On "The People's Court," Judge Marilyn Milian hears small claims cases. Typically, these are claims related to disputes involving $5,000 in awards or less. The claims can arise from a broad range of disputes between individuals or corporations.
"The People's Court" is a long-running reality television show on which Judge Marilyn Milian hears actual small claims cases. The cases can involve a broad variety of topics, including disputes with landlords, lost or damaged property, or similar issues.
The cases on "The People's Court" involve actual legal disputes, and thus, Judge Milian's decisions are legally binding. The show was one of the first reality television programs of this nature to introduce real-life arbitration to a television audience.
Judge Milian was not the first judge to host the show. Before she began hosting the show in 2001, "The People's Court" was hosted by Judges Joseph Wapner, Ed Koch and Jerry Sheindlin. All judges heard similar cases. Since the inception of the show with Judge Wapner, there have been only two criminal incarcerations; all other cases have had only civil ramifications within the $5,000 award limit.
Shows following a similar format ("Judge Judy," "Judge Joe Brown" and others) hear similar cases; the judges also hand down legally binding decisions after hearing cases.