Kansas man asks judge's leave for sword battle with ex-wife, lawyer

Clay Curtis
January 16, 2020

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.

A Kansas man has asked an Iowa judge to let him engage in a sword fight with his ex-wife and her attorney so that he can "rend their souls" from their bodies. In it, the motion demands that the court sanction a trial by combat to resolve disputes over illegal telephone and electronic contact, as well as unpaid property taxes.

Instead of undertaking the usual procedure of having a judge help settle the issue, Mr Ostrom has requested their dispute be settled in a "trial by combat" with swords.

He said it was used "as recently as 1818 in British Court".

Hudson poked fun at his opponent's spelling error ("Surely [Ostrom] meant "corporeal" body") in a resistance filed against the trial-by-combat request, suggesting that the estranged father should receive court-mandated psychotherapy and lose his visitation rights entirely.

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

David lives in Paola, Kansas, while Bridgette lives in Harlan, Iowa, where the court battle is unfolding.

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Were the judge to grant his motion, Ostrom asked for 12 weeks to prepare so that he could have traditional Japanese katana and wakizashi swords - one of each - "sourced or forged for use".

Ostrom told the Register that he got the idea for the duel after he learned about a 2016 New York Supreme Court case in which New York Supreme Court Justice Philip Minardo said that duels had not been abolished under state law.

"It should be noted that just because the USA 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.

"They've tried to ignore me and not address equal custody, and I think this puts a spotlight on them", said Ostrom.

He asked the court to order Ostrom undergo psychological treatment. He plans to request the same method of hands-on dispute resolution for any other issues that come up in court, he told local media, citing his frustration with his ex's lawyer.

The judge ruled Monday, Jan. 13 that he wouldn't take any action in the case because proper procedural steps had not been taken.

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