who's on judge mathis today? #41

a books/snacks/softcore daily mini letter

plaintiff: cherise from college park, georgia. cherise came to court casket sharp, baby. hair laid, a fitted dress that has a floral pattern down either side with a royal blue kinda curvy swath down the middle (look this ain’t project runway, i don’t know how to talk about clothes!), accordion of truth™ looks brand new and barely creased.

defendant: james from atlanta, georgia. listen, i don’t know whose uncle bob is doing these voiceovers but when dude read “james says cherise is nothing but a gold digging ex-stripper with a bad attitude” off the cue card WITH HIS WHOLE CHEST i almost did a spit take and destroyed my ancient computer. can this gentleman please narrate the rest of my miserable life?!

the complaint: cherise dated james and is now suing him for unpaid child support, and james claims that cherise slept with his cousin while he was in jail. ok, this is going to be a delight!

what does she want: $2863 for unpaid child support. can i get a countersuit?? james would like $420 (hahaha i’m a child) for lost wages.

how it went down: cherise and james dated from 1999-2006. when their daughter was seven weeks old, his seven year old son from a previously relationship passed away. upon his death james received a huge settlement and completely changed his personality, to which i simply say: duh. first of all, now i can’t get that jg wentworth structured settlement jingle out of my fucking head. second, if you win a bunch of money and you don’t change there’s something wrong with you. if i got hit by a city bus (fingers crossed) and became the proud owner of millions of dollars the first thing i would do is hire one of those top secret online security companies high profile people use and pay them to scrub all traces of me from the internet, then i’m moving to the country and buying a ranch house with a brand new washer and dryer (the fancy modern kind that’s stacked behind an unassuming closet door in the kitchen) and never using stairs or talking to anyone ever again. once i’m settled i’ll dedicate one of the many rooms overlooking a placid man-made body of water to my new pastime of writing either cozy mysteries or cozy romance novels, i haven’t decided yet. i will make green bean casseroles and pretend the internet doesn’t exist while caring for my many young cats. damn, that sounds dope. let me go slip and fall in a target.

i’m guessing that’s not how james played it, though. cherise said that after he got the money james started writing his phone number on hundred dollar bills and giving them to women in the street or going to the club and throwing money in the air while calling himself “the stunt man,” and i would like to amend my previous daydream to say that i am so sorry but THIS IS WHAT I WOULD ACTUALLY DO IF I GOT A SUDDEN WINDFALL. james got “hundreds of thousands of dollars” and immediately started pouring it down his throat and wasting it on sexy women, which honestly is the only way to live. what are you supposed to do, set up a retirement account? lmao fuck that, let’s party.

except james has a kid. she was 3 or 4 when he got the money, and she’s currently 17. do you think he set aside any of that money for her, or paid cherise regular child support over the course of all these years? you are absolutely correct that he did not! cherise finally took him to court for child support in 2011 after she asked james to buy their daughter a pair of shoes and when she went to pick them up he claimed he’d taken them back because she “took too long.” hoo, boy. i’d almost respect him more if he’d just vanished from their lives completely and accepted whatever dish karma would serve him in the future? when my parents got divorced for a few years afterward my dad was like “a job? never heard of it!” and lived in a car in an alley near the howard street el tracks. that is a firm “i’m sorry to this child,” and my mom got that message loud and clear. greg starts to pontificate about how men should want to take care of their children, but come on man it can’t be all his fault maybe james would have thrown some dollar bills in his daughter’s face if she’d shown some initiative and met up with him at the club! ever think of that?

the ruling: james says that in 2006 he was locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. while he was in prison, he instructed his mother to give cherise $2000 for first and last on an apartment plus utilities. this does not mean much of anything, unless his growing child can eat electricity and gas? when he finally was released he discovered that cherise had spent his money on something else while also having a sexual relationship with his cousin. okay even if that’s true what the fuck does it have to do with child support? dudes really do think that $66 a week or whatever the fuck bullshit the court orders them to pay entitles them to...own your whole life? i mean, the cousin thing isn’t great but you can’t toss your number out like ticker tape and get mad that she started seeing someone else, JAMES.

to support his “bad attitude” defense (that’s a real thing, right?) james says that once cherise went up to their daughter’s school and got into a physical altercation with the principal after which she was tossed in jail. he references another instance in which they had an argument at her house, a neighbor called the police, and when the police got there they took her to jail again because she had an outstanding warrant. cherise says yeah that’s true but all these fights happened because james was snorting cocaine! this is 100% what my childhood was like, so much so that i am getting nostalgic for the sound of unintelligible shouting outside my locked bedroom door and later waking up to find the bathtub full of grain alcohol my father planned to bootleg in repurposed sunny d bottles. i hope their kid has a sense of humor because yikes! cherise says their daughter knows james is a cokehead and one day when she was ten she came home from a visit with him and wiped baby powder under her nose and started imitating him. i am so sorry but i can’t stop laughing at that?

okay finally to the child support: james starts telling a long, convoluted story about how he switched jobs and the state was debiting from one account but the account got closed and then he had another account but the state forgot to switch to the new one and blah blah deadbeat blah. he also says that he has records of cash app payments he’s sent to his daughter and forgive me if i am mistaken, sir, but i think that’s what is legally known as an “allowance.” you can’t give your kid ten bucks to go to a movie and think that goes toward your state-ordered child support payments! what is even happening out here! dudes really think that they can drop a pair of nikes off at the house and that counts against, you know, dental bills? i am incensed.

cherise pulls an official court order out of her accordion of truth™ and you know greg isn’t going to rule against an actual court of law! he scans that shit for approximately .8 seconds and declares judgment for the plaintiff. he asks james about his countersuit, and james says he wants $420 because he lost money coming to court that day and greg says “oh okay then, hurry up and get outta here, your case is dismissed!”

did uncle greg say anything fucked up to anyone: when james described cherise as a “gold digging ex-stripper” the judge defended her honor asking him, “are you an ex-trick or still a trick?” friends, i gasped. HO HO HO!

*bangs gavel*

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