LOS ANGELES – A judge has granted a motion by Judy Sheindlin, CBS and other defendants to dismiss a lawsuit alleging one woman and the estate of another should have been paid at least $4.75 million when the television star sold the “Judge Judy” series library back to the network in 2017.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kristin S. Escalante heard arguments on Feb. 15, then took under submission a dismissal motion brought in March 2021 by Sheindlin, Big Ticket Pictures, Inc., Her Honor, Inc. and CBS Studios Inc. She granted the motion on Monday.
The suit was filed in January 2018 by Kaye Switzer and the Sandi Spreckman Trust. Switzer and the late Spreckman, both producers, were the professed creators of the “Judge Judy” show. Spreckman died in 2009 at age 56.
Switzer and Spreckman approached Sheindlin in the mid-1990s and suggested that the family court judge take her career from the courtroom to television. The women left the series shortly after deal was completed. The complaint alleged both women were promised compensation for as long as the series ran, even if they were not still producing it.
Big Ticket and CBS transferred the Judge Judy library to Sheindlin during 2015 negotiations for more episodes of the hit series, then she sold the library back to CBS in 2017 for more than $95 million, according to the suit. Switzer and Spreckman*s estate claim the producers should have received a share of that sale.
However, in their court papers arguing in favor of dismissing the suit, the defense attorneys call the plaintiff’ claims “meritless” and “premised on the false notion that, in 2015, the CBS defendants sold Judge Sheindlin full ownership rights to the library of past Judge Judy episodes … and that, in 2017, Judge Sheindlin sold them back”
However, the contracts between CBS and Sheindlin between 2015 and 2017 prove that neither sale ever occurred, according to the defense attorneys’ court papers.