Everyone knows that discrimination against male parents in our nation’s family courts remains widespread. It is a curiously accepted perversion of equal rights verified by Census Bureau statistics and other reports showing that 85% of all support payers are men and 90% of contested custody cases favor women. Even judges, politicians and legal experts concede the undeniable despite its harmful effects upon veterans, innocent children and overcrowded courts and prisons. So why has nothing been done to rectify the clear injustices well into our 21st Century?
The first answer is the obvious one: unequal classifications of “custodial” and “non-custodial” parents facilitate money transfers which can then be exploited to divert finite resources to lawyers, state coffers and third party bank accounts. This must occur so that the “experts” can direct America on how its children should be raised despite their own lack of example or acceptable standards. Fit parents who simply choose to live apart must compete for court awards while demonstrating their parenting skills at a very dear price to families and children. In short, discrimination is profitable, no different than slavery or underpaid women.
The second answer is political: the principles embodied within our Constitution can be twisted to suit the politics of a given day. So, for example, African-Americans were not considered citizens in the 1850s, hence they had no standing to bring a civil rights case challenging slavery, see Dred Scott v Sandford, 60 US 393 (1857). After the Civil War, they were citizens but made to live separate from the “more equal” ones, Plessey v Ferguson, 163 US 165 (1896). Women were not citizens under the 15th Amendment even after the Civil War. Hence, they were incompetent to vote in the 1872 national elections, United States v Susan B. Anthony, 24 Fed. Cas. 829 (1873).
More than 150 years later, it seems that little has changed with respect to the same principles when applied to fathers seeking to obtain more time with their offspring and equal authority in childrearing. This point was made evident in a trilogy of cases brought by parental advocate, Dr. Leon R. Koziol, entitled Parent v New York; Koziol v Lippman; and Koziol v Peters. As stated at www.leonkoziol.com, this is the last in a three part series we call the Civil Rights Trilogy, designed to stimulate your participation and support behind a growing movement to reform our nation’s divorce and family courts.
Today we focus on the last case. Like the earlier two, it was analyzed in a Memorandum of Law filed last week by Dr. Koziol in the case of Koziol v King. The latest one comes as a result of the recent unanimous Supreme Court ruling which criticized lower federal courts for abusing an abstention doctrine to dismiss meritorious civil rights cases such as the Civil Rights Trilogy. A relevant excerpt is attached. The Koziol v Peters case could well be compared to the experience of Susan B. Anthony when she litigated her rights in the same federal court in northern New York. Indeed, she faced everything from standing and jurisdiction issues to the deprivation of her jury rights before being convicted for the federal offense of voting in a congressional election.
In Koziol’s case, his children, law license and livelihood were seized also without a jury in retaliation for his exercise of citizen rights. Invidious targeting of his activity was remarkably similar. And, in an ironic twist, his first license suspension for conscientious opposition to unjust support orders came in the same city of Rochester, New York where Ms. Anthony was arrested. It occurred in a court room dedicated to her achievements. Put simply, there is little to distinguish Koziol’s modern ordeal from the one faced by Ms. Anthony. While being prosecuted, she continued to defy oppression with bold outspokenness and a refusal to pay her fine upon conviction. Today, we find a man seeking to overcome long held prejudices regarding a father’s place in the childrearing hierarchy. Like the 19th Century judges dismissing sound human rights principles, Judge Thomas McAvoy dismissed the ones put before him two centuries later, to wit:
1) Does a father truly have an equal right to raise his offspring?
2) Can the state abuse licensing authority to censor free speech and reform?
3) Is it not a federal court’s duty to safeguard federal rights when the state violates them?
Like the case of United States v Susan B. Anthony, the federal court here in upstate New York refuses to consider long overdue precedent when the timing and circumstances are so ripe. Instead it misrepresents the law and facts while exercising the expedient option of abstaining from jurisdiction and constitutional duty. Worse yet, it has exploited such rare opportunities to defame and suppress the messengers of reform. With such a profound backdrop, we ask you to assist in our cause. Without resources, we cannot continue this fight. Please share our message. We offer speaking engagements, donation options and a Court Program to assist self-represented parents and those facing the high cost of divorce, custody and support litigation.