Family law, whether it involves divorce, property or children, is often emotionally, financially and time expensive. One American man has experienced this firsthand and has requested an unusual route to settle his dispute.
David Ostrom is a 40-year-old man from Kansas who has been in a dispute with his ex-wife in relation to custody and visitation of their children, as well as property tax payments.
Frustrated with his ongoing courtroom battle, Ostrom requested to settle the matter with the medieval method of a trial by combat. He has also asked for 12 weeks in which to obtain Japanese samurai swords (his weapon of choice) and noted that his ex-wife’s lawyer could be her “champion”.
In the modern justice system, is this even possible? You might be surprised.
The legal basis for Ostrom’s request was that trial by combat had “never been explicitly banned or restricted as a right in [the] United States”. True enough, Ostrom is not the first modern man to motion trial by combat to resolve a legal matter.
In England in 2002, a mechanic tried unsuccessfully to raise trial by combat over a $40.00 parking ticket – his reasoning was that “new Human Rights law gives ordinary people the right to use the law for their own purposes”.
As recently as 2015, Richard Luthmann, an American lawyer in Staten Island, proposed a trial by combat. Luthmann argued similarly to Ostrom, saying that “the American Constitution does not mention trial by combat at all, and the Ninth Amendment provides that the rights of the people are not limited to those listed in the Constitution”.
Although trial by combat is obviously not a viable or appropriate solution in our contemporary world, the question of its technical legality is an interesting one.
Martin Bullock Lawyers can’t settle your matter through trial by combat, but we can help you with a range of other legal solutions. Call (02) 9687 9322 to arrange an initial consultation.