David Ostrom trial by combat, man wants to settle ugly custody battle.
A Kansas man embroiled in a contentious legal battle with his ex-wife recently filed a motion with an Iowa court requesting that the conflict be resolved through “trial by combat.”
David Zachary Ostrom filed the motion against his former wife, identified as Bridgette Marie Ostrom, on January 3. 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.
“The Respondent, by and through her counsel of records, have indicated they have destroyed me legally,” David Ostrom wrote to the court. “I now wish to give them the chance to meet me on the field of battle where I will REND THEIR SOULS from their corporal [sic] bodies.”
Ostrom argues that trial by combat was never explicitly banned in the U.S., and claims that any rights not specifically named in the Constitution are “still retained by the people” under the 9th Amendment.
According to Ostrom’s motion, New York State Supreme Court Justice Philip G. Minardo noted that the state court had the power to sanction trial by combat as recently as 2016.
“Thus I submit this Iowa State Court also has such power to sanction Trial By Combat to allow the Respondent and I to resolve our disputes on the field of battle, legally,” Ostrom wrote.
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 concluded with a concession that his ex-wife could name a champion — as long as it was her lawyer, Matthew Hudson — to “stand in her stead” in the proposed mortal combat.
Hudson responded with an opposing filing, but began with a swipe at Ostrom’s spelling.
“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,” Hudson continued. “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.”
In an interview with reporters, Ostrom seemed at least somewhat aware that a judge would find the motion preposterous.
“I think I’ve met Mr. Hudson’s absurdity with my own absurdity,” the Associated Press reported Ostrom as saying.
In a court filing on Monday, Judge Craig Dreismeier said that he wouldn’t be issuing a decision immediately, AP reported. His statement indicated that both sides had failed to follow proper procedures with recent filings.