Divorce Court - Taylor vs. Hochbrueckner   View more episodes

Aired at 11:00 AM on Monday, Jan 24, 2011 (1/24/2011)      View all transcripts from this day


00:00:00Where real couples deal with real life: Captioning sponsored by 20Th television We now join Walt Hochbrueckner and Vera Taylor as Judge Lynn hears their case.
00:00:12Mrs. Taylor, you have brought Mr. Hochbrueckner here because you want $509.86, which you say is the cost of the computer that you bought that he threw down the stairs.
00:00:23Before we get to that, though, I'm going to start with Mr. Hochbrueckner and ask him why we're here and to explain to me a little bit about your marriage.
00:00:30Your Honor, the reason why we are here is because this woman is an incessant nagger and she treats me like a boy toy.
00:00:39I'm not a boy toy.
00:00:40(gallery laughing) I mean, we go to parties, and she drags me to these parties.
00:00:44If you didn't act like a boy toy...
00:00:45Hang on, Mrs. Taylor.
00:00:46I'm going to get to you.
00:00:48Go ahead, sir.
00:00:48This one, she interrupts me all the time, as well.
00:00:50I mean, you can see that right there, but...
00:00:52Yeah. Uh-huh.
00:00:53It happens a lot in here, though.
00:00:55Uh, Mr. Hochbrueckner, just tell...
00:00:58What is it?
00:00:59We-We go ties, okay?
00:01:01They're all of her friends.
00:01:02They're all her age. I mean, we're 14 years different.
00:01:05I'm 14 years younger than she is.
00:01:08And she shows me off and parades me in front of all of her friends.
00:01:10Is your age on here correct?
00:01:12Can I say it? If you don't want me to say it, I won't.
00:01:15(chuckling): You can say it.
00:01:17This woman looks terrific. She's 71.
00:01:19(gallery gasping) WOMAN: What?
00:01:22(gallery cheering) Toler: Wow.
00:01:26Living well and living right.
00:01:27You go, Mrs. Taylor.
00:01:29But anyway, Mr. Hochbrueckner, I just, you know, I got...
00:01:32When you said "14 years," I had to look.
00:01:36Well, it's...
00:01:37(stammering) But she drags you to these parties. I'm sorry.
00:01:40I got you all off track.
00:01:42We're at these parties, and she parades me around as if I was just, like, a toy or something like that, or a dog.
00:01:48You know? Just being a poodle, being walked around. And they won't talk to me very much, because they kind of look down at me, like, "Who is this guy?" You know, I can understand 20 years ago...
00:01:57She doesn't introduce you?
00:01:58I'm sorry?
00:01:58Does she introduce you?
00:01:59Sometimes. Most of the time, I have to introduce myself, and I get pushed away, like, "Oh, well..." Well, we could have been at the same parties 20 times, you don't remember the people yet.
00:02:08Well, yeah, it's been 20 years.
00:02:10It's been 20 years.
00:02:11Now they're starting to accept me.
00:02:1320 years later, they're now starting to accept me.
00:02:15They figure that we're going to be together for a while.
00:02:16Well, does she have real snooty, arrogant friends or something?
00:02:18Well, most of them are pretty nice, but they just kind of eyeball me, like, you know, "What are you doing with this guy?" I don't understand.
00:02:25If you've been going to parties for 20 years, and they won't talk to you...
00:02:29You say they're nice people.
00:02:29Maybe it's you.
00:02:32(gallery chuckles) Well, I don't think it's me.
00:02:36I try and be frieny to these people.
00:02:38But I have to admit, I have to admit, I don't really want to be at these parties.
00:02:41Especially when she's walking around and strutting around, and acting like, "Oh, look at my husband.
00:02:45My husband, my husband." I feel like I'm on display.
00:02:48But, you know, the business about a boy toy?
00:02:50Maybe if I didn't pay for everything...
00:02:52You are a boy toy.
00:02:52You don't pay for everything.
00:02:54I pay all my own bills.
00:02:55You pay your own bills.
00:02:56You know that.
00:02:57Do you pay for everything, Mrs. Taylor?
00:02:59Well, I pay for the mortgage.
00:03:00I pay for the groceries.
00:03:01I pay for gas.
00:03:02I pay for electricity.
00:03:04That's pretty much everything.
00:03:06What are you paying for?
00:03:08But that hasn't been...
00:03:09Okay, it's only been up until the last three, four years or so, when I've had some pretty rough times.
00:03:13I mean, I've had my own businesses.
00:03:16She wants to keep the house in her name.
00:03:18I mean, we talked about buying houses half a dozen times over the last ten years.
00:03:22And every time we're about to pull the trigger and buy another house, she always comes up with some reason or excuse...
00:03:27Yeah, but it's supposed to be my money to buy the other house.
00:03:29Every time we go to buy the other house, you run out of money.
00:03:32You're doing all those "get rich quick" schemes.
00:03:37He does ev that you've ever heard of.
00:03:40That's not true.
00:03:41That's not true!
00:03:43That's not true at all.
00:03:44Like, what kind of seminars does he go to?
00:03:46These, like, get rich...
00:03:47Get rich quick.
00:03:49Foreclosure quick.
00:03:49Uh, re estate quick.
00:03:52No money down.
00:03:54No money down...
00:03:54Get... Yeah.
00:03:55And he tells me...
00:03:56He tells me.
00:03:56I ask him where he goes. Okay.
00:03:59He's going to go just listen.
00:04:01And I say, "Please don't sign up again." "Well, honey, it was the best I ever heard of.
00:04:10It was only $4,500.
00:04:10They gave me a deal." (gallery groaning) Normally, it's $7,000." Listen, that's not...
00:04:16Okay, she's really...
00:04:16Mr. Hochbrueckner, are you looking for the quick dollar, and getting hustled?
00:04:19No, I'm looking to find something that's stable that will...
00:04:22That we--we-- can make enough money on, so that we can retire and have a wonderful life, but every time I try and attempt to do anything that is outside her comfort zone, which is to go get a job.
00:04:33Just get a job. Get a job.
00:04:33Get a paycheck.
00:04:35Well, I don't particularly like workin to get a paycheck.
00:04:38I want to do my own businesses.
00:04:39Well, you know, I worked 27 years for a paycheck.
00:04:41Wait a minute.
00:04:42Hold on. This is not fair.
00:04:43Y-You know, that's a weird thing.
00:04:45And, Joe, you might have to help me out on this.
00:04:46'Cause women, we kind of do want to have somebody to have a steady paycheck.
00:04:52And the guys kind of want to dream and stretch.
00:04:56And it-it's kind of a catch-22 because, you know, you stretch out like Bill Gates, we're loving it.
00:05:02(laughing) Walt: I did something...
00:05:05I mean, 'cause he stretched, and look what happened.
00:05:07But in the interim, we're asking you, "Get a paycheck. Get a..." You know, we can't have it both ways, and it's kind of a conundrum that we all live with.
00:05:15Well, you know, let me give you a Wait. Let me say something.
00:05:18Well, it's my turn.
00:05:19No, no. I'm sorry. I didn't get a chance to even respond to that.
00:05:21That's not fair.
00:05:22Well, Mr. Hochbrueckner, go ahead.
00:05:24No, I did put together a business that she was totally against.
00:05:27I put $9,000 with six friends of mine and we formed a software business company.
00:05:32I'm a game designer and a game programmer.
00:05:35And we combined our talents.
00:05:36We created a company.
00:05:38We turned...
00:05:38$10,000 initially paidut-- nine of which was my money, not your money-- and we turned it into a-a $20 million company.
00:05:47And where is the $20 million?
00:05:48Well, I-I again, I had problems with the company, and they basically moved me out.
00:05:53Yes, like usual.
00:05:55(sighs) But that's not...
00:05:58Well, there is no $20 million.
00:05:59I don't' know where the $20 million are.
00:06:01I never saw them.
00:06:03Are you still working, Mrs. Taylor?
00:06:05I retired.
00:06:05You retired.
00:06:06But I worked for 30 years and got a paycheck.
00:06:10I have a retirement check and that's what we pay everything out of.
00:06:14Announcer: WhenDivorce Courtcontinues: Was Vera acting on jealousy or women's intuition when it came to Walt's female friends?
00:06:24I don't like to walk in the house and find this woman-- who happens to be close to 20 years younger than I am-- sitting in the dining room, looking at me. "Hi, Vera." You're jealous of her.
00:06:33She's a friend. A friend.
00:06:36I don't care what she is.
00:06:38Announcer: If you would like your case heard onDivorce Court, call us toll-free at: Or log onto our Web site at: And become a fan at: proud.
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00:09:15Announcer: Divorce Courtis back with the case of Vera Taylor, who is suing her husband for $509.86 for the computer she says he threw down the stairs.
00:09:26But first, Judge Lynn continues to hear why this couple is divorcing.
00:09:32You say that she's jealous.
00:09:35Yes, she is.
00:09:36She's jealous all the time.
00:09:38She treats every friend that I bring home, everyone that we meet, that I like, they turn...
00:09:42that would be my close friend-- she doesn't like them.
00:09:45For one reason or another.
00:09:46It doesn't matter.
00:09:47Male or female.
00:09:48Particularly if they're female.
00:09:48Wait a minute.
00:09:49Wait a minute.
00:09:50He doesn't have one male friend.
00:09:51They're all women is... you're saying.
00:09:53They're all women.
00:09:53(galle murmuring) They're all women, and he has this one friend who lives out of her car.
00:10:00Oh, God.
00:10:00Because she's invested her money so well, too, right?
00:10:03(gallery laughing) So...
00:10:05That was cold.
00:10:06That was cold.
00:10:06(laughter) Yeah.
00:10:09And he brings her...
00:10:09She is...
00:10:10(Toler sighs, applause) I don't even like her, and he keeps bringing her to the house.
00:10:14And, you know, I didn't mention his pack ratting things.
00:10:17So the extra room is full of all this junk.
00:10:20And then when he brings her to the house so she...
00:10:23Poor girl, she can't sleep in the car anymore.
00:10:26It's cold outside.
00:10:27So then he moves everything out of the study into our bedroom-- my bedroom, right?
00:10:32So now I have boxes all over the bedroom.
00:10:34How-How aboutourbedroom?
00:10:34I thought we were...
00:10:36After ten... you know 20 years of being together and six of them being married, how about referring to the house as beingourhouse?
00:10:43I do.
00:10:44But it is my house.
00:10:44Did you two discuss...
00:10:45But it is my house...
00:10:46...this woman in the car coming to stay with you?
00:10:48Did you have a discussion about it?
00:10:50'Cause I got to tell you.
00:10:51I don't think, uh, you know...
00:10:53I might give her some money to go to a hotel or something.
00:10:57But I don't...
00:10:58Stray people don't come in my house.
00:11:00(gallery murmuring) And I don't even like her.
00:11:03How long did she stay?
00:11:03Well, she stayed a couple of nights one time.
00:11:06Then a week a later, a couple of nights again.
00:11:09Then she managed to get a boyfriend to let her stay with him, so she hasn't been staying lately.
00:11:14But I will come home...
00:11:14I'm a hiker.
00:11:15I will come home from my hikes.
00:11:16There she is.
00:11:17I walk in the house.
00:11:18I don't even know...
00:11:19You hiking?
00:11:21You go, girl.
00:11:21I love to hike.
00:11:22You go.
00:11:22(applause) Yeah, and she's a hiker because I got her into it.
00:11:25Yeah, but who hikes now?
00:11:27Anyway, I come home.
00:11:28But I don't like to walk in the house and find this woman-- who happens to be 20 years...
00:11:33close to 20 years younger than I am-- sitting in the dining room, looking at me.
00:11:37"Hi, Vera," as I walk in muddy, dirty.
00:11:39And gross and all that.
00:11:40'Cause you're just jealous.
00:11:41And she's sitting there.
00:11:42"'Cause you're gonna want to go to the library." You're jealous of her.
00:11:45I mean, she's a friend, a friend. That's it.
00:11:48She's just a friend, okay?
00:11:49But she takes so much of your time.
00:11:50She takes my time.
00:11:51I don't care what she is.
00:11:53She gives her a cold-shoulder act.
00:11:54Like, "What are you doing here? Why are you here?" You just, guys, don't have a good social life, right?
00:12:00I don't have a social life.
00:12:00That's it.
00:12:01My social life is, I'm working, or I'm looking...
00:12:03'Cause you go to her parties, and her friends don't like you.
00:12:05Right. And I'm always looking for work.
00:12:07My friends do like him.
00:12:08And in between all this, she's nagging me incessantly.
00:12:10Constantly on my back about everything.
00:12:11You know, it's funny.
00:12:12And goes after me, like, incessantly.
00:12:14Like, "Why didn't you get that done?" "Why didn't you take out the garbage?" Are you picking at him with the details?
00:12:18If he's doing most of what he's supposed to be doing, do you pick at the few things he doesn't?
00:12:22He's the most disorganized person in the world.
00:12:24I am not!
00:12:26He's also a pack rat.
00:12:28He's a pack rat?
00:12:29He has everything all over the house, and I nag him about the fact that there's barely room in the garage-- there's some pictures of it, by the way-- where I cannot park my car.
00:12:38Look at that. Uh...
00:12:40Toler: As a garage...
00:12:41I mean, as garages go, it's not so bad.
00:12:43Walt: Well, a lot of it is collectible stuff, that some day, it's gonna be worth...
00:12:46You know what he collects?
00:12:47Movie tickets.
00:12:48Theater tickets.
00:12:49Those are memories for me.
00:12:51Movie programs.
00:12:52Do you ever see 'em?
00:12:53You know, once you get so much stuff, you don't have anything at all, because you can't get to any of it.
00:12:59You know what I mean...?
00:13:00That... Yeah, it... She's...
00:13:01Is that where you are?
00:13:02Okay, all right.
00:13:03Yeah, she's right about that.
00:13:04Sometimes I can't find things when I need them.
00:13:07Announcer: WhenDivorce Courtcontinues: Walt tells Judge Lynn how Vera drove him This woman speaks six languages, and she knows seven or eight others rather loosely, but she doesn't understatand the word "stop." She doesn't know them in any language.
00:13:24Walt says that housing female friends in their time of need is the right thing to do.
00:13:30Do you agree?
00:13:35ANNOUNCER:To give your opinion to our litigants and to receive some valuable offers, call: is pop-tart.
00:16:49ldldldldldldldldldldike your case heard onDivorce Court, call us toll-free at: Divorce Courtreturns with the case of Walt Hochbrueckner, who says his wife treats him like her boy toy.
00:17:06Vera is in court suing Walt for $509.86 for the computer she says he threw down the stairs.
00:17:15I want you to tell me what the final straw was.
00:17:19Oh, the final straw. Well...
00:17:21Well, first of all, this woman does not appreciate me on any level.
00:17:24No matter what I do for her, it's never enough.
00:17:27Uh, the thing that gets me is that we had Valentine's Day, and she ruins the Valentine's Day.
00:17:32Okay? She just ruins it.
00:17:33That is not true.
00:17:34And I wrote her...
00:17:34I wrote her...
00:17:35Mrs. Taylor, please Go ahead.
00:17:36I wrote her a lovely, lovely poem, I thought was a great poem.
00:17:39And I was gonna use it as the basis for a piece of music.
00:17:42I found that in the garbage can.
00:17:44You did not.
00:17:44You did not.
00:17:44Yes, I did.
00:17:45I was... and I'm so mad...
00:17:46Was that the final straw?
00:17:47. Hoch...
00:17:48Oh, no, no.
00:17:48Tell me the final straw.
00:17:49That's what I want to know.
00:17:52Oh, God.
00:17:53Y-Y-You... You're on her side, and it really kind of angers me.
00:17:57I don't like losing my temper.
00:17:58I have a temper.
00:17:58Oh, boy, does he have a temper.
00:18:00But the final straw was, we screwed up. We...
00:18:03Okay, we bought a house in Colorado, just when the market Uh-huh.
00:18:06was going down, and I talked her into it.
00:18:08For ten years-- I've been in real estate for nearly 40 years, on and off.
00:18:11I paid...
00:18:12Ask how much money he made in real estate.
00:18:13I paid for my first year of college because of my first house that I bought, 'cause I'm good at it, and I've been trying to convince her to buy investment properties for years, and she wouldn't do it.
00:18:23Finally we did it, we bought a house in Colorado.
00:18:25Turned out to be the worst deal imaginable.
00:18:27Turned out to be the worst thing you could ever think of.
00:18:30And as a result of that, I end up, I've been using my credit cards and living off my credit cards to pay my bills.
00:18:36Okay, we end up going to a credit counselor, and she's giving me such a hard time about me spending...
00:18:41using my credit cards.
00:18:43I got so angry, Isaid, "Stop." I mean, this woman speaks six languages, and she knows seven or eight others rather loosely, okay?
00:18:49(laughs) She's fluent in six languages, but she doesn't understand the word "stop." She doesn't know them inanylanguage, okay?
00:18:57None whatsoever.
00:18:57I tried to get her to stop...
00:18:59So she just kept badgering you about it.
00:19:00She was telling me how ridiculous I was, the wouldn't be in this situation now, I wouldn't be bringing her down financially...
00:19:05'Cause before we were married, it was my money that I spent.
00:19:09When we got married, all of a sudden, every penny had to go through her.
00:19:12And now...
00:19:12What penny goes through me?
00:19:14You don't give me any moy.
00:19:15If I want to get...
00:19:15I still don't know what the final straw is.
00:19:19here's the thing-- we were driving over to the credit counselor, and she kept going at it and telling me how irresponsible I was and how we have to cut up my credit cards now.
00:19:26I got very angry with her.
00:19:29I told her if she didn't stop I was just gonna head straight towards Las Vegas and we'd get a divorce.
00:19:34We got married on Valentine's Day there.
00:19:35I said that's when we'll...
00:19:36we'll just end this right now...
00:19:38And she didn't stop?
00:19:38She didn't stop.
00:19:40But instead of me doing that, I pulled the car over to the side, I got out, and I just started screaming.
00:19:45And she came running after me, saying, "Get back in the car..." You just got out of the car and started to scream?
00:19:51I started screaming at her.
00:19:52He loses his temper all the time.
00:19:55Announcer: WhenDivorce Courtcontinues: Judge Lynn rules.
00:20:00But first-- how will Walt explain what really happened to Vera's computer on the day it was broken?
00:20:06One day, when he lost his temper, he threw it down the steps.
00:20:12I didn't throw it down the steps.
00:20:13Well, it somehow or other rolled down the steps.
00:20:16(laughter) Computers have wheels.
00:20:18Walt says that housingng female friends in their time of need is the right thing to do.
00:20:25Do you agree?
00:20:29ANNOUNCER:To give your opinion to our litigants and to receive some valuable offers, call: ] Moments Brownies.
00:21:58Layers of brownie and caramel, dipped in chocolate.
00:22:06Ready to eat Sweet Moments.
00:22:08Find them in the Refrigeratedsection.
00:23:45Announcer: Divorce Courtreturns with the case of Vera Taylor, who is suing her husband for $509.86 for the computer she says he threw down the stairs.
00:23:57Tell me about the computer.
00:24:01This is my computer.
00:24:04Orwasmy computer.
00:24:06Let's see. And...
00:24:08one day, when he lost his temper, he threw it down the steps.
00:24:13I didn't throw it down the steps.
00:24:16Well, it somehow or other rolled down the steps.
00:24:18(laughter) Computers have wheels.
00:24:23Mr. Hochbrueckner, you tell me, what happened with the computer?
00:24:26Well, uh, okay, I put about $500 to that computer.
00:24:31My$500, okay?
00:24:31Go ahead, go ahead.
00:24:33Fixing the computer up to keep it working so that she could sit there and complain about it. Okay?
00:24:39So, finally, when the hard drive finally crashed on the thing, it finally just...
00:24:43I heard it go "Rrr," and it died.
00:24:45I knew, that's it, that's it.
00:24:46I was so frustrated, and she had been bugging me, she was standing over me when she was yelling about, "Why isn't my computer working?" I slammed it.
00:24:53How old is that computer?
00:24:54It looks a little...
00:24:55It's seven years old.
00:24:56Seven years old.
00:24:57Did the hard drive die before he threw it down the steps?
00:25:00I'm not sure.
00:25:01It wasn't working right.
00:25:02Was he fixing it?
00:25:03He was supposedly fixing it, and I asked him a question...
00:25:07He got frustrated, and kaboom!
00:25:08I-I just slapped it on the side, and it ended up going off the desk.
00:25:11And it just so happens the room is set up where the stairs is next...
00:25:14...there's the hallway and there's the steps.
00:25:17How did the computer get from the desk to the steps?
00:25:19It rolled.
00:25:19I got it, I got it, I...
00:25:21(gallery laughing) The computer rolled?
00:25:23Mrs. Taylor...
00:25:25you're good-looking and you're funny.
00:25:27And I like you.
00:25:31Mr. Hochbrueckner, you're-you're good-looking, but you talk too much.
00:25:38(laughter) I think you two are nice people.
00:25:43I think you should climb more mountains.
00:25:50(gallery laughing) And, uh...
00:25:52The computer was seven years old.
00:25:55You know, like three million years in computer time, you know what I mean?
00:26:01Thank you, thank you.
00:26:01They change every ten minutes.
00:26:04Well, he shouldn't have thrown it down the steps.
00:26:06Even if he did, I believe the hard drive died.
00:26:10'Cause they don't last that long.
00:26:12And even if they didn't, the thing was worth 12 cents anyway, seven- year-old computer.
00:26:16You can't get anything for that.
00:26:18You should take some $500, you should go out to dinner with him, make up...
00:26:24(applause) make love, make your way...
00:26:27And I'll see you later.
00:26:28There will be no recovery in this matter.
00:26:30It is so ordered.
00:26:31Bailiff: All rise.
00:26:35Parties may leave the courtroom.
00:26:37And... I mean, you got her on your side.
00:26:40You get everyone on your side.
00:26:42And it's... you smile, and you sit and manipulate.
00:26:44Me, I get upset and you press my buttons.
00:26:46You keep getting me more and more excited.
00:26:48Maybe you should change your buttons.
00:26:50(stammering) I can't. I mean, you know everything about me, and being a child psychologist, it's not fair.
00:26:55The judge knows everything about your buttons also?
00:26:58She seemed to like you just fine.
00:27:00Well, because you talk too much.
00:27:02Captioned by Media Access Group at WGBH access.wgbh.org