plaintiff: colleen from rochester, new york. i’m really feeling all this royal blue we’re seeing in the courtroom lately. the right shade of a rich, super saturated blue looks so elegant and successful! colleen has an open black fitted blazer over her blue shirt, deep chestnut hair that looks glossy and moderately expensive, and subtle makeup. you can always tell who prepped for this like it was actual court. she has a bound accordion of truth™ firmly in hand.
defendant: robert from rochester, new york. robert is very tall and very lean, swagged out in a tan suit like the one obama wore with a periwinkle dress shirt and purple tie. this is an easter suite, repurposed for judge mathis’ courtroom, and i’m into it. his head is shaved completely bald and he’s wearing little rectangular glasses and he is kind of fine in a “nerdy kid who messes up the curve for everybody else on the history test” way.
the complaint: colleen wants the money her ex-husband owes her for a house? honestly it’s unclear!
what does she want: $4500 for breach of contract
how it went down: colleen says that she and mister harrison met in 2005 at a “common employer.” that’s a cute little way of saying YEAH WE FUCKED AT THE JOB but i’ll allow it. a few years after they met she says they ended up in a “casual relationship,” which is what she’s calling it because he was in the process of leaving a relationship when they started hanging out. don’t you hate when your friends say sneaky shit like that to you? stop wasting our time, colleen, you boned him when he was with somebody else and that’s fine! who cares! okay they’re in a split screen right now and it’s suddenly clear that mister harrison (that’s what she keeps calling him!) is much older than young colleen. wait, maybe that’s why she’s referring to him as “mister?” like a respecting her elders kind of thing??? anyway colleen says mister harrison is thirteen years her senior, and he already had two older kids by the time they got together. she found him to be a mature man with a good job who was a decent person. they continued to see each other casually until one day she found herself pregnant.
greg asks for clarification on the type of relationship they had, like exactly what does “casual” mean, and colleen has clearly been to fuckboy university because she recites euphemism after euphemism for “we just fuck sometimes, no strings” and greg cannot even handle it. once she got pregnant they got serious and moved in together and continued their relationship in earnest. they got married in 2009 when their first daughter was a year old, and colleen says the marriage was going well so they decided to have another child two years later. she says they got along well, they traveled, and they had lots of fun together. ugh i am getting anxious waiting for the other shoe to drop. colleen says that the marriage started to fail because the two of them couldn’t deal with adversity when it would arise, which is a very not-specific way to talk about your problems? maybe she should have taken him to actual court, this shit is boring.
the major problem in their marriage was mister harrison’s children from his previous relationship. BINGO. colleen says his ex would never speak to her, even though she had a great relationship with her children. mister harrison and the ex were in and out of court constantly, which put a financial strain on his marriage to colleen and took an emotional toll on them both. colleen says she thought the children would have been better off living with her and mister harrison, and i think that answers the question of why that bitch didn’t just call her up to have a kiki on the phone?? come on, colleen! can’t be giggling and sniggling with the new broad trying to steal your kids! eventually their mother called and asked them to take the kids and mister harrison said okay.
in the beginning colleen was excited for the four girls to grow up together, and i don’t know if i’ve said this a hundred times or maybe a million, but i have three sisters and it is a nightmare. we’re orphans! we killed our parents! they literally could not physically survive raising four girls! so i’m glad colleen was optimistic but i already know what’s coming: CHAOS. and indeed it was. they had four girls with four different schedules at four different schools while they both worked. colleen says she tried to teach the older girls things like “picking up after themselves” and “washing,” but mister harrison wouldn’t back her up. as the fourth daughter of an old ass black man, this is shocking to me? i had to learn how to use a chore boy on grill grate before i could even talk! colleen posted cleaning charts and schedules and mister harrison would just make fun of them; she was all in, though, she loved those girls, but he wouldn’t help!
finally it’s mister harrison’s turn, and he says colleen is smart and beautiful and he thought she was a blessing to his life. what is this, the bachelorette? let’s get to the drama and bullshit! anyway, after they had their second child they were both working days and nights until they finally had enough to buy a house, which colleen secured for them because she was good at managing money. the day after they moved in his ex called and asked them to take his other daughters. greg is getting annoyed because 1 they keep speaking all slowly and wistfully like they miss each other and that doesn’t work for the judge because he loves mess and 2 they haven’t said anything that’s actually gone wrong yet and we are nine whole hours into this fucking case. goddamn i wrote all this shit and my laptop is at 29% and i’m not getting up to find the cord so...hurry it up!
the ruling: mister harrison says the real problem was that it felt like colleen was trying to control his children and greg busts in with “THEY NEED CONTROL.” right??? they’re kids! i am having a fucking out of body experience because this old black man is saying all the shit you’d expect the young white lady to be saying? what the fuck? mister harrison says his girls are well-behaved, but that he and colleen didn’t agree on how to discipline them. but that doesn’t really feel like the reason they split, and if i’d known this was gonna be an extended couple’s therapy session i would have fast forwarded past this case to whichever one in the queue looked like it would feature a reason for greg to scream CRACKKKK!
colleen hands greg some papers, something about a quick deed blah blah blah, which proves that mister harrison owes her $4500 that he signed despite having no intention to pay, an admission mister harrison makes, unprompted, under oath to judge mathis in front of a goddamn video camera! DUH, judgment obviously for the plaintiff. i’m mad i fucking watched this.
did uncle greg say anything fucked up to anyone: “you wanted to take the woman’s kids! no wonder she wouldn’t speak to you, you wanted to take her kids!”