A man in Kansas is hoping to settle a dispute with his ex-wife by challenging her to a “trial by combat” using Japanese swords.
David Ostrom, 40, has made an official request to the Iowa District Court in Shelby County to allow his motion for trial by combat, reports the Des Moines Register
Ostrom says he wants to meet his 38-year-old ex-wife, Bridgette Ostrom, and her lawyer “on the field of battle” where he intends to free their “souls from their corporal bodies.”
Based on court documents, Ostrom alleged that his ex-wife “destroyed (him) legally.”
As part of his request, he also asked for 12 weeks “lead time” so he can find a suitable weapon for the deadly combat. Among his top choices were a katana and wakizashi swords.
“To this day, trial by combat has never been explicitly banned or restricted as a right in these United States,” Ostrom was quoted in court records as saying,
He noted that the type of trial was used “as recently as 1818 in British Court.”
Ostrom reportedly got the idea from a case in 2016 in which New York Supreme Court Justice Philip Minardo acknowledged that such duels had not officially been abolished. He then noted that he plans to request the same trial option for other court disputes he may encounter in the future.
Ostrom also stated that he will allow his ex-wife to choose her attorney, Matthew Hudson, as her “champion” to stand-in for her in the fight.
In response to Ostrom’s trial by combat motion, Hudson filed a resistance that also corrected Ostrom’s spelling.
“Surely (Ostrom) meant ‘corporeal’ bodies which Merriam Webster defines as having, consisting of, or relating to, a physical material body,” Hudson wrote. “Although (Ostrom) and potential combatant do have souls to be rended, they respectfully request that the court not order this done.”
In Hudson’s argument, he pointed out that such a duel could potentially cost someone’s life.
“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 added.
Hudson then asked the court to suspend Ostrom’s visitation rights and make him undergo a psychological evaluation.
While Ostrom admitted to his misspelling, he denied having any history of mental issues. Olstrom also explained that based on court records, trial by combat has not always ended in death. One way of ending the combat is when one party yielded to the other.
Citing irregularities with both camps’ motions and responses, Judge Craig Dreismeier noted in his own filing on Monday that he is not keen on issuing a decision anytime soon, the Associated Press
“Until the proper procedural steps to initiate a court proceeding are followed, this court will take no further action concerning any motion, objection or petition filed by either party at this time,” the judge said.