Kansas Man Requests Trial By Combat To Settle Legal Dispute With Ex-Wife

By Bill Galluccio

January 14, 2020

Silhouette of samurai

A Kansas man asked an Iowa court to grant a motion for trial by combat against his ex-wife to settle a legal dispute between the two parties. David Ostrom, 40, admitted in court filings that his ex-wife, Bridgette Ostrom, 38, has "destroyed (him) legally," and he wants to settle their differences in a duel.

"To this day, trial by combat has never been explicitly banned or restricted as a right in these United States," Ostrom argues, pointing out that it was used "as recently as 1818 in British Court."

He wants to use Japanese swords and said that his ex-wife could appoint her lawyer, Matthew Hudson, as her "champion" to fight in her place.

Hudson replied to the court filing, asking the judge to reject Ostrom's request. He took a stab at Ostrom's motion, pointing out a spelling error he made in the filing.

"Surely (Ostrom) meant 'corporeal' bodies which Merriam Webster defines as having, consisting of, or relating to, a physical material body," the attorney wrote. "Although (Ostrom) and potential combatant do have souls to be rended, they respectfully request that the court not order this done."

He pointed out that while the law does not prohibit duels, the court should reject the request because it could result in the death of one or both participants.

"It should be noted that just because the U.S. and Iowa constitutions do not specifically prohibit battling another person with a deadly katana sword, it does prohibit a court sitting in equity from ordering same," Hudson wrote.

Ostrom argued that if his ex-wife refuses to accept the challenge, she will forfeit her claims against him.

"Respondent and counsel have proven themselves to be cravens by refusing to answer the call to battle, thus they should lose this motion by default," Ostrom wrote.

He does not expect the court to grant his request but said he was willing to fight Hudson at any time.

"If Mr. Hudson is willing to do it, I will meet him. I don't think he has the guts to do it."

Photo: Getty Images

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