Kansas man wants ‘trial by combat’ -- reminiscent of disgraced S.I. attorney

Nellie Chapman
January 16, 2020

David Ostrom, 40, from Paola, Kansas said he would give his ex-wife Bridgette Ostrom, 38, the choice of an attorney or a "stand-in fighter" to battle him.

Attorney Matthew Hudson filed a resistance to Ostrom's motion, and appeared to mock his spelling in the process.

If Mr. Hudson is willing to do it, I will meet him.

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. Ostrom claims that in the custody battle with his ex-wife, the legal system is "stacked against men".

The case is being handled in Shelby County, Iowa. The man requested that court grant him 12 weeks to find katana and wakizashi swords for the duel, the Carroll Times Herald reported.

The Des Moines Register reached out to David via telephone where he explained that he had come up with the idea of a swordfight after hearing a New York Supreme Court Justice acknowledge that duels had not been abolished during the case that took place in 2016. The frustrated father also added that this method of handling legal disputes was utilized 'as recently as 1818 in British Court'.

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Hudson suggested that trial by combat is an extreme way to settle property tax and custody issues, since such a battle could easily end in death.

"Surely [Ostrom] meant "corporeal" bodies which Merriam Webster defines as having, consisting of, or relating to, a physical material body", Hudson wrote in his response. "Although (Ostrom) and potential combatant do have souls to be rended, they respectfully request that the court not order this done". His ex's lawyer responded in court that just because the USA and Iowa constitutions don't specifically prohibit battling another person with a deadly katana sword - the weapon Ostrom suggested - it does prohibit a court sitting in equity from ordering same.

In modern times, the right to trial by combat has been struck down in other courts around the world.

Ostrom acknowledged the misspelled word in his response but continued to press for a fight.

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

Judge Dreismeier hasn't yet ruled on either suggestions because there are irregularities on both sides, according to 7News.

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