Local showdown on Judge Joe Brown over lost wages
November 20, 2012
Grass Valley's Simplicity Bistro co-owner Stephen Cicatelli and former employee Natala Marchi will be featured today on court television show Judge Joe Brown over allegedly lost wages.
The feud began after Cicatelli fired Marchi after, according to Cicatelli, Marchi told him about her experience with blackmailing and he had been reprimanding her for unprofessional attire and adding hours to her time card.
"If I told her at 2 (p.m.) to clock out, she would clock out at 3 (p.m.)," Cicatelli said.
Marchi said she was unjustifiably fired, and Cicatelli told her to pick up her paycheck Sept. 20. Marchi said she knocked on the restaurant door that day and a man told her Cicatelli was at a bar across the street, where Cicatelli told her to leave until he called her.
Cicatelli, who closed Simplicity Bistro in October with his partner Retha Morton, said Marchi had been calling and threatening him for three weeks and, in order to end the situation, paid her $150 in cash for the 21 hours she worked. Marchi, a 17-year-old Nevada Union High School student, said she was owed 52 hours of work and eight hours of overtime pay.
An apparent scuffle between Cicatelli and Marchi's boyfriend eventually ensued.
But rather than calling the police, someone decided to call a court TV show.
After the incident, Cicatelli said he received threatening messages from Marchi, stating he had assaulted her boyfriend, and she was going to sue him. He said he didn't take her seriously until he received a call from the producers of court television show "Judge Judy."
"Judge Judy calls, and they said, 'We're serious. Describe the situation, and we'll put you up in Hollywood; you can countersue, and we'll foot the bill,'" Cicatelli said. "A couple days later, Judy can't do it."
Instead, a call from the Judge Joe Brown show followed and Cicatelli filed his countersuit in Nevada County for $2,000 in punitive and property damages.
"I won by a landslide," Cicatelli said. "I didn't even really have to say anything — the judge was all over her."
Marchi said she didn't feel justice had been served, despite presenting video of the alleged assault. She said she didn't get to aptly explain her side of the story and offer a rebuttal, noting the court show only lasted 15 minutes.
"I didn't get the chance to tell my side of story nor show the pictures of the assault," Marchi said. "The thing that made me most angry was that I had counted 12 lies (and counting) that my defendant said about me during his time to speak. Every time I tried to rebuttal, I was put down, and I left the courtroom almost in tears because I had lost a case that I rightfully should have won; and on top of that, I was vilified severely when I was actually the victim."
The show actually paid the $2,000 awarded to Cicatelli. Marchi said she, her boyfriend and mother were each paid $400 to be appear on the show. Cicatelli said he was paid $500.
The show can be viewed at noon today on Sacramento TV station KMAX CW-31.
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4230.