A Kansas man recently made national news when he filed a motion for trial by combat. His goal was to meet his soon to be ex-wife or her lawyer “on the field of battle where he will rend their souls from their corporal bodies.” David Ostrom came upon this unlikely solution after claiming that his wife, Bridget Ostrom, and her lawyer had legally destroyed him.
Ostrom was unhappy with the custody agreement and an obligation to pay property taxes owed. He also requested 12 weeks so he could have a Katana sword and a Wakizashi sword forged for the duel. While he is a fan of Game of Thrones, which may have inspired his request, Ostrom has no experience wielding a sword of any kind.
This is technically legal
Trial by sword was never outlawed here in the United States, though it was last officially used by British Court in 1818. Ostrom’s motion is not the first modern-day filing – the New York Supreme Court acknowledged in 2015 that trial by sword was not outlawed when an attorney sought to resolve accusations of helping a client fraudulently transfer assets.
The lawyer of the wife responded to Ostrom’s motion by correcting the spelling of “corporeal.” He pointed out that the duel should not be allowed for the non-life-threatening issues like visitation and taxes. The lawyer also requested that the father have his visiting privileges suspended until Ostrom undergoes a court-ordered psychological evaluation. The judge, on the other hand, did not officially respond to Ostrom because the motion was not a proper procedural step.
Leave the battles to the attorneys
Ostrom is undoubtedly frustrated by the outcome of his divorce agreement, but his solution is both reckless and could lead to additional penalties if the judge wishes to impose them. Those involved in a contentious divorce serve the interests of the family and themselves if they leave the resolution of the conflict to the attorneys. The heart of a family law attorney’s services is to provide experienced and thoughtful negotiation and problem-solving skills in all matters related to the case.