Fatherhood was once a noble tradition which is now under severe attack. This is one of my favorite scenes from the hit comedy series “Married with Children.” Even though the characters poked constant fun at one another, everyone cheered whenever Al Bundy took action to protect his “little girl.”
Sadly my girls were taken from me without cause due to my reform efforts, and I am powerless to protect them from a corrupt family court system. It explains my passion and sacrifices in today’s post. They made the mistake of coming between daddy and his “little girl(s)” even if I am totally out-gunned in the fight.
By Dr. Leon Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute
For regular followers of this site, Leon Koziol.com, my horrific ordeal as a judicial whistle blower is well known. As a highly qualified civil rights attorney with 23 unblemished years of practice, I set out in 2008 to reform an “absurdly complex” trial court structure through forums, news conferences, lobby initiatives, public protests, editorials, website postings and formal complaints, indeed the very essence of self-governance supposedly protected by our Constitution.
Our third branch of government is not immune from accountability for their violations of these rights, but when money is at stake, anything goes as I learned the hard way. I became an unwitting threat to a gold mine, a trillion dollar family court industry when adding lawyer fees, third party beneficiaries and billions of dollars in conflict incentives provided by our federal government under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.
This is an epidemic described in a report delivered to all members of Congress by parental rights advocates at our recent Parent March on Washington. It is one that has yet to receive any meaningful investigation or media coverage. Despite daily suicides caused by torturous processes that separate parents from their children, those at our borders are receiving far greater human rights attention.
If a person creates a dangerous condition such as drunk driving or a live electric cord in a swimming pool, he or she is held accountable for consequential deaths or injuries. The violator may not want to kill any person, but the outcome is predictable based on the condition that was intentionally or recklessly created.
Lawyers know this rule of liability all too well when they solicit and collect on personal injury cases. But somehow that knowledge incurs a disappearing act when they create a dangerous condition in divorce and family courts. They incite needless conflict in recurring fashion causing suicides, health impairments, child abandonment or murder in the most extreme cases.
Such cases are growing in number, but the profit motive, like with tobacco and drug companies, makes the victims expendable. I have spent more than ten years exposing this epidemic. As a consequence, I was targeted by the state and its agents resulting in the loss of my lifelong reputation, livelihood, various licenses, law practice, alternate employment, motor vehicles, bank accounts, established credit, personal health and precious daughters, among many other liberties. I was set up for premature death without any criminal charge, malpractice, moving violation, child protection report or evenly applied ethics violation.
But I never imagined I could also become subjected to a “shoot on sight” threat by a traffic cop. Any doubt that family courts today are killing for money can be removed by recalling the traffic cop in 2015 who shot an unarmed father five times in the back while fleeing a child support warrant. It occurred after a traffic stop in South Carolina and was caught on a phone video by a concealed by-stander. Otherwise it would not have been believed.
Both the white shooter and his black partner were later indicted, but the four children left behind will never see their dad again. All the money in the world is not worth such an outcome. Sadly, greed-infested lawyers in family court do not accept the consequences of their dangerous conditions. Therefore the carnage goes on without any reforms.
I attended Walter Scott’s funeral and addressed national media to shift the focus from racism to persecution, never imagining that I would become a near victim three years later. But the current dysfunctional nature of these courts is killing more than human lives, it is killing fatherhood, motherhood and family relationships that have existed since the beginning of humanity. The sensitive purpose of family court has morphed into a star chamber where a “winner take all” mentality is celebrated.
To deflect from all this, my adversaries also set out to kill the messenger of reform by discrediting me in every way possible, even committing crimes and fabrications along the way. But how can my message be so contemptible when the most learned authorities are supporting it? Again let’s look at some facts:
In her 1999 State of the Judiciary Address, former New York Chief Judge Judith Kaye declared the system of trial courts in New York State to be “absurdly complex… difficult to understand, hard to navigate and a burden to administer.”
Twenty years later, in a similar address, New York’s current Chief Judge Janet DiFiore made a more compelling condemnation of that trial structure in a call for constitutional reform even though one had been voted down in 2017. In her short tenure thus far, the state’s top jurist has initiated reforms which have brought no relief to those victimized by this structure.
On June 19, 2017, the New York State Bar Association issued a report supporting a constitutional convention based on an 11 trial court structure which it compared with our nation’s largest state of California having twice the population and a single trial court. The report chairman decried this Constitution as “a 52,500 word behemoth, filled with minutia and obsolete provisions, and even sections that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.”
In 2009, this “absurdly complex” court system grew even more complex by legislative creation of “support magistrates.” In effect, this created a twelfth trial court functioning concurrently with supreme and family courts. Unlike judges of the latter, support magistrates are not elected or publicly vetted for their qualifications; they are screened and appointed administratively with only a three-year minimum of lawyer experience.
While states have been accorded wide latitude in establishing their judicial branches of government, they cannot do so in a manner which violates basic human rights. As relevant to my current federal court action, the court structure in New York has infringed too deeply upon these rights to due process, equal protection, free speech, privacy and a fundamental liberty interest in a parent-child relationship.
New York boasts a proud history of according greater constitutional protections for its people than the federal government under its counterpart Bill of Rights. However, under both constitutions, court reform efforts are not reserved to judges, the bar or their committees. They have been retained by all people. My ordeal is a shocking watershed case which brings substance to the very condemnations that our state’s top legal authorities have repeatedly made public.
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