If you're a committed social media user, odds are you have stumbled upon videos of an American judge treating defendants with kindness, understanding, and light humor.
Well, that would be Judge Frank Caprio, who actually features in his very own television show, Caught in Providence, which documents real cases in his court.
In a video clip that has been widely shared during the past week, Judge Caprio heard the case of a Saudi student, Tahani Al-Manea, who racked up several parking tickets. As per the norm, Judge Caprio handled the case with humor and compassion, winning over the internet once again.
"Congratulations to this Saudi student who impressed the judge thanks to her smile and positive attitude."
Al-Manea's appearance before the Rhode Island judge was documented in a Caught in Providence episode that aired late last year. However, the footage resurfaced online and went viral among Arab social media users this week.
The video revealed that Al-Manea, who was a network engineering student at Johnson and Wales University at the time, had six unpaid parking tickets.
When the Saudi engineer explained there is no parking space for her house, causing her to regularly park in a paid zone without payment, the judge decided to waive the penalties and ask her to only pay half the initial parking fines, reducing a potential $350 fine to $75. Al-Manea did not express any objections.
"I'm reluctant to even do that. You're a student [...] I'm trying to do what is just and equitable," he said.
Things got interesting when the judge asked if she enjoyed living in the city, after which Al-Manea admitted she had gone through some dispiriting experiences.
She explained that her car's window was broken on one occasion and her car was vandalized with ink on another, prompting her to park in front of her house and risk getting a parking ticket.
Thanks to Al-Manea's light-hearted attitude, the judge decided to reconsider his verdict. Taking into consideration the expenses she incurred to fix her window, the judge decided to completely waive the fine.
"You have a really good attitude for someone trying to study here," he said. "I'm gonna give you a break on this. It's gonna cost you nothing. See if you can solve the problem."
"Thank you to everyone who wrote kind words about me. One heartwarming word is enough to make people happy. My full respect and admiration for all populations. I am proud to be Saudi."
Speaking to Saudi daily Okaz, Al-Manea, who moved to Riyadh after graduating, explained she had not been aware that the trial was being filmed.
She added that she is an optimist at heart and maintains a positive attitude throughout different situations.
Watch the full video here:
Who is Judge Caprio?
The judge, who has become an internet sensation, is the Chief Municipal Judge in Providence, Rhode Island, and the former Chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors. He was appointed in 1985 and has been re-appointed six times.
In Caught in Providence, the judge hears real cases involving traffic, parking, and arraignments for criminal offenses.
"All of the cases and people are real. Those who step in front of him have a little fun with the cameras, but Judge Caprio makes it clear that he is there to do his job," the show's website reads.