trial by combat

Divorce is never fun, and it can get nasty in a variety of unpleasant ways. However, one divorce case in the United States will surely take even the most seasoned divorce lawyers and experts by surprise.

Man Wants Trial By Combat Against Ex-Wife

A Kansas man is making headlines after he handed in a request to the judge presiding over his divorce case asking him to approve a ‘trial by combat’ for him against his ex-wife.

Newsweek reported that David Ostrom argued that his ex-wife Paula Ostrom and her divorce lawyer have “destroyed (him) legally.” That’s why he told the judge he wanted to confront them both “on the field of battle where (he) will rend their souls from their corporal bodies.”

In an attempt to be a gentleman about the situation, Ostrom said he did not want to battle his ex-wife directly. Instead, he would like to give her the chance to have her divorce attorney Matthew Hudson fight in her place.

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Since Ostrom doesn’t own any weapons himself, he has put in a request to the Iowa District Court in Shelby County to give him 12 weeks of lead time to “find or forge” the Japanese-style wakizashi or katana (sword) that he intends to arm his wife or her lawyer with.

Ostrom and his ex-wife appear to be battling over property tax and visitation. Paula’s attorney has yet to respond to the motion publicly, despite requests from the media for comment.

Some Historical Precedent To This Request

Believe it or not, there is some possible historical precedence to Ostrom’s request. The right to trial by combat was historically a mainstay of British common law. And, of course, that’s the basis of United States’ law. However, if Ostrom’s motion is granted, it will be the first ‘trial by combat’ to actually take place on American soil.

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

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Judge Craig Dreismeier has already responded to the motion. He says he is not prepared to offer an official ruling on it until various procedural errors are corrected.

“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 said.

It should be noted that this is not a rejection, so this duel might still take place after all. Anything can happen in divorce court!

Ostrom Isn’t Backing Down

When asked by reporters if he was serious about his dueling challenge, Ostrom made it clear that he would be happy to go up against his ex-wife’s lawyer.

“If Mr. Hudson is willing to do it, I will meet him,” he said. “I don’t think he has the guts to do it.”

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