JUDGE JUDY star Judith Sheindlin is embroiled in a bitter feud with her Greenwich, Connecticut neighbours over a local playing field.

Retired New York judge Sheindlin has been starring in her reality court show since 1996 and is married to fellow TV judge GERALD SHEINDLIN, of PEOPLE'S COURT.

The Sheindlins have filed a complaint to local officials claiming a sports ground built by locals was put up without permits and has caused erosion, which filled their swimming pool with mud. They claim they spent $17,000 (GBP9,444) cleaning their pool.

Greenwich officials subsequently ordered the couple's neighbour MARTIN SANDS to stop using the field until he obtains proper planning permission.

After the order, a local girls' lacrosse team was forced to cancel practice sessions and has left mainly parents angry with the TV stars.

Judge Judy says, "As the grandparents of 10 grandchildren who love sports, what we find most offensive is that the Sandses are basically telling children it's OK to break the law if you have enough money to try to get what you want. That's not only irresponsible, it's reprehensible."

04/06/2004 19:11