Last Updated: November 1, 2023
Richest BusinessLawyers
Net Worth:
$2.5 Million
Nov 29, 1957 (66 years old)
Actor, Bailiff
United States of America
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What Is Petri Hawkins-Byrd's Net Worth and Salary?

Petri Hawkins-Byrd is an American bailiff, television personality, actor, writer, and producer who has a net worth of $2.5 million. Also known as Bailiff Byrd, Petri Hawkins-Byrd began working as a bailiff in the Brooklyn court system in the early 1980s, and then he moved to the Family Court in Manhattan. While serving as a bailiff in Manhattan, Byrd began working for Judge Judith Sheindlin, and after hearing that Judge Sheindlin was going to be featured on her own court show, he wrote her a letter of congratulations. She subsequently called him and invited him to serve as her bailiff on the show, and Petri has become famous all over the United States in his capacity as bailiff on "Judge Judy." Byrd wrote, executive produced, and starred in the 2017 TV movie "Tom Hennessy," and he also produced and starred in the 2022 film "A Polished Soul." Petri has more than 25 acting credits to his name, including the films "Playing Mona Lisa" (2000), "Redemption of the Ghost" (2002), "A Deeper Love" (2007), "In the Eyes of a Killer" (2009), "Under the Palm Tree" (2021), and "Amy's F**k It List" (2023) and the television series "Nash Bridges" (1997), "The Parkers" (2000), "Everybody Hates Chris" (2006), "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2017), "The Bold and the Beautiful" (2021), and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (2022). In 2023, he began serving as a bailiff on the Amazon Freevee court show "Tribunal Justice," which was created by Sheindlin.


Petri Hawkins-Byrd's salary during his time on "Judge Judy" is not known, but it is known that he was paid on a per-episode basis, as opposed to annual salary. Using comparable earnings from similar daytime television personalities, let's say he earned $5,000 per episode. That would have worked out to around $1.2 million per 250-episode season. If he earned $1,000 per episode, that would have worked out to $250,000 per season.

Interestingly, Petri was not asked to be a bailiff on Sheindlin's Amazon show "Judy Justice," and when he reached out to Judy to find out why, she told him his salary was not in the budget.

Early Life

Petri Hawkins-Byrd was born Petri Adonis Byrd on November 29, 1957, in Brooklyn, New York. Byrd began doing impressions at an early age, and his father thought he was so funny that he and his friends often called young Petri from prison to hear his impressions. Byrd imitated celebrities such as Bill Cosby, Flip Wilson, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin. He was raised by a stay-at-home mom who he has described as a strict disciplinarian who stressed the importance of treating people with respect and getting a good education. Byrd has said of his childhood, "My escapes were going to school, reading, television and movies—anything that would take me out of the world I was in and put me in a world that could be." Petri attended Eastern District High School, then he enrolled at Hostos Community College. He had become interested in law during his youth due to the civil rights movement and Jim Crow laws, and in the early '80s, he began working as a court officer for the New York City court system's Brooklyn circuit.

Byrd was transferred to Manhattan's family court division in 1986 while he was studying at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which led to him meeting the Supervising Family Court Judge for Manhattan, Judge Judy Sheindlin. From 1986 to 1989, Petri served as a courtroom officer for various judges in the Manhattan family court system. He said of working as Sheindlin's bailiff during this time, "I was never bored in her courtroom. Her get-to-the-point style didn't always sit well with the litigants, and there were times she was definitely glad to have me around." Byrd earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 1989, and the following year he moved to California to reconcile with his then-wife, Felicia, and worked as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshall in San Mateo. In 1992, he took a job at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California, as a student counselor, and he stayed at the job until 1996.

(ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Judge Judy

After finding out that Sheindlin would be filming a new show in Los Angeles, Byrd sent her a letter of congratulations and stated, "If you ever need a bailiff, my uniform still fits." Judy called Petri and offered him the role, and Byrd appeared on the show from 1996 to 2021. After being cast on the show, Petri added "Hawkins" to his name in honor of his late mother.

"Judge Judy" aired 6,280 episodes over 25 seasons and earned numerous Daytime Emmy nominations and three wins. The show made Judy the highest-paid person on television with her salary routinely topping $50 million in its final seasons.

Petri is not involved in Judy's IMDB show, "Judy Justice." When asked why, in October 2021 he told Deadline he simply wasn't asked. Explaining to Deadline:

"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."

Sheindlin later created the court show "Tribunal Justice," which began streaming on Amazon Freevee in 2023, and Byrd was hired to be a bailiff on that series. "Tribunal Justice" was renewed for a second season in October 2023.

In 2017, Petri played the title role in the TV movie "Tom Hennessy," which he also co-wrote and executive produced. The movie earned Byrd an award at the Action on Film International Film Festival.

Personal Life

Petri married Felicia Hawkins in 1980. The couple welcomed four children together, and after they separated in 1989, Felicia and the children relocated to the West Coast. Byrd and Hawkins reconciled after they went to marriage counseling, but they later split up for good.

On May 4, 2019, Petri married Makita Bond, a "Judge Judy" crew member. They originally met on the show's lot in 2012, and after they went on a date to a comedy show, they lost touch. In 2016, Makita was hired as a producer on "Judge Judy," and Petri sent her a Facebook friend request soon after. Bond wrote on the couple's wedding website, "I decided to surprise him on the next tape cycle to let him know I was working there. We hugged and he was acting like he remembered me. Little did I know, he was surprised too, but had to ask a co-worker who I was. He thought I was his daughter's friend. We hung out a couple times after-work and he claimed he never remembered me. A couple of months later we decided to date. A couple of years later Facebook reposted on my timeline, a picture memory of Petri and I on the  Sunset Bronson Lot in 2012. If it wasn't for Facebook he would never believed me."

In 2018, Petri and Makita began hosting the web series "Bonding with Byrd." They also founded a production company of the same name. During the final season of "Judge Judy," Byrd took care of Bond while she underwent chemotherapy for a cancerous brain tumor. Makita had surgery, and by April 2021, 95% of the tumor had been removed successfully. Petri runs the nonprofit mentoring program "Teach Them to Fish," which is dedicated to helping youths "develop their mental, spiritual, physical and social selves."

Awards and Nominations

Byrd earned Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program for "Judge Judy" in 2018, 2019, and 2020. At the 2013 Action on Film International Film Festival, he won an Action on Film Award for Best Action Sequence – Feature (shared with Bryan Martin) for "Tom Hennessy."

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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