NARRATOR: Today on
Judge Faith… A giant storm
in a fashion show were just too much
for these cupcakes. The whole event was,
we were kicking off our college tour at Clark,
Atlanta with a fashion event. I didn’t know
it was a fashion show till the week of
when she sent me a flyer and it said, “Fashion Show.” How is that very different
from what you thought it was? Because, I mean if you
think about it people are
in there for two hours to look at people walk
down the catwalk. Whose gonna be
eating cupcakes? She does have a point, but…
(LAUGHING) NARRATOR: And later, a bumper bruise in Big Bear. I was driving on
Big Bear Boulevard when I was hit
by the defendant, rear-ended. My insurance had lapsed because I’m a single
mom and I was in two, like two months
behind on rent. But they didn’t tell you that
they weren’t going to hold you responsible
for the damage?
PARHAM: No. NARRATOR: Faith Jenkins, her distinguish legal career began when she graduated first
in her law school class. She quickly became a tough
New York City Prosecutor. And then a preeminent
legal analyst on cable news. And now she is the judge
in her own courtroom. Her cases are real and her rulings are final. She is Judge Faith. Plaintiff
Katrina Williams-Gooding is suing an event planner for the refund
of a vendor’s fee after the event was canceled. Defendant Jazmyne Byrd says, she was forced
to change the date and is countersuing
for defamation. Remain seated
and come to order. Court is now in session. The honorable Judge
Faith Jenkins presiding. Your Honor this is
Williams-Gooding vs Byrd. Thank you, Barbara. Katrina Williams-Gooding.
Yes ma’am. You are suing the defendant
Jazmyne Byrd for $300 the return
of a vendor’s fee. Yes, ma’am.
And you are countersuing, ma’am, for defamation
of character, in the amount of $500? Yes.
Okay. Okay Ms. Williams-Gooding,
you have a business called
Sweet Heaven Cupcakes. That’s right.
And you paid the defendant $300 to participate
in the event as a vendor?
Yes. Okay, why don’t you tell me
how all this started. Well, I’ve been in
the cupcake business altogether for
about three years. I started my own business, Sweet Heaven Cupcakes,
about a year ago. Um, I’ve never had any issues as far as being a vendor or
selling or anything like that until this incident
with Ms. Byrd. She contacted me
on January 23rd via e-mail. She told me that
she was having an HBCU college tour event which
was misleading. Um…
JUDGE FAITH: When you
say HBCU, you mean, that’s a Historically Black
College University… Right.
…tour, okay. So, I of course I agreed
and I was excited being that it was a HBCU
college tour thing. She told me that the
whole vendor fee was 300 and that I would need
to do a $100 deposit in order to, reserve my space as a vendor. And what would you be
doing as a vendor? Selling cupcakes.
Okay. And what was the specific
information for the event, the date, time and location? The date was
February 22nd 2014. Um, the location was at
Clark Atlanta University. Okay so, you didn’t know her
before she contacted you? No.
So how did that happen? I have a social media page and she found some of
my pictures in my page and she was interested so then that’s how she
contacted me via e-mail when she saw that.
What kind of social media? Was it Instagram or…
Instagram. Okay. So the first date was on February 1st. I, well, a little bit,
a week before that I told her that I had the deposit and I was able to pay
the $100 deposit. She told me that
she didn’t have a car and that I would need to, if it was possible for me
to give it to her sister who was at work. I go to meet her sister
on February 1st. Her sister had no clue
who I was when I got there. She didn’t know
what I was doing there, what my name was or anything. Jazmyne hadn’t
told her anything. You were going to pay
the $300 vendor fee? The $100 deposit. But she didn’t… Well she
told me that her sister was her business partner. But yet she knew
nothing about me and why I was there and what I was paying
this money for. Is your sister your
business partner? She works as the
production manager of my company and she
lived closer to her and I do have a car.
And did you forget to
tell her she was coming? I do and…
There is an objection.
I do have a car. And it was bad weather in
Atlanta during that time. We were going through
a lot of snowstorms. And so I wasn’t able
to… Like my tires didn’t have traction
at the time so I wasn’t gonna risk… But did your sister
know she was coming? My sister? No.
I didn’t text her to tell her ’cause I was probably doing
something else at the time. So you just forgot?
Yes. Okay, all right, go ahead. So I ended up,
I gave her sister the $100 deposit
money order. Also some samples
of my cupcakes. She contacted me via text, told me that she
loved the cupcakes, she got the deposit,
I was all set.
The defendant did? Yes, Jazmyne did.
Okay. She then told me that I needed to pay
the remainder balance before February 22nd,
which was the event. Leading up to that time… How many cupcakes were you supposed to make
for this event? How many people were
supposed to be there? Clark Atlanta
is a huge school. She told me that
it was gonna sell out and it may be thousands
of people. So that’s why I was
like, jump on it. You know, what I mean?
This would like really get my business out there. So, Ms. Byrd, what kind
of business are you in? Do you organize
events like this? Yes, I organize events. The whole event was,
we were kicking off our college tour at Clark
Atlanta with a fashion event. And so we solicited
for vendors to come out and participate within the fashion event to sell their goods
and their items before the people go in or during the intermission
of the events. Where were the people
coming from? From the various
HBCUs in the area? From all of the schools. She would have sold out because they’re kids
and they love cupcakes. So, how many… (CHUCKLING) So how many cupcakes
were you planning to make? I was planning to
make about 2,000. And you were gonna do that
on your own, by yourself? On my own.
Wow, that’s a lot of work. How long would it take
to make 2,000 cupcakes? Probably about
two or three days.
Wow. Okay. I also wanna add in, too,
before I continue that, and I have an e-mail here
that you can see from Jazmyne. She said nothing
about a fashion show. I didn’t know it was
a fashion show
until the week of, when she sent me a flyer
and it said, “Fashion Show.” And um… I can give…
But how was that very different from, the fact that it was a
fashion show involved. How is that very different
from what you thought it was? Because, I mean, if you
think about it, what
females are gonna eat at a fashion show, that’s for two hours.
(AUDIENCE CHUCKLING) I mean for real though like, I mean people are in
there for two hours to look at people
walk down a catwalk. Who’s gonna be
(AUDIENCE CHUCKLING) She does have a point but…
(CHUCKLING) I know I wouldn’t ’cause
I wouldn’t want my stomach to poke out of my cute
little dress or shirt. You know, what I mean?
So it was like… But I had already spent like over $1,000 in supplies, so I’m like, I can’t back out,
you know what I mean. I might as well
just go with it and pray that I can
at least just get my money that I spent back. So you took her the remainder of the
$150 prior to the date of that event February 22nd
$200. Hmm-mmm, I took it to
her on February 17th. NARRATOR: Coming up
onJudge Faith… We ended up rescheduling
the event for April 24th. And we invited the
rest of the vendors to take part in that event. Every vendor that was
a part of the event on the 22nd of February, participated minus Katrina.
Great. NARRATOR: And later… Citizen Patrol showed up, a sheriff showed up, and um, they all were talking
about their own fender benders and the dad said, “Don’t worry
about it this happens. “It’s a little tender bender “and that’s what
insurance is for.” NARRATOR: Plaintiff
Katrina Williams-Gooding is suing an event planner for the refund
of a vendors fee. Defendant
Jazmyne Byrd says she was forced
to change the date. Was there a written agreement
between the two of you, or was this all verbal? This was all verbal
until the 17th. When I asked for
something in writing. There was just a couple
of things that happened that just made me really eerie
about the situation. She was just really like…
She was just unprofessional. Period. The first thing was me
going to meet her sister. Her sister had no clue
who I was, but yet, but yet that’s her
business partner. That’s just weird to me. The second thing was,
we were supposed to meet, and she couldn’t
do that as well so at that point she said
“You can come to my house, “here’s my address,”
and I said
“I’ll be there after work.” I drove there after work.
I get to her house. She comes outside, at the car. She’s on the phone
in her bathrobe. (AUDIENCE CHUCKLING) You didn’t put the people
on hold or anything? I took… I put him on mute and then I handled the
transaction with her. But it’s not like,
you come to my house, and I feel like,
if I’m in my house I should be free to wear what.
If I wanted to come outside, however that’s my house. You know, we were
still gonna handle the business at hand. The business at hand
was the money transaction. And the two of you don’t
have anything in writing. So you have this event,
how many vendors did you have for this event? We had close to 10. And no, you don’t put
anything in writing with any of your vendors? Yeah we, we had a…
We… I did. I had sent a packet
out of information. Did I not send you
a packet of information? She sent the packet,
but it wasn’t a contract. She said that it was a tour
to five different colleges and it wasn’t, it was
a fashion show at one. Because here’s
what ends up happening. So, you pay her the $300 and then tell me
with the event? It doesn’t take place
on that date, right? The event, well,
what happened was a week or two prior Atlanta had a snow-pocalypse like the whole city
was shut down.
(AUDIENCE CHUCKLING) Right, there were…
Right, I remember that. People was parked on
the side of the road. It was so many snowstorms
that just kept reoccurring. So what ended up happening
was the school we had an arrangement with the school to have
the event on that day. On February 22nd?
On February 22nd. Am I allowed to show? Yes please. Barbara,
would you hand me the address. And we had the event
scheduled for that day, but Clark Atlanta, the week prior
to the whole AUC which is Morehouse Spelman
and Clark Atlanta, they had a family weekend where the parents of
the students come down, and they just spend
a whole weekend. They canceled it
due to the snowstorm. So they rescheduled it during
the date of that event. They rescheduled the family
weekend on this date. On that particular weekend.
Okay. And so, when it came to us
trying to get a room, a venue, they shut everything
down by president’s order. So we couldn’t do, there was
nothing that we could do. So, she… Then you asked
for a refund, correct? Of $300?
Okay. So my question is, why didn’t you give
her back the $300? Because we ended up
rescheduling the event for April 24th. And we invited the
rest of the vendors to take part in that event. Every vendor that was
a part of the event on the 22nd of February, participated, minus Katrina.
Great! That’s her choice. And, and it is, but at end of the day,
our money was already allocated
towards other things and… That’s… That isn’t… That’s not how
you do business.
WILLIAMS-GOODING: Thank you. What’s your
counterclaim about? Well she speaks about
me being unprofessional, however her e-mails
were unprofessional. Okay. Um, I specifically
told her that we were rescheduling
the event. She informed me that she
had no idea about that when I have sent her
e-mails, indicating that. Then she defames my character by going to ask other vendors
if they got their refunds and they coming to me like,
“We have a young lady “that reaching out to us
and she’s asking us, did we get our refund?”
That’s a lie. JUDGE FAITH: So you
didn’t like that she
asked other vendors if they were getting
money back? I asked one vendor.
Because she wasn’t getting
her money back, right? Right.
When did you notify her that the event was not going to
take place on February 22nd? I notified everybody
on the 19th of February. I mean that’s four days,
three days before the event. That obviously puts
you in a bad position. But that put your vendors
in a bad position as well because she’s probably
already bought a lot of stuff to start making…
Right, I bought everything. Okay, how much did you spend? I spent about $1,200. To make the cupcakes,
and I mean it’s
three days before so if she’s prepared, she
has that stuff ready to go. So it seems at a minimum if
someone came to you, and said you know, “Hey, I just
want my $300 back.” This is someone that
you probably want to continue to work with. With these universities,
I went to Southern University for law school,
another HBCU, in Baton Rouge, a lot of
people know each other. There is a huge network of
people in the HBCU network. And your answer, I know
you said it was an Act of God. It was an Act of God the
snow-pocalypse happened and it was an Act of God.
Well, with contracts… When you have an agreement,
which I do find this to be an oral contract, you can’t add terms and try to change the
contract after the fact when things aren’t
working out for you. Okay, that’s not how it works,
you’re trying to change the rules in the
middle of the game. So I want to say a couple
things. First of all, the fact that you all are
young, living in Atlanta, you have your own businesses,
you’re trying to make it and do your own things in the
spirit of entrepreneurship, I applaud you,
I think that’s great. (AUDIENCE CLAPPING)
Okay, but on your
counterclaim, you have not proved
defamation of character. So, your counterclaim
is dismissed, but you do have to pay the
plaintiff back the money that she gave you to be
a vendor in that event. Judgment in this case,
for the plaintiff, $300. Thank you. NARRATOR:
Plaintiff Rachel Negrete
is suing another driver for her insurance deductible
and gas cost following a car accident. She is accompanied in court
by her father Socorro Negrete. Defendant Melissa Parham says
the plaintiff stopped suddenly causing the accident. Rachel Negrete, you are
suing the defendant Melissa Parham for $600. $500 for a car
insurance deductible and $100 for gas costs
as a result of a car accident. That is correct.
Okay, tell me what happened. On February 15th I was driving
on Big Bear Boulevard, bumper-to-bumper traffic,
it was President’s weekend. What kind of car
were you driving? I was driving
a 2013 Honda Fit. Okay. And um, I was getting
ready to slow down. Traffic was in front of me, when I was hit
by the defendant,
rear-ended. Okay, and what happened? Um, I got into
the center lane, put on
my emergency blinkers, very upset. Got out of my car
just to see the damage that was caused to my car. And I couldn’t believe
what I saw. Do you have photos
of the damage? I do.
Can I see it? Of course. Did you call the police
at the scene? Um, I did not. Okay, why? ‘Cause nobody was injured. But, um… Maybe like 10 minutes later,
sheriffs did show up. NARRATOR: Next onJudge Faith. She came to a, a abrupt stop. And I didn’t have
enough time to react. I pressed on my brakes and it was too late,
I already had hit her. I looked at the damage. The damage was worse
on my car. NARRATOR:
Plaintiff Rachel Negrete,
is suing another driver for her insurance deductible,
following a car accident. Defendant
Melissa Parham says, the plaintiff
stopped suddenly, causing the accident. Okay, you admit to rear-ending
the plaintiff’s car. What happened? As she was saying,
on February 5th, I was coming home from work, and the town was
filled with tourists. It was a holiday weekend. And, uh… We were going
about 10 miles, just before the
accident occurred. Because of the congestion
of the road. And she came to a,
a, abrupt stop. And I didn’t have
enough time to react. I pressed on my brakes,
and it was too late. I already had hit her. And my grill of my car
fell off, and you can hear it
crash on the streets. Uh, as cars ran over it. She got over, I got over,
into the middle island. I looked at the damage. The damage was
worse on my car. She was crying, and I asked
her if she was okay. That was my first response.
“Are you okay?” She said she was okay. And we both looked
at our cars. She started… I believe
she called her dad first. He may have told her to
take pictures of the car. She was taking pictures.
Did you take photos? Do you have photos
of your… Of the damages? I do.
Okay. Let’s see those. JUDGE FAITH: Okay, so this
is your car, before,
or after the accident? NEGRETE: After. And the damage is where?
On the rear bumper? It is. And that’s a close-up
of the damage? Yes. And did you have
insurance on your car? I did. Was the insurance
able to cover fixing the cost
of the vehicle? Not all of it. I had to
pay um, the deductible. Which is $500, which is
what you’re suing for today? Exactly.
Okay, and… Let me see the
defendant’s car. You submitted photos as well. Okay, that’s the
front of your car. Where’s the damage
on the front? PARHAM: The… I lost
the grill in the middle. And the left,
where it’s lifted. Those were falling out
my side headlights. And one fell off
while driving. I no longer have it. And then the license plate
is actually dented in, and then my hood,
I cannot um… …lift it, unless
someone pulls it from the inside,
and the outside. Okay. Did you get
your car fixed? No, I haven’t.
I can’t afford it. Do you have insurance? My insurance had lapsed because I was…
I’m a single mom and I was… In… Two, like two
months behind on rent. And I didn’t know my
insurance had lapsed, till I got home
and called. But, one thing also,
when the scene happened, she called her dad,
he showed up, Citizen Patrol showed up. A sheriff showed up. And they all knew each other ’cause they all
work for the city. And um, they all
were talking about their own fender benders
and the dad said, “Don’t worry about it,
this happens. “It’s a little tender bender. “And that’s what
insurance is for.” Step up, Dad. So that made me feel
more at ease. So, it’s your position
that they were sort of… Telling you to
forget about this. They were just
being very kind. And talking about… The Citizen Patrol was talking
about when they hit a deer and the dad was very
nice and saying “Don’t worry, this happens,
things like this happen.
That’s what…” But they didn’t tell you
that they weren’t going to hold you responsible
for the damage, correct? No, when I got home, I called my insurance and
found out it had lapsed. Okay.
I felt very frustrated. That made me feel more like, “Oh no, what do I do?”
Hmm-mmm. NARRATOR: And now,
Judge Faith rules. Let me hear from you, sir.
What happened at the scene? Okay, on February 15th… I receive a phone call
from my daughter, saying that she was
in an accident. So I was really concerned. I asked her if she was okay.
She said that she was fine. So I immediately run to
the um, to the rescue. So I got there…
First car accident? First car. First car accident,
and brand new car. And I got there and uh… I went to her and I asked
her if she was okay. She said that she was fine.
And then I went to her, and I asked if she was okay.
She said she was fine. And then um, a few
minutes later… The police showed up
because I had called them. Okay. Fortunately for you, since you didn’t have
insurance, they did
have insurance and it covered everything. Except for the
$500 deductible. Um, if you hit
someone from behind, it’s virtually
never their fault. Regardless of
why you stopped.
Hmm-mmm. What’s the $100 in
gas cost, you’re suing for? A $100 because it was inconvenient.
I was without my car, for three weeks.
Okay. So, you don’t get that. But my judgment in this case
is for the plaintiff. In the amount of $500,
plus court cost. Good luck.