TMZ broke the story ... Patrice Jones -- the ex-wife of Randy Douthit, Judge Judy's producer -- is suing Mrs. Sheindlin for $514,421.14, claiming a conspiracy in which Randy sold Judy the former couple's expensive, Christofle china and flatware for $50,000 when it was actually worth more than 10 times that amount, and it was allegedly done to cheat her.
But according to divorce documents obtained by TMZ ... the items in question were purchased in 2003 for approximately $100,000. The divorce judge valued the items in 2012 at $125,000 and plans to order Randy to pay Patrice half -- $62,500.
Short story ... by getting $62,500, Patrice wouldn't be out a penny and would have no claim to the goods.
What's more ... the divorce judge slammed Patrice, saying at times during the case she "lacked integrity" and was "untruthful."
Patrice's lawyer, Perry Wander, tells TMZ ... the divorce judge's ruling on the items in question was only tentative, and they're determined to change the judge's mind before the decision becomes final. Wander adds, if the judge sticks to his guns, Patrice will appeal.
Perry also notes in 2009 -- yeah, it's a bad divorce -- the judge ordered Randy to undo the sale of the china. That's true, but it looks like the court is now changing its tune.
Judge Judy told TMZ ... Patrice needs to get a life, adding, "... this 50-year-old woman should spend her time more productively at trying to find a job."