In a bizarre filing, a Kansas man has asked an Iowa court to honor his request for trial by combat in a custody hearing with his ex-wife. The 40-year-old man, David Ostrom, wants to meet his ex-wife and her attorney “on the field of battle where I will rend their souls from their corporal bodies.”
David Ostrom claims that his ex-wife, Bridgette Ostrom has “destroyed (him) legally.”
David has asked the court to give him 12 weeks to prepare his weapon for the battle. He says that he plans to forge his own katana and wakizashi swords.
David claimed in the court filing that it is not technically illegal to request a trial by combat and that it was legally evoked as recently as 1818 in British Court.
“To this day, trial by combat has never been explicitly banned or restricted as a right in these United States,” the court filing reads, according to the Des Moines Register.
It appears that the true target of David’s frustrations is actually his ex-wife’s attorney, Matthew Hudson of Harlan.
“I think I’ve met Mr. Hudson’s absurdity with my own absurdity,” David explained.
David also suggested that his ex-wife can choose her attorney as a “champion,” which means that he would stand-in and fight for her.
Hudson has responded to the trial by combat request by filing a motion to suspend David’s visitation rights to his children and ordered him to undergo a court-mandated psychological evaluation. Hudson also argued that a duel resulting in death would be a disproportional response to matters of custody and tax burdens.
In his reply Hudson said:
“Although (Ostrom) and potential combatants do have souls to be rended, they respectfully request that the court not order this done. 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.“
However, David says that the duel does not necessarily need to end in death, as it is possible for one of the contestants to “cry craven“—or give up the battle.
“Respondent and counsel have proven themselves to be cravens by refusing to answer the call to battle, thus they should lose this motion by default,” David wrote.
David does not expect the judge to grant his request, but he did say that “If Mr. Hudson is willing to do it, I will meet him. I don’t think he has the guts to do it.”