My question involves small claims court in the state of: Virginia
I'd like to get an opinon on this case for my brother.
A few weeks ago my brother filed a a small claims case against his friend. He had let his friend use/borrow an old farm truck and when my brother asked for it back, the friend refused. The friend says he put money into repairing it and won't return it. My brother offered to give him another farm truck for free but the friend refused (he was going to give him the truck anyway before all this happened). Since my brother has the title and is the owner, he filed the case.
Just the other day, he got a letter in the mail from one of those TV court shows (like Judge Judy) asking him to be on the show to settle the case. The letter is legitimate and they will pay for all travel expenses and for being on the show. They also said that if he wins the case on the show, he is guaranteed to get the money that's awarded to him. They said that if he wins in a small claims court, he might not get the money awarded to him if he wins. My brother doesn't know what he should do. He says the offer is tempting but fears it's not a good idea. Does anyone have any opinions on this?
We can't think of any other reasons why he should do the show.
Here are some reasons why he shouldn't do it:
1) It's not a legal court of law, but all decisions are final. The plaintiff cannot refile the charges in a small claims court.
2) Those kinds of shows tend to make people look bad solely for ratings.
3) He has a mental condition which causes confusion and anger under pressure, the "judge"/show will most likely exploit that for ratings.
4) The "judge" will not be understanding of his mental condition and it will hurt his case. Some of these "judges" (like Judge Judy) tend to be impatient with people who have bonafied mental problems and it does hurt their case.
So, any thoughts on this from a legal point of view?