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Can one appeal a conviction on grounds of being denied Due Process & 9th Amend. rights (or any other rights) to trial by combat?

Miami, FL |

The 13 colonies were under British Common Law, which allowed trial by combat until Parliament banned it in 1819. The colonies broke away in the 1700's, so trial by combat was in effect here- and no US Court or Legislature at any level banned it here, not even in the Constitution. 9th Amendment says if Rights are not listed, it doesn't mean people don't have those Rights. And the Founding Fathers did have duels to settle disputes, they didn't even wait to go through the Courts to formally have trial by combat-- It was original intent on a way to settle disputes. If asking for trial by combat conflicts with other Rights then, I wave those other Rights. Could this go the way of the 27th Amendment? Can I demand trial by combat or appeal a conviction for being denied such an option?

no one banned gay marriage outright either, which is why the gays use the equal protection clause in such a unique way to allow for gay marriage. Perhaps using due process and 9th Amendment rights to demand trial by combat should be viewed similarly since no one outright banned trial by combat.

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Best answer

    This made my day, thank you for posting such a colorful question. Unfortunately, however, the answer is still "no."

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  2. I am sure that you are aware, Florida was not one of the Thirteen colonies and was ceded by Spain to the United States. In any event, The constitutions of the various states can and do abrogate common law and/or permit the legislatures to abrogate common law. There is no such thing as or right to, under the law of Florida or any other state or the United States Government, trial by combat nor is such a right guaranteed or reserved by the constitution.


  3. I sincerely hope this is a hoax question. The answer is "No!"

    I only practice in the areas of personal injury, federal civil rights, and criminal law. I will not respond to inquiries about legal representation in other areas of law, so please do not call me about matters outside my areas of practice. Furthermore, my answers on Avvo do not create an attorney-client relationship. Avvo is not designed for the type of legal analysis I personally require to accept a case. You should always seek a consultation with a licensed attorney who practices in the specific area of law who can fully review the facts of your case.


  4. To your specific question whether you can appeal a conviction on those grounds I suppose the answer has to be yes. Whether you can appeal successfully is another matter. There may be some preliminary issues, however, which you will have to address. The first is whether you were convicted after a trial or after a plea of guilty. Appealing from a guilty plea is extraordinarily difficult in every state, and in some states it may be virtually impossible. Did your plea, for example, include a waiver of appeal rights? In many jurisdictions it often does. Did you move within the time specified by law for permission to withdraw your plea? In some states, such a motion is a precondition to taking an appeal from a conviction on a guilty plea. Even if you were convicted after a trial, you may have waived your issue if you did not file a timely demand for trial by combat, and perhaps also if you went to trial by the court after your motion for combat was denied.

    Lots of problems for you here, in other words, before you even reach the underlying constitutional issue on which, as my colleagues have pointed out, your case does not appeal overwhelming strong.

    And please, if you go ahead with this litigation, do not make the gross blunder of analogizing a duel, which is an entirely private matter, with a trial by combat which, in the days when it was permitted, was a formal judicial proceeding sanctioned and conducted under authority of law.

    And finally, you must decide whether you want your appeal to be conducted at law or by combat.

    En garde!


  5. Trial by combat is not recognized by the US government or by any state. It is an ancient practice that is counter to reason and common sense, giving victory freely to those with the biggest muscles, or, if substitutes are allowed, to him who can hire the strongest and best armed helpers. In other words, you are asking for permission to do wrong to someone, then when they try to get help, you insist on the right to beat them up instead of having the dispute settled in a rational way. In other words, you want to doubly victimize the victim. You can try whatever you want, but in my opinion no judge in America would allow a dispute to be settled by force instead of by legitimate court procedures.

    You and I do not have an attorney-client relationship formed by our communications on this website. Comments made by me on this website are general advice based on partial information. You should not rely on any advice given without first hiring a lawyer in the area where the case is pending, and providing that lawyer with full information.


  6. No. You have no grounds to make such a demand.

    Bit of 6th grade civics - Florida was never an English colony.

    Dueling outlawed in most US states before the civil war.

    Dueling is not the same thing as trial by combat.

    You've managed to mix inaccurate historical fact and wrong definitions of legal concepts with Game of Thrones like sci-fi scenarios--the result.....complete misunderstanding of fact and legal options.

    A+ for creative thinking though.

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