Kansas man asks judge to let him engage in sword fight with ex-wife, lawyer


A Kansas man asked a judge in Iowa if he could initiate a sword fight with his ex-wife and her attorney, saying he wanted to meet them “on the field of battle.”

David Ostrom, 40, claims in court documents that his ex-wife, Bridgette Ostrom, 38, “destroyed (him) legally” and made the case for “trial by combat,” The Des Moines Register reported. 

The man asked the Iowa District Court to give him 12 weeks of “lead time” to source or forge Japanese katana and wakizashi swords in preparation for the desired combat.

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

Ostrom told the newspaper that his decision to petition for a sword duel stemmed from frustration with his ex-wife’s lawyer, Matthew Hudson.

Hudson asked the court to suspend Ostrom’s visitation rights and order him to undergo a court-ordered psychological evaluation. 

“I think I’ve met Mr. Hudson’s absurdity with my own absurdity,” Ostrom told the Register.

The court has yet to rule on his motion or a motion from Hudson resisting a trial by combat.

Ostrom told the newspaper he is serious about the dueling offer.

“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.”

Judge Craig Dreismeier said in his own filing this week he will not issue a decision in the matter anytime soon, The Associated Press reported. The judge cited irregularities in filings from both parties.


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