Judge Faith – A Kind Threat; Lover’s Quarrel (Season 1: Episode #76)


ANNOUNCER: TODAY ON “JUDGE FAITH,” THIS LANDLORD THOUGHT HE WAS LENDING A HELPING HAND.>>HE TOLD ME THAT HE HAD PROBLEMS BEFORE, AND I KNOW HIS CREDIT WASN’T THE BEST, BUT I WAS WILLING TO WORK WITH HIM BECAUSE I SAW SOMETHING IN HIM, MA’AM, AND I REALLY WANTED TO HELP HIM OUT. JUDGE: YOU WERE GONNA GIVE HIM A CHANCE. ANNOUNCER: BUT SOMETIMES THE HAND THAT FEEDS GETS BITTEN.>>THE VERY FIRST MONTH, HE WAS SHORT ON THE RENT.>>THE SINK WAS BACKED UP, AND IT WAS A REAL BAD SEWER SMELL. I COULDN’T EVEN WASH THE DISHES IN THE FRONT SINK. I HAD TO TAKE ALL THE DISHES TO THE BATHTUB. JUDGE: DID YOU THREATEN TO BEAT HIM UP…>>WELL, YOUR HONOR, I-I-I DID. JUDGE: YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT IT? ANNOUNCER: FAITH JENKINS. HER DISTINGUISHED 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’S THE JUDGE IN HER OWN COURTROOM. HER CASES ARE REAL AND HER RULINGS ARE FINAL. SHE IS JUDGE FAITH. PLAINTIFF DARRYL PHILLIPS IS SUING HIS FORMER TENANT FOR UNPAID RENT, DAMAGES, AND RELATED FEES. DEFENDANT ALEX COLEMAN CLAIMS THE PROPERTY WAS UNINHABITABLE AND SMELLED LIKE RAW SEWAGE. BARBARA: REMAIN SEATED AND COME TO ORDER. COURT IS NOW IN SESSION. THE HONORABLE JUDGE FAITH JENKINS PRESIDING. YOUR HONOR, WE HAVE PHILLIPS VS. COLEMAN. JUDGE: THANK YOU, BARBARA. DARRYL PHILLIPS… PHILLIPS: YES. JUDGE: YOU ARE SUING THE DEFENDANT ALEX COLEMAN? COLEMAN: YES. JUDGE: FOR $5,543 FOR UNPAID RENT, DAMAGES, AND RELATED FEES, AND YOU UNDERSTAND THE STATUTORY MAXIMUM IN MY COURTROOM IS $5,000? PHILLIPS: YES, YOUR HONOR. JUDGE: OK, SO I UNDERSTAND THAT MR. COLEMAN WAS A TENANT OF YOURS FOR A WHILE, AND YOU SAY HE FAILED TO PAY RENT AND OTHER EXPENSES. PHILLIPS: YES. JUDGE: OK, SO WHY DON’T WE START FROM THE BEGINNING AND YOU TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED? PHILLIPS: WELL, YOUR HONOR, YOU KNOW, UH, I MET MR. COLEMAN AROUND ABOUT APRIL, 2013, AND VERY GOOD YOUNG MAN. YOU KNOW, I THOUGHT HE WAS AMBITIOUS. HE WAS WORKING FOR A CABLE PROVIDER, SO HE WAS SELLING ME SOME CABLE, SO ANYWAY, IN THAT PROCESS, WE GOT TO CONVERSING ABOUT OUR BACKGROUND. HE TOLD ME ABOUT LOSING HIS PARENTS, AND I WAS SORRY TO HEAR THAT AND SOME OF HIS STRUGGLES HE WAS GOING THROUGH. I GREW UP IN NEW ORLEANS INNER CITY. I WAS A FORMER GANG MEMBER. MY MOTHER GOT ME AWAY. I JOINED THE MARINE CORPS–WELL, I DIDN’T JOIN– SHE SENT ME TO THE MARINE CORPS, SO, BUT ANYWAY, I WIND UP GOING TO THE MARINE CORPS. I WAS ENLISTED GUY. BECAME A WARRANT OFFICER, THEN I BECAME A RECOMMISSIONED OFFICER. GOT MY DEGREES IN THERE, SOCIAL DEGREE, BACHELOR’S DEGREE, MASTERS DEGREE. NOW I’M WORKING ON A Ph.D. AND I SAW A LOT OF POTENTIAL IN THIS YOUNG MAN. HE WAS RAISING A NON-BIOLOGICAL SON. HE TOLD ME ABOUT THAT, AND I THOUGHT THAT WAS GOOD ‘CAUSE A LOT OF YOUNG GUYS TODAY DON’T TAKE RESPONSIBILITY, SO I SAID I WOULD GIVE YOU A CHANCE BASED ON MY BACKGROUND. YOU KNOW, I’M FOR THE UNDERDOG ALWAYS. SO I SAID, “I GOT A NICE PLACE COMING UP AVAILABLE,” AND HE HAD MENTIONED TO ME THAT HE HAD SOME PRIOR PROBLEMS WITH HIS LAST PLACE THAT HE STAYED AND THAT HE WAS LIVING WITH IN-LAWS, SO I SAID, “OK, WE CAN WORK SOMETHING OUT,” SO WE ACTUALLY WROTE UP THE LEASE AND GOT HIM IN, AND HE WAS SUPPOSED TO MOVE IN THE FIRST OF MAY. I ACTUALLY LET HIM IN A LITTLE BIT EARLIER THAN THAT WITHOUT EVEN CHARGING, JUST TRYING TO HELP HIM OUT ‘CAUSE HE’S GOOD YOUNG MAN. JUDGE: LET ME ASK YOU, MR. COLEMAN. WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH YOU WHEN YOU MET MR. PHILLIPS? WHY WERE YOU LOOKING TO MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE AT THAT TIME? COLEMAN: WE WERE LIVING WITH IN-LAWS AT THAT TIME, AND IT WAS JUST A VERY UNCOMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENT. WE WERE ALL–WE DIDN’T EVEN HAVE A ROOM. WE WERE IN THE LIVING ROOM PRETTY MUCH ALL TOGETHER, AND I WAS WORKING FULLTIME AT THAT TIME, 6 DAYS A WEEK, AND I WAS PAYING THEM ABOUT 400 BUCKS A WEEK JUST TO BE THERE BECAUSE THE PEOPLE THAT WE WERE LIVING WITH, THEY WEREN’T DOING TOO WELL THEMSELVES, SO LIKE MR. PHILLIPS SAID, WE MET LATE APRIL– JUDGE: DO YOU HAVE A COPY OF THE LEASE, SIR? PHILLIPS: YES, MA’AM, I DO. JUDGE: SO YOU MOVE IN, AND HOW MUCH DO YOU AGREE TO PAY IN RENT? COLEMAN: WE AGREE TO PAY 750 IN RENT EVERY MONTH. JUDGE: DID YOU ALSO PAY A SECURITY DEPOSIT? COLEMAN: NO, WE DID NOT PAY A DEPOSIT, AND LIKE HE SAID, HE LET US MOVE IN WITHOUT GIVING HIM THE DEPOSIT BECAUSE HE KIND OF KNEW THE SITUATION THE SHORT TIME THAT WE’D KNOWN EACH OTHER. JUDGE: SO HE MOVES IN YOUR 2-BEDROOM, 2-BATHROOM CONDO, AND IS THIS A PLACE THAT YOU’VE OWNED FOR A WHILE AND YOU RENT OUT? PHILLIPS: OWNED IT FOR A WHILE. RENT IT OUT. USUALLY MY TENANTS I’M VERY SELECTIVE ABOUT. IN 20-SOMETHING YEARS OF DOING REAL ESTATE, MA’AM, I ONLY HAD 2 EVICTIONS. JUDGE: SO YOU DIDN’T DO– YOU DIDN’T HAVE HIM PROVIDE REFERENCES OR CREDIT CHECK OR ANY OF THE THINGS YOU NORMALLY DO WHEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE MOVE IN? PHILLIPS: HE WAS HONEST WITH ME. HE TOLD ME THAT HE HAD PROBLEMS BEFORE, AND I KNOW HIS CREDIT WASN’T THE BEST, BUT I WAS STILL WILLING TO WORK WITH HIM BECAUSE I SAW SOMETHING IN HIM. I REALLY WANTED TO HELP HIM OUT. JUDGE: YOU WERE GONNA GIVE HIM A CHANCE. PHILLIPS: I WAS GONNA GIVE HIM A CHANCE. NOT EVERYBODY GIVE EVERYBODY A SECOND CHANCE, BUT I WANTED TO DO THAT, SO THE VERY FIRST MONTH, HE WAS SHORT ON THE RENT, AND THEN WE GOT TO THE NEXT MONTH, THEY WERE SHORT AGAIN. JUDGE: DID YOU SAY YOU WERE PAYING $400 A WEEK AT YOUR IN-LAWS OR $400 A MONTH? COLEMAN: NO. AT THAT TIME, I WAS PAYING 400 BUCKS A WEEK. JUDGE: SO YOU GO FROM PAYING $1,600 A MONTH TO NOT BEING ABLE TO PAY A SECURITY DEPOSIT AND ONLY PAYING $200, $300 A MONTH TOWARDS RENT WITH MR. PHILLIPS. COLEMAN: I KNOW HOW THAT SOUNDS. IT SOUNDS REAL SILLY IN THE SENSE IT IS– JUDGE: BECAUSE IT DOESN’T MAKE A LOT OF SENSE. USUALLY WHEN IT DOESN’T MAKE A LOT OF SENSE, IT’S BECAUSE IT’S PROBABLY NOT THE TRUTH. COLEMAN: OK, WELL, MAYBE IT WASN’T EXACTLY $400. IT WAS AROUND THAT AREA THAT WE– AND I TOLD MR. PHILLIPS WHAT WE WERE PAYING WHILE WE WERE STAYING THERE, BUT WHEN WE MOVED IN, BEFORE WE GOT TO THE NEXT MONTH, THERE WAS ACTUALLY SOME PROBLEMS WITH THE PLUMBING, AND–SO AT THAT TIME, I WAS STILL PAYING HIM, AND HE SAID, “I’M GONNA GET SOMEBODY IN–” JUDGE: WHAT WAS THE ISSUE? COLEMAN: THE SINK WAS BACKED UP, AND IT WAS A REAL BAD SEWER SMELL. IT CAME TO A POINT WHERE I COULDN’T EVEN WASH THE DISHES IN THE FRONT SINK. I HAD TO TAKE ALL THE DISHES TO THE BATHTUB WHERE WE BATHE. ANNOUNCER: COMING UP, JUDGE FAITH HEARS SOME SHOCKING FACTS. JUDGE: DID YOU THREATEN TO BEAT HIM UP AND CALL YOUR NEPHEWS? PHILLIPS: WELL, YOUR HONOR, I-I-I DID. COLEMAN: I THOUGHT HE WAS GONNA HIT ME. I WAS GETTING READY TO ALMOST DEFEND MYSELF. I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HE WAS CAPABLE OF. EVERYBODY IN THE HOUSE LIKE, “WHAT’S GOING ON?” THEY CAN SEE SOMETHING HAPPENED OBVIOUSLY BAD, AND I SAID, “MR. PHILLIPS IS ACTING REAL CRAZY. HE GOT IN MY FACE.” AND SO HE STARTS THREATENING MY WHOLE FAMILY. ANNOUNCER: PLAINTIFF DARRYL PHILLIPS IS SUING HIS FORMER TENANT FOR UNPAID RENT, DAMAGES, AND RELATED FEES. DEFENDANT ALEX COLEMAN SAYS HE DIDN’T PAY RENT BECAUSE THERE WERE SERIOUS ISSUES WITH THE PLUMBING. COLEMAN: THE SINK WAS BACKED UP, AND IT WAS A REAL BAD SEWER SMELL. IT CAME TO A POINT WHERE I COULDN’T EVEN WASH THE DISHES IN THE FRONT SINK. I HAD TO TAKE ALL THE DISHES TO THE BATHTUB WHERE WE BATHE.>>REALLY? COLEMAN: SO I TOLD HIM ABOUT THAT PROBLEM ABOUT A MONTH AND HALF TO 2 MONTHS IN. JUDGE: HOW LONG DID YOU LIVE IN THIS CONDO? COLEMAN: 7 MONTHS OR SO. JUDGE: YOU’RE SAYING THE ENTIRE 7 MONTHS YOU WERE IN THERE– COLEMAN: EXCEPT FOR THE FIRST MONTH. TOWARDS THE END OF THE FIRST MONTH, THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND MONTH, THAT’S WHEN WE STARTED HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE PLUMBING. JUDGE: OK, SO 5 1/2 MONTHS, YOU HAD PROBLEMS WITH THE PLUMBING AND HAD TO WASH THE DISHES IN THE BATHTUB, THINGS LIKE THAT. COLEMAN: FOR 5 /12 MONTHS. JUDGE: AND DID SOMEONE EVER GO INTO THE CONDO? PHILLIPS: ABSOLUTELY, YOUR HONOR. HE GOT IN THERE IN MAY, AND WHEN HE SAID SOMEWHERE AROUND JUNE THAT THERE WAS A PROBLEM, THAT WAS TAKEN CARE OF IMMEDIATELY. MY GUY GOT THERE–I WAS IN NEW ORLEANS. I THINK I CAME BACK ABOUT MID-JUNE, AND I THINK THIS IS WHEN EVERYTHING REALLY STARTED GOING TOWARD THE EVICTION THING. JUDGE: BECAUSE HE’D LIVED THERE FOR 2 MONTHS AT THAT POINT AND HADN’T PAID RENT. YOU SAY HE PAID SOME RENT. HOW MUCH WAS HE PAYING? PHILLIPS: HE PAID THE FIRST TIME 125, THEN 325… COLEMAN: THAT ISN’T CORRECT. I DID NOT MAKE A PAYMENT ON THE SECURITY DEPOSIT, LIKE I HAD STATED. THE VERY FIRST MONTH, THE RENT WAS 750. I PAID HIM. I WENT TO HIS HOUSE. I PAID HIM $600, AND I WAS, “MR. PHILLIPS, I WAS SHORT. THERE WAS PROBLEMS WITH MY BANK–” JUDGE: HOLD ON A SECOND. YOU SAID THAT YOU WERE HAVING SOME HARD TIMES FINANCIALLY. COLEMAN: YEAH. JUDGE: AND WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON WITH YOU? COLEMAN: I HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION. IT’S CALLED SICKLE CELL ANEMIA, AND AT THAT TIME, I WAS WORKING. IT WAS REALLY HOT OUTSIDE, AND PART OF WITH MY CONDITION IS WITH COLD WATER OR HEAT, IT’S REALLY HOT OUTSIDE, IT TENDS TO MAKE MY DISEASE ACT UP, SO WHEN WE MOVED IN, I WASN’T WORKING THE 6 DAYS ANYMORE. MR. PHILLIPS KNEW SOMEWHAT OF THAT BECAUSE I WAS KEEPING IN CONTACT WITH HIM AND WAS LETTING HIM KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON, FOR THE MOST PART. I SHOWED HIM MEDICAL PAPERWORK AND STUFF. HE KNEW I HAD A MEDICAL CONDITION. JUDGE: DID HE HAVE A DISCUSSION WITH YOU ABOUT THAT? PHILLIPS: YES, HE DID, YOUR HONOR. HE DID, AND SO THAT’S WHY I KIND OF BACKED OFF ON HIM A LITTLE BIT, SO I GUESS HE STARTED GETTING A LITTLE BETTER, AND THEN THEY PROMISED ME, “MR. PHILLIPS, WE GOT SOMETHING WORKED OUT. WE’RE GONNA MAKE THIS SCHEDULE, AND WE’RE GONNA MAKE IT WORK.” I SAID, “OK. WELL, THEN, WE’LL SEE.” I SAID, “WHEN I COME BACK, I GOT TO GO OUT OF TOWN ON BUSINESS AGAIN, I COME BACK, HOPEFULLY YOU’LL HAVE EVERYTHING.” JUDGE: SO YOU WENT OUT OF TOWN IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST. WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU GOT BACK? PHILLIPS: SO I RETURNED, WENT TO THE APARTMENT, HIS FIANCEE WAS THERE, AND I SPOKE TO HER, AND SHE SAID, “WELL, CALL ALEX. I HAVE MY HALF. I’M WAITING ON HIM.” AND THEN WHEN I SPOKE TO HIM, HE WAS SAYING, “NO. LEXI DOESN’T HAVE HER HALF.” AND THEN AFTER THAT POINT, I SAID, “YOU KNOW WHAT? I TRIED TO HELP YOU OUT, AND I’M GONNA HAVE TO WIND UP PUTTING YOU GUYS OUT.” JUDGE: SO WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU SAW HIM IN PERSON. YOU SAID YOU HAD TO CHASE HIM DOWN ONE DAY. DID YOU PHYSICALLY CHASE HIM? PHILLIPS: YES, I DID, YOUR HONOR. I DID. I CAUGHT MYSELF. I GOT A LITTLE ANGRY ‘CAUSE– COLEMAN: MORE THAN A LITTLE ANGRY. HE WAS MORE THAN– YOU SHOULD TELL IT… PHILLIPS: WELL, I SAID, “HEY, YOU TOLD ME YOU HAD THIS MONEY. I WANT THE MONEY RIGHT NOW.” AND SO HE SAID SOMETHING THAT IRRITATED ME. COLEMAN: YOUR HONOR, I WOULD LIKE TO TELL EXACTLY HOW IT HAPPENED. I WAS RIDING MY BIKE TO THE STORE, OK. MR. PHILLIPS PULLS UP IN HIS VEHICLE, HE GETS OUT, HE SAY, “HEY, WHERE’S MY MONEY?” I SAY, “WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE PLUMBING AND HOT WATER?” HE SAYS, “YOU GUYS NEED TO GET OUT.” HE JUST BYPASSED WHAT I SAID. HE SAID, “I WANT MY KEY. YOU GUYS NEED TO GET OUT.” POINTING IN MY FACE AND– I THOUGHT HE WAS GONNA HIT ME. I WAS GETTING READY TO ALMOST DEFEND MYSELF, SO AT THAT POINT, HE SAID, “IF YOU’RE NOT GONNA GIVE ME MY KEYS, I THINK I HAVE ANOTHER SET. MATTER OF FACT, I’M JUST GONNA GO–I’M GONNA GO GET IT MYSELF.” SO THAT’S WHEN HE HOPPED IN HIS CAR, AND MY FAMILY WAS IN THE HOUSE– MY BROTHER-IN-LAW, MY FIANCEE, AND MY STEPSON AT THAT TIME. SO I GET ON THE BIKE, I GO BACK HOME. LIKE HE SAID, I RAN IN THE HOUSE TRYING TO PROTECT HIM ‘CAUSE I DIDN’T KNOW–HE WAS SHOWING HIS TRUE COLORS AT THAT POINT, SO I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HE WAS CAPABLE OF, HIM BEING IN THE MILITARY AND STUFF, SO I GO IN THE HOUSE, LOCK THE DOOR. EVERYBODY IN THE HOUSE WAS LIKE “WHAT’S GOING ON?” THEY CAN SEE SOMETHING HAPPENED OBVIOUSLY BAD AND I SAY, “MR. PHILLIPS ACTING REAL CRAZY. GOT IN MY FACE. HE SAY HE WAS GONNA DO THIS AND THAT.” AND SO HE COMES UP TO THE DOOR, AND SO HE STARTS THREATENING MY WHOLE FAMILY. HE’S LIKE, “YOU GUYS DON’T GET OUT–” HE WAS LIKE, “I DON’T CARE IF I HAVE TO–I MIGHT HAVE TO CALL MY NEPHEWS. WE’LL RUN UP IN YOUR HOUSE. IF WE HAVE TO SIT AROUND THE BLOCK AND WAIT TILL YOU GUYS PULL UP TO BEAT YOU UP OR DO WHATEVER, I WILL DO THAT.” AND MY FIANCEE’S LIKE, “DO YOU NOT KNOW MY 7-YEAR-OLD SON IS RIGHT HERE?” AND GUESS WHAT HE SAYS. “YOU SHOULDN’T INVOLVE HIM IN ADULT AFFAIRS.” JUDGE: DID YOU THREATEN TO BEAT HIM UP AND CALL YOUR NEPHEWS? PHILLIPS: YOUR HONOR, I-I-I DID. I WAS UPSET, YOUR HONOR. I HAD TO CALM MYSELF DOWN. COLEMAN: HE WAS CALLING US DEADBEAT TENANTS, AND HE WAS BEING A DEADBEAT OWNER OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT LIKE. THAT’S NOT HOW YOU CONDUCT BUSINESS, YOU KNOW. HE’S SAYING HE HAS Ph.D. THIS AND THAT, THAT’S GOOD AND EVERYTHING, BUT YET YOU STOOP TO SOMEBODY ELSE LEVEL AND ACT LIKE YOU’RE FROM THE STREETS AND THREATEN THE FAMILY BECAUSE OF MONEY, WHICH IS UNDERSTANDABLE, BUT THAT’S NOT HOW YOU CONDUCT BUSINESS, AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE DID. AND HE KNEW HE WAS WRONG BECAUSE AFTER THAT DAY, WE DID NOT HEAR FROM HIM FOR 3 WEEKS ‘CAUSE HE KNEW HE WAS WRONG. JUDGE: YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT IT? PHILLIPS: I DID FEEL BAD… JUDGE: ‘CAUSE YOU SORT OF RESORT TO THAT THUG LIFE FOR A SECOND. PHILLIPS: ABSOLUTELY. AND YOU KNOW WHAT, YOUR HONOR? THE BAD THING ABOUT IT IS I COULD’VE DID SOMETHING THAT COULD’VE GOT MYSELF IN QUITE A BIT OF TROUBLE, YOU KNOW, BUT I CAUGHT MYSELF. I DID CALM DOWN, AND I JUST SAID, “I’M GONNA LEAVE IT ALONE.” BUT MOST OF MY TENANTS–MY AVERAGE TENANT HAS BEEN IN MY PLACES, MY RENTALS I HAVE, FOR OVER 10 YEARS WITH NO COMPLAINTS. COLEMAN: MOST OF THE REASON WHY HE WAS NOT GETTING THE MONEY WAS BECAUSE I WAS SICK A LOT OF THE TIME. JUDGE: RIGHT. SO THE REAL ISSUE–LET ME–SO THE REAL ISSUE WASN’T THE HOT WATER, I’M ASSUMING, OR THE PLUMBING. COLEMAN: THAT WAS A ISSUE. JUDGE: IT WAS AN ISSUE, BUT WAS THE PLACE IN SUCH POOR CONDITION THAT IT WAS–THAT YOU DEEMED IT TO BE A LIVABLE– BECAUSE YOU MANAGED TO LIVE THERE FOR 7 MONTHS, AND THEN WHEN YOU LEFT, DID YOU GET EVICTED, OR DID YOU LEAVE ON YOUR OWN? COLEMAN: NO. WE WERE EVICTED. JUDGE: WHERE YOU LIVING NOW? COLEMAN: NOW I HAVE MY OWN PLACE JUDGE: HOW MUCH ARE YOU PAYING IN RENT? COLEMAN: 750. JUDGE: ARE YOU PAYING RENT EVERY MONTH? COLEMAN: YES, I AM. JUDGE: YOU WORKING AT THE SAME LOCATION? COLEMAN: I HAVE A DIFFERENT JOB. JUDGE: YOU ON SALARY OR HOURLY? COLEMAN: HOURLY PLUS COMMISSION. JUDGE: OK. AND I TAKE IT THAT YOUR HEALTH IS BETTER. COLEMAN: A LOT BETTER. JUDGE: THAT’S GOOD TO HEAR. [APPLAUSE] I HAVE SOME CONCERNS ABOUT WHAT HE’S TELLING ME ABOUT THE PLUMBING AND THE HOT WATER. WHAT WAS THE ISSUE WITH IT? PHILLIPS: YOUR HONOR, ALL IT WAS WAS THE PILOT LIGHT WENT OFF ON THE HOT WATER HEATER. THAT WAS THAT. THE PROBLEM– JUDGE: DO YOU HAVE PROOF OF ANYTHING YOU’RE SAYING ABOUT THE PLUMBING OR THE HOT WATER? COLEMAN: I DON’T HAVE ANY PROOF, BUT HE KNOWS ABOUT IT. PHILLIPS: AND THAT WAS JUST THE PILOT LIGHT, AND THE DRAIN ISSUE WAS RESOLVED WHEN MY GUYS WENT OVER THERE AND UNCLOGGED IT, BUT THEY TRASHED THE PLACE, YOUR HONOR. THAT PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR. THAT’S NOT NECESSARY. ANNOUNCER: COMING UP ON “JUDGE FAITH”… JUDGE: IT’S ONE THING IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE MONEY AND YOU’RE DOWN ON YOUR LUCK OR YOU’RE SICK AND YOU’RE NOT FEELING WELL, BUT IT’S ANOTHER THING FOR YOU TO DISRESPECT AND NOT TAKE CARE OF SOMEONE ELSE’S PROPERTY. [APPLAUSE] ANNOUNCER: PLAINTIFF DARRYL PHILLIPS STATES THAT NOT ONLY WAS HE NOT PAID, BUT THAT HIS PROPERTY WAS ALSO DAMAGED. DEFENDANT ALEX COLEMAN CLAIMS HE DIDN’T PAY RENT BECAUSE RAW SEWAGE BACKED UP THE SINK, FORCING HIM TO WASH DISHES IN THE BATHTUB. PHILLIPS: THEY TRASHED THE PLACE, YOUR HONOR. THAT PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR. THAT’S NOT NECESSARY. YOUR HONOR, I SUBMITTED PICTURES TO THE COURT, AND IF YOU WILL– JUDGE: LET ME SEE THE PHOTOS. DID YOU TRASH THE PLACE? COLEMAN: HE WAS TREATING US LIKE ANIMALS, SO THAT’S HOW WE LIVED. PHILLIPS: DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO BE AN ANIMAL. COLEMAN: NO, I’M JUST SAYING… I’M NOT HAPPY. I’M NOT PROUD OF HOW, YOU KNOW, HOW THE SITUATION PLAYED OUT. JUDGE: WHAT IS THIS? PHILLIPS: THAT’S THE PANTRY RIGHT THERE. THEY TOOK THE SHELVES OUT, THREW THE SHELVES AWAY, AND LEFT THE TRASH THERE. JUDGE: LET ME SEE THE NEXT PHOTO. PHILLIPS: THIS IS AGGRESSION HERE. THEY TOOK THE FENCE AND KICKED IT. NOTHING WAS WRONG WITH THAT FENCE. COLEMAN: WE NEVER TOUCHED THAT UGLY FENCE. WE NEVER TOUCHED IT. JUDGE: LET ME SEE THE NEXT PHOTO. PHILLIPS: THAT’S THE SINK, YOUR HONOR. THAT WASN’T A RESULT OF A BACKUP. JUDGE: THERE’S WATER IN THE SINK. I THOUGHT YOU SAID YOU COULDN’T USE THE SINK TO WASH ANY DISHES. I’M LOOKING AT A SINK FULL OF DISHES AND WATER. COLEMAN: IT WASN’T WORKING. I KNOW THERE’S STUFF THERE– THERE’S DISHES THERE RIGHT NOW– JUDGE: SIR, YOU HAVE AN EXCUSE FOR EVERYTHING. I’M JUST TELLING YOU WHAT YOU TOLD ME EARLIER. YOU SAID YOU COULDN’T WASH DISHES IN THE SINK. YOU HAD TO WASH DISHES IN THE BATHTUB. AND I’M LOOKING AT A PHOTO OF DISHES AND WATER IN A SINK. LET’S GO TO THE NEXT PHOTO. PHILLIPS: OH, YOUR HONOR, THE BLINDS–AND THAT’S A RESULT OF THE DOG, YOUR HONOR. THE DOG– COLEMAN: I’LL TAKE FAULT TO THAT. THAT’S CORRECT. PHILLIPS: BECAUSE HE WAS UP IN THERE TRYING TO GET OUT. JUDGE: YOU’RE, “YEAH, IT HAPPENED.” BECAUSE IT’S NOT YOUR PROPERTY, YOU DON’T CARE? COLEMAN: I’M NOT SAYING THAT. JUDGE: THAT’S HOW YOU’RE ACTING. COLEMAN: NO, I’M JUST– I’M TAKING FAULT FOR THAT. JUDGE: THAT’S NOT HOW YOU TREAT SOMEONE ELSE’S PROPERTY. IT’S ONE THING IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE MONEY AND YOU’RE DOWN ON YOUR LUCK OR YOU’RE SICK AND YOU’RE NOT FEELING WELL, BUT IT’S ANOTHER THING FOR YOU TO DISRESPECT AND NOT TAKE CARE OF SOMEONE ELSE’S PROPERTY. COLEMAN: AND I’VE LEARNED A LOT SINCE THEN, YOUR HONOR. I’VE LEARNED A LOT. JUDGE: AND WHAT BOTHERS ME IS YOU JUST DON’T SEEM TO CARE. YOU’RE LIKE, “YEAH, IT HAPPENED.” COLEMAN: WELL, I’M SORRY I’M COMING OFF THAT WAY. THAT’S NOT HOW I MEAN IT TO COME OFF. JUDGE: LET’S SEE THE NEXT PHOTO. WAS THIS THE DAY HE WAS EVICTED? PHILLIPS: YES. JUDGE: WHO CLEANED UP ALL OF THIS STUFF? YOU DID? PHILLIPS: ONE OF MY MAINTENANCE GUYS I HIRED TO CLEAN IT UP, YOUR HONOR. AND I WILL TELL YOU, YOUR HONOR, NOT ONLY THAT, THAT DOG WAS IN THERE FOR QUITE SOME TIME BECAUSE I HAVE PHOTOS HERE, AND THERE’S FECES ALL OVER THE FLOOR. SO IF HE WAS THERE TAKING CARE OF THE DOG, AND ALL THE FOOD– COLEMAN: I WAS THERE. I JUST WASN’T CLEANING. I WAS GOING TO WORK, AND I’D COME BACK, AND I WASN’T CLEANING ANYTHING. PHILLIPS: YOU LOOK THROUGH THOSE, YOUR HONOR. THERE’S FECES ALL OVER THE FLOOR. TRASH. JUDGE: THERE ARE PILES OF TRASH IN THIS CONDO. IT’S TERRIBLE HOW YOU LEFT THIS CONDO. AND THERE’S NO EXCUSE FOR THAT. YOU TALK ABOUT WHY YOU DIDN’T PAY RENT AND THE PLUMBING AND ALL THOSE OTHER THINGS, BUT I’M LOOKING AT THE THINGS YOU DID. YOU LEFT IT IN HORRIBLE CONDITION. COLEMAN: I’M BEING HONEST WITH EVERYTHING, BUT AS FAR AS THE PLUMBING, MR. PHILLIPS NEVER HAD ANYONE COME IN THE HOUSE AND FIX THAT. THAT NEVER HAPPENED, SO HE’S LYING. HE’S LYING WHEN HE’S SAYING THAT. THAT NEVER HAPPENED. JUDGE: MR. COLEMAN, I HAVE TO TELL YOU, WHEN I LOOKED AT THE PHOTOS OF HOW YOU LEFT THE CONDO, I WAS REALLY DISAPPOINTED BECAUSE WHEN I HEARD THE THE TESTIMONY FROM YOU, SIR, FROM BOTH OF YOU, REALLY, ABOUT HOW YOU WERE GIVEN A SECOND CHANCE. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE WISH AND LONG FOR THE OPPORTUNITY THAT YOU WERE GIVEN BY THIS MAN? COLEMAN: YES. JUDGE: AND, YOU KNOW, TO MEET SOMEONE LIKE HIM, AND I– EARLIER, IF ANYONE KNOWS ME, THEY COME BEFORE MY COURT, THEY KNOW THAT I DON’T LIKE PEOPLE WHO LIE TO ME. AND YOU COULD’VE EASILY COME IN AND LIED AND SAY “I DIDN’T LOSE MY TEMPER. I DIDN’T SAY ALL OF THOSE,” AND WHEN I ASKED YOU ABOUT IT, YOU WERE HONEST, AND YOU SAID, “I KNOW I HAVE A BAD TEMPER, AND I LOSE IT SOMETIMES, AND I DID AND I FELT BAD ABOUT IT.” YOU KNOW WHAT? NO ONE’S PERFECT. SO I APPRECIATE YOUR HONESTY, AND I APPRECIATE YOU COMING INTO COURT AND TELLING ME ABOUT THAT. I ACTUALLY THINK THAT WHAT YOU TRIED TO DO WAS A GOOD THING FOR THIS YOUNG MAN. WHAT REALLY, REALLY BOTHERS ME IS IT’S ONE THING IF YOU COULDN’T AFFORD TO PAY THE RENT BECAUSE YOU’RE SICK OR BECAUSE NOT WORKING, BUT IT’S ANOTHER THING FOR YOU JUST NOT TO CARE AND TREAT SOMEONE ELSE’S PROPERTY LIKE GARBAGE. AND I THINK THAT REALLY TELLS ME A LOT ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU DID IN THIS SITUATION, AND IT’S REALLY DISAPPOINTING BECAUSE I THINK YOU HAVE A LOT TO LEARN. YOU’RE 26 YEARS OLD. YOU’RE OUT ON YOUR OWN. YOU SAY YOU HAVE ALL THESE RESPONSIBILITIES WITH THE FIANCEE AND A STEPSON THAT YOU’RE TRYING TO TAKE CARE OF. I HOPE THAT IN THE FUTURE, YOU CAN BE A BETTER LEADER. COLEMAN: I’VE LEARNED A LOT SINCE THAT DAY, SO I HAVE LEARNED A LOT, AND I TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY ACTIONS. JUDGE: WELL, GOOD FOR YOU. DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SAY TO MR. PHILLIPS, BECAUSE I KNOW AFTER THE TWO OF YOU LEAVE HERE TODAY, YOU PROBABLY WON’T BE IN CONTACT. COLEMAN: UH, YOU KNOW, THANKS AGAIN FOR THE OPPORTUNITY THAT YOU DID GAVE ME, AND I APOLOGIZE FOR HOW THINGS TURNED OUT. SINCERELY. PHILLIPS: I BELIEVE YOU. ANNOUNCER: AND NOW JUDGE FAITH RULES. JUDGE: SO HERE’S WHAT I’M GOING TO DO, SIR, IN LOOKING AT THE ESTIMATES THAT YOU PROVIDED ME AND THE RECEIPTS YOU PROVIDED TO THE COURT FOR DAMAGES–$1,448 IN DAMAGES–I’M GOING TO ORDER YOU TO PAY THAT BASED ON THE PHOTOS AND THE ESTIMATES YOU PROVIDED TO THE COURT. IN ADDITION, I’M GOING TO ORDER YOU TO PAY 4 MONTHS OF BACK RENT AT A RATE OF $725. HE DOESN’T HAVE A LOT OF MONEY. 4 MONTHS IS WHAT I’M GOING TO ORDER HIM TO PAY IN BACK RENT, SO MY TOTAL JUDGMENT IN THIS CASE, I’M ORDERING YOU TO PAY HIM $2,900 IN BACK RENT IN ADDITION TO $1,448 AND 50 CENTS IN DAMAGES FOR A TOTAL JUDGMENT OF $4,348 AND 50 CENTS. VERDICT FOR THE PLAINTIFF. GOOD LUCK TO BOTH OF YOU. [APPLAUSE] ANNOUNCER: IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS A DISPUTE, DON’T TAKE THE LAW INTO YOUR OWN HANDS. LET JUDGE FAITH RULE ON IT FOR YOU. TO SUBMIT YOUR CASE, GO TO JUDGEFAITH.COM AND TELL US YOUR STORY. SEE YOU IN COURT.

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