For the past several weeks, I have been preoccupied with filing deadlines in my test litigation presently underway in federal and state courts. It would be impossible to relate the complexities of my work, however, those of you following our site, http://www.LeonKoziol.com, know that I am seeking the fast track for parenting reform not unlike the one pursued in Brown v Bd. of Education, 347 US 483 (1954), 349 US 294 (1955) and Roe v Wade, 410 US 113 (1973). I have examined countless viewpoints on line and many are on the right track. Unfortunately competent legal representation from risk takers is not available to make those viewpoints worth anything.
A case on point is Supreme Court of Virginia v Consumers Union, 446 US 719 (1980). There, lawyers of an entire state hid behind a consumers group to successfully obtain First Amendment protection for lawyer advertising against a disciplinary court. Parent-child relations are far more important than the lawyer advertising we see today. Accordingly I brought comparable litigation in my own name to benefit “parents similarly situated” against these draconian child control laws which suppress liberty and privacy in childrearing practices. The retaliation was immediate. My 23 year unblemished reputation as a constitutional rights attorney was utterly destroyed by the government of the State of New York.
As fate would have it, this enabled me to focus energies nationwide. For those interested in my current test cases, my handy phrase for analytical purposes is called the “Custodial Institution of Childrearing”. I use this to describe the states’ exploitation of the child as it is commonly occurring across the country. I then show how this is severely damaging parent-child relationships. Applying Supreme Court principles I find a sound basis for declaring this scheme of laws unconstitutional. The following cases can be found in any public law library, in addition to the above three, to get an idea of my legal arguments: Rochin v California, 342 US 165 (1953); Wisconsin v Yoder, 406 US 205 (1972); Stanley v Illinois, 405 US 645 (1972); Santosky v Kramer, 455US 745 (1982) and Troxel v Granville, 530 US 57 (2000). Those of you in New York, add to your research engine: Tropea v Tropea, 87 NY2d 727 (1996); Tompkins CSCU v Chamberlin, 99 NY2d 328 (2003) and Webster v Ryan 729 NYS2d 315 (Fam. Ct. Albany 2001).
Recently the U.S. Supreme Court granted a writ to hear a case involving indigent child support obligors imprisoned without counsel. I have received contact and phone calls from as far away as New Zealand and Israel regarding this case, and I will simply state that Turner v Price will do little, if anything, to remedy the abuse confronting mainstream parents in these courts. In fact, it may even aggravate issues by mandating the entry of more lawyers into the glut which already exists here. Another handy phrase I use on this subject is “A village that cannot support one lawyer can always support two”. Of course this is because it takes at least two lawyers to promote controversy for money making purposes. When it comes to children, however, the impact can be unconscionable, particularly when matters are made worse and leave the litigants penniless. No one is asking the relevant question of how these imprisoned “support” obligors became indigent in the first place. Remember, there are nearly 300,000 lawyers in California alone, a state like New York, which is nearing bankruptcy.
There is a lot of good work occurring out there by civil rights advocates of all races, genders and backgrounds to advance parenting rights. I applaud your courage and your distinct approaches to the problems we all share together. However, I must emphasize once again that our children can wait no longer, parents can sustain the abuses no longer, and our nation can tolerate the damage no longer. All of our efforts, individually or collectively, are in vain unless we can come together. We are fighting a multi-billion dollar child industry that thrives upon finding all manner of fault in our distinct approaches to parenting. It’s time, our time, to state with one united voice, that enough is enough. We are Americans. We have different ideas from those of the states’ parenting substitutes (judges, lawyers, guardians, therapists, etc., etc.). Indeed this is what makes us “American”. The state is not our father or our mother. It never has been, it never will be, as long as we all keep true to our nation’s founding principles.
This Sunday at 7 pm, I am holding my second nationwide teleconference to promote a Parenting Rights Convention here in upstate New York the weekend of April 15-17, 2011(not far from the location where the first national women’s rights convention was held). I am urging all of to join in. The design of this Convention is: 1) To define a common goal which we can all unite behind; 2) How that overarching goal can incorporate pressing issues not experienced by all, including parent alienation, gender discrimination, child abuse, domestic violence, parental exploitation and false claims, and 3) How we can facilitate a nationwide rally in Washington D.C. in mid June of this year. Do not expect your neighbor or some distant advocate to protect your children for you. That’s your responsibility. We need reform, we need it now, and to secure it, we need each other. Best regards…. Leon Koziol, J.D.
Conference Dial-in Number: (605) 477-3000
Participant Access Code: Enter: 561737 (Hit # Key)