specifically because it was to celebrate her birthday (!!!!!!) she would call everyone else who was planning to go and see if they’d be willing to change. i would literally PASS AWAY if my friend was like “okay sam please hold i’m gonna call everyone i know on the internet and tell them your cheap ass wants to ruin my birthday trip” but maybe that’s just me. angela made all the calls and says none of her friends were able to change their schedules.

angela says she called carnival directly and was told that the trip deposit was nonrefundable and when she relayed that information to latonya she flipped out and started screaming at her. angela felt bad, so she said that she would do her best to find someone to take her spot so that she could give latonya her money back but she didn’t. greg is like “what’s the problem, you bailed on her” and latonya’s only defense is “yes, but…” and let this be a lesson to us all to never click on a facebook event invitation ever the fuck again.

the ruling: here come the reams of printed out text sheets™ and for two women who have both mentioned being active in the church several times there are an awful lot of veiled and overt threats flying around! they’re talking about rolling up on each other’s houses and beating up each other’s kids and i love to see an old lady wilding out but also……………………..all this over three hundred dollars????? you’re gonna fuck up my son over THAT??????? while reading the texts aloud angela accidentally admits that she actually did find someone to take latonya’s place, and greg interjects like “wait what” as she tries to speed past it, and angela looks up over the top of her reading glasses in a way that reminds me so much of my mother that i jumped a little but also it’s clear she knows she messed up. yes someone replaced latonya on the trip, she admits, but that person was too broke to be going on a trip too and hasn’t given angela the money yet, even though the cruise was months ago, which is why she hasn’t given latonya any money. goddamn it can’t be this hard to just stay your ass at home???

somehow i missed that angela filed a countersuit for $1535, which she wants because latonya apparently told her that she and her son were gonna come by and get her money, which angela “received as a threat.” greg is like “do you have proof that she really did it” and angela says no, and her countersuit is immediately dismissed even though the definition of a threat is saying something you intend to do but not the actual doing of it. it doesn’t matter that angela hasn’t been paid back yet, she told latonya that she would reimburse her if she found someone to take her spot and she did so verdict for the plaintiff who, in hindsight, is probably extremely lucky she missed out on this broke ass, janky ass, raggedy ass cruise.

did uncle greg say anything fucked up to anyone: surprisingly no but here’s a hilarious comment from youtube: “she read down her entire resume but neglected to include the thief part!”

*bangs gavel*