Kansas Man Wants to Settle Custody Battle with ‘Trial by Combat’ with Swords

Getty Images/Buddhika Weerasinghe

A Kansas man is pleading with the court to allow him to settle an ugly custody battle with his wife by armed combat with Japanese swords.

David Ostrom, 40, demanded the dramatic coda to their court case after admitting that his ex-wife’s lawyer has “destroyed (him) legally” in the courtroom.

“I now wish to give them the chance to meet me on the field of battle, where I will REND THEIR SOULS from their … bodies,” Ostrom wrote in his court filing, according to the Carroll Times Herald.

Ostrom also asked for a three-month delay to the court case to allow him time to procure proper Japanese-style Samurai swords for this battle he envisions.

Ostrom explained to the judge in his Shelby County, Iowa, court case that trial by combat has a long history.

“To this day, trial by combat has never been explicitly banned or restricted as a right in these United States,” Ostrom argued, adding that it was used “as recently as 1818 in British Court.”

Ostrom told the Des Moines Register that he got the idea from a 2016 case in which New York Supreme Court Justice Philip Minardo admitted that duels had never been formally outlawed.

The combative litigant also allowed that his ex-wife’s lawyer, Matthew Hudson, could stand-in for the woman if he is man enough to do it.

“I think I’ve met Mr. Hudson’s absurdity with my own absurdity,” Ostrom added. “If Mr. Hudson is willing to do it, I will meet him. I don’t think he has the guts to do it.”

Jokingly calling himself a “potential combatant,” attorney Hudson advised the court to deny Ostrom’s request for trial by combat.

“Although the respondent and potential combatant do have souls to be rended, they respectfully request that the court not order this done,” Hudson wrote in his reply to the court.

Hudson also noted that the “potentially life-ending ramifications” of a sword fight should be considered disproportional to property and custody issues.

Hudson also had a legal argument against a sword duel.

“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,” the lawyer wrote.

Despite the sparkling banter, Judge Craig Dreismeier was not amused by the whole situation.

“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,” Dreismeier insisted.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.


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