Judge John Hodgman Episode 222: Eminent Toe-main


Amy brings the case against her girlfriend Alexa. They made a bet. If Amy won, Alexa had to refrain from wearing a certain pair of shoes in public for three days. Amy believes that Alexa broke the terms of their agreement by wearing the shoes in their yard. Alexa says she stuck to the rules. Who's right? Who's wrong?

Addison Fox named this week's case via the Judge John Hodgman Facebook page. Thanks, Addison!

If you want to be part of a nicer place on the internet, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @Hodgman, Bailiff Jesse @JesseThorn.



Submitted by Amy

Exhibit A: "The Offending Footwear"

Exhibit B: "View of the Street From the Picnic Table"

Exhibit C: "View of the Yard From the Sidewalk"

Exhibit D: "View of the Yard From the Street"


This episode should have been

This episode should have been called two lesbian have an argument about public vs private property and the judge gets it wrong. But that's not very pithy I guess.


I am seeking clarification judgement on if this pertains solely to the "classic croc" or all shoes (or specific shoes) manufactured by the crocs brand, I wear a alternate croc version daily and am wondering if I might be an unwitting criminal (of fashion).

Me too on the clarification!

I have some "dressy" crocs and wear them often (foot problems - crocs help). The crocs mentioned/shown are the ones I wear for gardening only but there are some lovely and (more) fashionable crocs out there. Is it okay to wear those, Your Honor?

Evidence: http://www.crocs.com/c/women/footwear/best-sellers?intid=mm_w_best#&orig...

(sorry - long url)

You found the crocs, but

You found the crocs, but where's the crux?


Too bad the bet was settled using Price is Right rules. It'd be interesting to know if the decision rule was invoked before or after guesses were made.

John, you're wrong.

While exposure is one valid perspective on public/private, there's another, and I believe that is the application most appropriate for a lawn party: authority. In a public place, local laws are the highest authority, but on your law, you can still say "Please sir, I'm telling you to leave. This is a private party and I don't like your shoes."

Someone, That's just like... your opinion, man

I am not sure what your example has to do with the case since the defendant and the litigant both live on the same property and would be unable to kick one another off the property.

A better legal precedent for whether the visible side yard counts as public or private might be that in most states public indecency laws prohibit people from exposing themselves on readily, publicly visible parts of their own property. So barring the fact that the defendant acted in a way that was, though certainly unintentional, less than respectful of her partner and her guests, she was actually in "public space" as per legal precedent in the above case. If you would like to explore this example further as it pertains to Maine in particular please see Title 17-A of MAINE CRIMINAL CODE Part 2, Chapter 35, §854. Indecent conduct :

B. In a private place, the actor exposes the actor's [omitted since this is a family podcast] with the intent that the actor be seen from a public place or from another private place. Violation of this paragraph is a Class E crime

All issues of taste aside, this conclusively proves that wearing Crocs in a readily visible yard (full of members of the public) violates the terms of the verbal agreement made by the two parties.

I am not a lawyer lol

Reply to someone

Someone -- That is an excellent point. If you really are not a lawyer (and I have my doubts), you should consider law school because that's a mighty fine piece of legal reasoning!