'Judge Judy' bailiff on surprise absence: 'She didn't ask me' to be on new show (2023)

Fans were shocked to see Petri Hawkins Byrd not included in trailers for Judy Justice.

Lynette Rice

'Judge Judy' bailiff on surprise absence: 'She didn't ask me' to be on new show (2)

By Lynette Rice October 08, 2021 at 05:14 PM EDT

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Petri Hawkins Byrd would have loved to serve as bailiff on Judy Sheindlin's new show, Judy Justice. But he says she never asked.

In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly, the longtime bailiff on Judge Judy said he was left out of discussions regarding Sheindlin's new show on IMDB TV, which debuts Nov. 1. Like all Judge Judy fans, Byrd found out that Sheindlin was going to do a new courtroom program when she announced it during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in March of 2020. But he never talked with his boss about the new show while they completed the 25th and final season of Judge Judy; because of the pandemic, Sheindlin taped remotely in New York while Byrd worked in L.A. with the rest of the crew.

Petri Hawkins Byrd

'Judge Judy' bailiff on surprise absence: 'She didn't ask me' to be on new show (3)

Petri Hawkins Byrd

| Credit: Earl Gibson III/WireImage

"My assumption is if you were going on to do something else, that you were at least going to ask me if I wanted to have the opportunity to audition for the role," Byrd tells EW.

After production wrapped in April of this year, Byrd turned his focus to his wife, Makita Bond-Byrd, a longtime Judge Judy producer who was scheduled for brain surgery. "I didn't have time to think about or ask about Judy Justice," says Byrd, whose wife just completed her third round of chemotherapy. (Doctors successfully removed 95 percent of her tumor.) "It wasn't until July that I called the judge and asked, 'Hey, should I look for something else or am I included in the Judy Justice project?'"

"She informed me I was not being asked to come along on the project," continued Byrd, who had served as Sheindlin's bailiff since Judge Judy's premiere in 1996. "I didn't inquire as to why, that's her choice. But she did inform me that fundamentally, I was priced out as the new bailiff on her new show. My salary would have been too much. I was curious: How would she know? She didn't ask me.She didn't give me an opportunity to have accepted a lower salary."

Fans learned that Byrd had been replaced when IMDB recently released a trailer for Judy Justice. Her new bailiff is Kevin Rasco, who Byrd says provided personal security for Sheindlin while on Judge Judy.

Sheindlin, through a spokesperson, released this statement Friday: "Byrd is terrific and we had a great 25-year run. This is a whole new program with a whole new cast and an exciting energy."

Looking back on his chat with Sheindlin in July, Byrd thinks she assumed he called because they didn't have a proper sendoff after 25 years on Judge Judy. (Ironically, he says his wife was asked to participate on Judy Justice, but her health issues made it impossible.) "The call with Judy ended pleasantly enough," he says. "I don't think she understood how confused and dismayed I was after being there for 25 years, from the beginning of her career, and not being at least given the opportunity to say whether or not I wanted to continue that relationship."


'Judge Judy' bailiff on surprise absence: 'She didn't ask me' to be on new show (4)

'Judge Judy' bailiff Petri Hawkins Byrd

| Credit: Everett Collection

Byrd is particularly humbled by the reaction of fans, who expressed shock at his absence in the Judy Justice trailer. He's now on the hunt for new opportunities, like the guest spot he just had on The Bold and the Beautiful. He's been doing voiceover work, too. "I'm like if I did something wrong or offended you or brought shame to the show, or if was involved in numerous scandals in the 25 years we were together, I might understand why you didn't want to bother in the end," says Byrd. "That's just the way it went. I just know that God has something else for me."

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Judge Judy

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Why is Byrd not on Judy's new show? ›

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in October, Byrd said that he was not asked to join the cast of Sheindlin's new show. Byrd said he asked Sheindlin about the new show and was told that he wouldn't be in it. He said that he was told that he wasn't included because his salary would have been too high.

Who is Judge Judy's current partner? ›

Jacqueline Weiss is a contributing writer at PEOPLE. She has been working at PEOPLE since 2022. Her work has previously appeared in Food & Wine, Insider and Apartment Therapy. Judge Judy Sheindlin and her husband, Jerry Sheindlin, have been together for over 40 years.

Does Judge Judy pay you to be on her show? ›

On Judge Judy, both sides are offered appearance fees, a daily wage and travel expenses for the duration of the taping. Once a decision is made, producers pay it to the victorious party.

Is Judge Judy's partner a female? ›

How much money did Judge Judy make? ›

During the peak of her TV career, Judge Judy earned a staggering $47 million per year. Her contract allowed her to work just 52 days annually, with each taping day comprising ten to twelve cases.

How much is Judge Judy worth? ›

Celebrity Net Worth claims that Judge Judy's net worth is approximately $440 million…for now. And TBH, that is fair since Judy is quite literally daytime television royalty.

Is Judge Judy's husband a judge? ›

Who is Judge Judy's paralegal? ›

Sarah Rose is the Judy Justice Law Clerk and is currently completing her law school studies. She got her start in law as an intern in the Putnam County District Attorney's Office in Carmel, New York.

Does Judge Judy's granddaughter work with her? ›

"Judge Judy" aired for 25 years before it came to an end. The tough-talking former New York family court judge's popularity made her the highest-paid personality on TV. When it came time for her second act, the TV star asked her granddaughter to join her as her new law clerk.

What happens if you lose your case on Judge Judy? ›

On TV, the judge will tell the losing party that they will need to pay a certain amount to the other side but in reality, many show's producers will pay the winning party the amount the losing party owes as an incentive to appear on court tv. From the perspective of the person being sued, this is great!

Who pays the fine on Judge Judy? ›

The award limit on Judge Judy, as on most "syndi-court" shows (and most small claims courts in the U.S.), was $5,000. The award for each judgment was paid by the producers of the show from a fund reserved for the purpose. Sheindlin ruled by either A.)

Why do they have to leave the papers on Judge Judy? ›

The participants' travel expenses are paid by the show, as are the monetary settlements. The papers that can't be removed could be anything: their contracts for the show, the settlement agreements, NDAs, etc. The fact that they can't take the paperwork is outlined in the contracts they sign to be on the show.

Is Sarah Judge Judy's daughter? ›

Sheindlin graduated from the school in 1965; her daughter Nicole earned her J.D. from NYLS in 1993. Next month, Judy Sheindlin's granddaughter, Sarah Rose, will earn her law degree from the school.

Why did Judge Judy's husband divorce her? ›

In 1978, she married Judge Jerry Sheindlin, who was an arbitrator on The People's Court from 1999 to 2001. They divorced in 1990, partially as a result of the stress and struggles that Judy endured after her father's death that same year. They remarried in 1991.

What kind of car does Judge Judy drive? ›

According to TheRichest, the '07 Bentley Azure convertible is her daily driver, and packs an identical engine to the 450 horsepower Arnage R.

What is Judge Judy doing now? ›

In 2021, Judge Judith Sheindlin, the razor-tongued court show star, decamped from the dying medium of daytime broadcast syndication and joined Amazon for a streaming-era experiment.

Will there be a season 3 of Judy Justice? ›


How old is bailiff byrd? ›

Is Adam Levy the son of Judge Judy? ›

Levy, who brings over 25 years of diverse legal experience to the bench, is also the son of none other than legendary judge and creator of Tribunal Justice, Judy Sheindlin. While talking exclusively to Daily Express US, Levy discussed his qualifications for the show.

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