Reality TV has changed the way that all of us experience this kind of television. There are always questions about if the situations in reality TV are real. The biggest question that people have about reality TV is whether or not TV judges that are on legal shows are real judges and if the court cases they are judging are real cases. These court cases are presented as legal court cases with legal judgments, but is that really the case?
What is Really Going on During Reality Legal Shows?
These reality shows are not actually documenting court cases. These are more like legal arbitration hearings or dispute resolution cases. This is a process that seeks to find agreement between the parties involved in the dispute before spending money on court fees and the entire court process. The rulings might be binding if the judge is a licensed judge and not an actor. However, the people involved in the show are aware of the limitations of the situation that is going on based on the contract that they sign before appearing on television.
The “winner” of the case can still head to court over the dispute, and they will have to submit to a different process to determine the legality of a situation in an actual court. While engaging, the cases presented to the judges on reality TV are not really holding court cases that are real court hearings. There is some benefit to appearing in court for these kinds of disputes in that the TV show often pays the judgment to the winner, which is a much faster outcome than in traditional court.
This entire “legal” process is complicated by the fact that it is done on TV, which can make it very unattractive to those with genuine legal disputes and larger judgments. Most shows will not allow anything that is in excess of the small claims court limits for the state where the hearings are being held. There are some kinds of cases that do not qualify for small claims court, and these cases will not be presented on TV in most cases.
TV Judges Are Real Judges Serving as Arbitrators
TV judges are real judges, but they are not actually presiding over court cases. They are actually serving as arbitrators and are passing legal judgments that are often paid for by the show that they work for. This is a unique situation that helps some people in conflict to avoid paying court fees or having to schedule a court date and wait for a judgment to be fulfilled in the future. There are many misconceptions about how these kinds of cases work, but they are actually legal judgments, although of a different kind.
This article was last updated on June 15, 2023 .