Are Litigants Paid to Be on Judge Judy?

Litigants are paid and awarded in multiple ways for appearing on Judge Judy. They receive complimentary airfare and hotel expenses for being on the show, appearance fees, and the judgment awarded is paid by the producers of the show.

In 2013, the plaintiffs and defendants appearing on Judge Judy each received an appearance fee between $100 and $500, a daily wage of $35, and the award amount was paid by the show producers. The maximum judgment amount for a particular case is $5000. The show takes place in Los Angeles, so most people appearing on the show essentially get a free trip to Los Angeles. According to, some groups of individuals have even made up fake lawsuits just to be on the show.