He was an icon of American media, a whistle blower extraordinaire, a reporter and anchor for CBS 60 Minutes. He passed away today after a phenomenal career that spanned decades. When he spoke everyone listened. You easily became glued to your television sets on Sunday nights when Morley was telling a story. He did it with conviction, class and professionalism, not with political motivation or self service.
And so it was when he interviewed Dr. Leon Koziol at his law office years ago on the subject of Indian land claims and illegal gaming compacts. When an Indian tribe sued innocent landowners for their business and homes in violation of ancient treaties, Leon was hired when few other lawyers were willing to risk their careers. Leon counter-sued on behalf of a citizens group challenging an illegal gaming contact which federal, state and local leaders claimed could not be won.
Well persistence paid off. Despite all the attacks from media, judges and high profile law firms over a period of years, Leon ultimately won for the landowners. A billion dollar casino compact was declared unconstitutional in New York Supreme Court. Years later the land claim was also struck down. One of Leon’s successful rulings can be found at Oneida Nation v County of Oneida, 132 F. Support. 2d 71 (NDNY 2000).
Now Leon Koziol is seeking to declare divorce and family laws which discriminate against fathers unconstitutional. He is also seeking recourse for court corruption and parental alienation. New York Supreme Court recently signed an order against a family judge, Daniel King, to answer Leon’s mandamus and declaratory action regarding a gag order on this website, Leon Koziol.com. The lawsuit features unprecedented retaliations involving Leon’s children for his testimony before the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption.
It was set for a public hearing on June 10, 2016. However, today, at the request of defense counsel it was rescheduled for June 22 at 1:30 pm at the Supreme Court in Utica, New York. As a result the rally set for the earlier date had to be rescheduled for the later day, giving us more time to organize. Get involved, spread the word and join us. We can be reached at our office, Parenting Rights Institute, at (315) 380-3420 or Leon direct at (315) 796-4000.
Parental and Civil Rights Advocate, Dr. Leon Koziol, will release a report detailing judicial censorship of misconduct complaints in divorce and family courts.
The censorship of parents comes in the form of over regulation, retaliatory conditions, gag orders and orchestrated support delinquencies as a pretext for punitive incarceration.
There are many other modes of suppression which you may have experienced. Our children are exploited to incite needless controversy, lucrative therapies, and costly programs. They are trying to conform our diverse parenting practices into a utopian new world order.
And yet despite our constitutional status as a self governing nation, complaints of consequential alienation, needless suicides, school violence, declines in worker productivity and a health care crisis are being censored by an entrenched establishment.
An international Christian human rights organization will be addressing the United Nations regarding such issues on a global scale. Its weekend conference next week in New York City features world renowned speakers, and Leon has been invited.
The focus of the conference is to end oppression of speech, religion and human rights by ISIS, China and “other countries.” Leon will show how such oppression is occurring right here in America under the guise of our children’s “best interests” (the almighty dollar).
He is also submitting related reports to Congress regarding an abused federal funding law known as Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (CPS and support enforcement). Another entitled Custody Court Dysfunction was released last week for reform purposes (fundraising).
Unfortunately the moral corruption of America continues with unscrupulous and often incompetent lawyers having no regard for the damage they cause to our society. Their mandatory custody framework is highly protected in place of shared parenting because it has become a gold mine.
If you’ve been following Leon’s sacrificial stance against his own profession, you know how the same courts seized his children, home and law license in retaliation for his reform efforts. He wants to organize a rally in Washington to make this a pivotal issue in the presidential elections.
Regrettably apathy remains. Typing on keyboards from the comfort of your homes to raise some kind of “awareness” to fellow victims and a universe that could care less will not reform anything. It may only cause more harm by sending a message of disunity and weakness.
Like other civil rights movements, families must unite and make a profound statement. The Team here at Leon Koziol.com and Parenting Rights Institute hopes you will help.
Contact us at our office at (315) 380-3420 or Leon direct at (315) 796-4000. We offer a Court Program for self-represented parents and those wishing to consider mediation and other litigation alternatives at http://www.parentingrightsinstitute.com. We also prepare book manuscripts for those wishing to publish their court ordeals.
Download our report at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/309595636/Custody-Court-Dysfunction
By Leon R. Koziol, J.D.
It was something no one expected: a politician truly inaccessible by media because she got surrounded by a wall of fact checkers. Hillary Clinton was giving her Convention strategy at a news conference in Hartford, Connecticut.
It was held after she she finally ended a streak of primary victories by Bernie Sanders in her (not quite) home state of New York. If it hadn’t been for Hillary’s Vermont Wall, a previously unknown senator from that state would not be giving her such a challenge for president.
As a reporter for Leon Koziol.com, I was determined to penetrate the fact checkers and become the first to get breaking news. So down on all fours I went squirreling my way toward the podium armed with a politician compass (operating on mouth vibrations), my I-phone 6, and Michelle Fields repellent.
I was doing good, the vibrations were off the chart. If my dad could do this to escape a Nazi war camp, it would be a ‘crawl in the park’ for me. That’s when I came across a familiar pair of green sneakers. Recognizing their owners, Ed Ryan, my good friend, I quickly rose to to greet him.
“Lee what the hell you doing here?” he laughed loudly as I tried to compose myself. “And what’s with the I-phone, skirt checking? You know guys are going to prison for that these days.”
“Come on, Ed, you know better. I was trying to avoid Michelle Fields. Besides what are guys not getting arrested for these days?”
“Point taken. Who’s Michelle Fields, another stalker? You got no luck in women, Lee. You should just stick with the ones at White Lake. They’re pretty hot and at least they’re normal… I think.”
Ed laughed aloud again as he was accustomed to doing, even at his own comments. He was my social consultant at a place called White Lake Inn, a popular restaurant and country rock bar in New York’s Adirondack Mountains.
Everyone liked Ed. If he didn’t like you, a psychiatric evaluation was probably on your calendar. At White Lake, it was All-American, everybody liked everybody, it didn’t matter who you were. World issues were resolved there. The laughs and suds were often on the house.
“No Ed, she’s the Breitbart reporter fired for that complaint against Trump’s campaign manager, Cory Lewandowski, because he touched her at a crowded rally. It was an assault charge that got thrown out.”
“I know you never lost a criminal case, but don’t tell me you’re a lawyer for Trump now.”
“No, you’re missing my point, it’s the feminist idiocracy taking over our government. I’m representing common sense. What kind of cops or military is equal rights gonna bring us if reporters get so sensitive. Michelle got swindled… Oh never mind, I’m just trying to…”
“(Interrupting) And I thought you didn’t care much for rock concerts, Lee. I’ve been standing in this line ever since I saw the advertisement for Bad Company off I-95. I love this band! Maybe Max and Kelly will be the opening act.”
It would be hard as the bearer of bad news. Ed seemed so excited, but someone had to tell him. Such an easy-going guy, that alone was appealing to most. As he explained, it was because he never married or had kids. His job as a school counselor gave him all the craziness to last a lifetime.
“Ed this isn’t a rock concert for Bad Company. It’s a news conference for Hillary Clinton. That giant sign was put up by Bernie Sanders, her opponent. They’re probably referring to all the billionaires and corporate donors to her campaign.”
He grimaced in semi-disbelief. “No f-ing way. I hate politicians, except maybe Donald Trump. He’s got balls and funny as shit. You know this whole country’s going to hell unless he gets elected. I would still wait if he was here.”
“Well then do me a favor, tall as you are, put me on your shoulders so I can get my I-phone on Hillary’s speech. They’re trying to get an answer for her lies about Benghazi. She wants to be commander-in-chief but got our soldiers in harm’s way. If she does her usual dance routine, I’m outta here.”
Never embarrassed but highly disappointed, Ed agreed. He dutifully hoisted me and I began zooming in. Her remarks were directed against Donald Trump which gave Ed some solace for his blunder. Hillary was the anti-Christ as far as he was concerned. At least that’s the way he explained Sanders’ visit with the Pope back home.
“Who is Donald Trump to talk about success?” the candidate railed. “Win, win, win… blah, blah, blah. Well I got success and I know how to win too. Take the Whitewater scandal, I won, my village on how to raise everyone’s children, and Bill’s infidelities, I won again. Now they got this e-mail thing going. I’m still winning.”
“But now you want to be president, Hillary,” interrupted a fact checker. “That last scandal is not small potatoes, it involves our military overseas.”
“Hey the American public could care less if I mix my grocery bills with nuclear secrets. Besides it’s the FBI against our Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, on this federal crime, and everyone knows she’s my feminazi friend. No one’s above the law except me. I got it all covered folks, untouchable just like Bill. By the way he really did not have sex with that woman. I was there at the White House and we did not turn it into a whore house.”
Disgusted, and given the long trip we made, I had to yell out a question from the media entourage relegated to the rear. It wouldn’t be the first time I did it. Ed buckled a bit underneath me with the crowd pushing on all sides. But if he could manage to stand his ground all those years at White Lake Inn, this would be no problem.
“So what about Donald Trump’s campaign platform,” I shouted, “pretty consistent wouldn’t you say? He’s sounding more presidential by the day, how do you respond to his bullet point plan?”
“There you guys go again with bullets, gun rights and the Second Amendment. I got an answer for Trump’s high tech lie detector system. I got so many lies, I can keep him and the media so busy they will never keep up. I just move on to my next lie before his detectors go off. There’s never been anyone like me.”
“And there will never be, at least not at the White House, Hillary, because we’re all voting for Trump. Come on Ed, let’s get back to White Lake. Brian and Joe make more sense than this politician does.”
Suddenly all of Trump’s lie sirens were sounding off to a point where they were drowning out Hillary’s shrill voice. “No, come back I’m not done lying yet. Have you heard about my Vermont Wall?”
Editor’s Note: This satirical post was sponsored by Leon Koziol.com and Parenting Rights Institute. Kindly help us secure divorce family court reform by supporting our work. We rely on donations to make such work possible. A report entitled Custody Court Dysfunction was recently made public and it must be shared with persons or entities with resources to help us open offices in every state. Custody Court Dysfunction is a growing epidemic traced to PTSD, Parent Alienation Syndrome, moral decay, health care costs and productivity declines in the workplace.
Contact us at our office at (315) 380-3420 or direct at (315) 796-4000. We also offer a Court Program for self-represented parents and those wishing to consider mediation and other litigation alternatives at http://www.parentingrightsinstitute.com. If you like our stories, we also prepare book manuscripts for those wishing to publish their court ordeals.
Download our report at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/309595636/Custody-Court-Dysfunction
A highly compelling report was released today to select groups and government agencies on the subject of a crisis developing among families victimized by divorce and custody processes. It discloses widespread abuses in courts across America which are now at epidemic levels.
Parents seeking to protect their family privacy, child rearing authority and fair treatment may benefit greatly from this report.
The report can be downloaded at the following link: https://www.scribd.com/doc/309595636/Custody-Court-Dysfunction
You may also contact Dr. Koziol directly at any of the following:
Mail: Parenting Rights Institute; P.O. Box 8302; Utica, New York 13505
Office telephone: (315) 380-3420
The opening segment of this report is provided below:
An Epidemic of Mass Proportion Suppressed by Government and Bar Associations Across America: Vital Funding Request to Advance Shared Parenting, Nationwide Reform and Justice in Divorce and Family Courts.
Dr. Leon R. Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute
Utica, New York
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
From the Film
Tears of the Sun
featuring Bruce Willis
Future generations will look back on today’s domestic relations courts and be amazed at how truly barbaric they once were. A scheme of laws and processes derived from feudal equity doctrines has been retained which features loving parents engaged in brutal contests over their offspring in a public arena. A winner-take-all battle for custody leads to overregulation of families by the state and marginalization, alienation or outright extinction of one fit parent from the children’s lives. Anal investigations of the combatants’ backgrounds by self serving advisors incite further controversy to last a lifetime. It is a spectacle reminiscent of the Roman Coliseum.
No person or entity has ever been able to achieve a comprehensive study of the vast detriment which this archaic custody and support system has had upon our society. Any such effort would assuredly be stymied by the beneficiaries of a lucrative child control industry. However common sense dictates that our nation could be well served with sweeping reforms here in our least scrutinized branch of government. We can put a man on the moon, split atoms, engage artificial intelligence and achieve vast breakthroughs in medicine but remain unable to extricate family courts from their nineteenth century practices. This public initiative aims to do exactly that.
In recent decades, medical and psychiatric journals have identified various syndromes to explain diverse human illnesses. Post traumatic stress and parental alienation are examples limited to the symptoms of a far greater epidemic, a devastating silent killer depicted here as Custody Court Dysfunction. This report focuses not only on the symptomology of family suicides, homicides and psycho-somatic illness but the legal framework which produces the dysfunction. It seeks to establish a task force of legal, medical, social and religious experts to devise a joint remedy, to grow a movement that ends an alarming level of abuse caused by needless conflict and forensic referrals. I have described it as a trillion dollar operation akin to the tobacco and drug industries.
Typically studies are committed to non-legal experts to explore remedies for emerging social ills. Few reach the exclusivity of court operations that are highly protected from accountability. Indeed other professions benefit greatly from the aggravated harm created by these courts. In his book, After the Madness, former (convicted) Chief Justice Sol Wachtler of New York explains that judges are trained to think as gods. In United States v Cossey, 632 F.3d 82 (2nd Cir. 2011), a federal judge, Gary Sharpe, went so far as to discover a human gene without scientific support to sentence a man to a six year prison term. Reversed on appeal and removed from the case, he was cited for his omnipotence and damage to the reputation of our judiciary. The list goes on.
This report is drafted with personal experiences to lend credence and a sense of urgency to this public initiative. The text and footnotes alternate between first and third person usage so that the reader can better identify with the author as a parent victim and in his professional background. I am also seeking financial support behind a national organizing and speaking tour before impacted constituencies. These include veterans, military families, public safety officers, civil rights groups, family associations, chambers of commerce and high profile figures. This tour will focus on our two principal goals for bringing civility to America’s domestic relations courts:
1) Promotion of shared parenting laws in place of the antiquated custody scheme, and
2) Demand for transparency and accountability in a self regulated family court system.
About the Author
Leon R. Koziol, J.D. is a lawyer placement consultant for intellectual property firms and a civil rights advocate who practiced law in federal and state courts for more than 23 years. His achievements include legal precedent and six figure recoveries for victims of government abuse. All the while, he was self trained, generating a perfect record of acquittals in criminal jury cases. He received community service awards including dedication plaques on a new city courthouse.
Dr. Koziol’s civil rights work earned him interviews on the CBS Program 60 Minutes and front page of the New York Times, among other major media. A published book was discussed on CNN and his candidacy for United States Congress was a headline story in 2006. After years of complex litigation against high profile law firms, he secured final judgment in state Supreme Court invalidating the largest casino gaming compact in New York on constitutional grounds.
In education, a Juris Doctor degree was conferred by Northern Illinois University, College of Law with an award from the American Bar Association in State and Local Government. Leon received a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree from the State University of New York, and upon graduation, he joined the management team of a Fortune 500 manufacturer, later serving as a corporation counsel, school attorney and city councilman with a focus on risk management.
Various awards and scholarships round out his background in public service and government. Published achievements on-line include Patterson v City of Utica, 370 F.3d 322 (2nd Cir. 2004)($333,820.32 jury verdict); Oneida Indian Nation v Oneida County, 132 F. Supp. 2d 71 (NDNY 2000)(casino challenge-landowner rights) and Koziol v Hanna, 107 F. Supp. 2d 170 (NDNY 2000)(successful free speech challenge to mayoral gag order). His first thriller-romance novel, Voyage to Armageddon, was published in 2014 and is available at major bookseller sites.
As a trial attorney and public advocate, Mr. Koziol exposed official misconduct at all levels of government, making him a predictable target of retribution. When he turned his focus to abuses inflicted upon parents in family courts, the retributions escalated within his profession after more than two decades of unblemished practice. It compelled him to seek recourse before the New York Moreland Commission on Public Corruption . As a result of all this, Leon’s law license was temporarily suspended based on continuing orchestrated charges to suppress reform efforts.
Okay so we’re not Breitbart or Infowars, we’re just an expanding blog site known as Leon Koziol.com dedicated to parental rights. That puts us with mainstream social media. As Chief Justice John Roberts declared in Snyder v Phelps, speech and press must be “robust” in any self-governing nation.
But we weren’t picketing against gay military as they were in that case. We were promoting all military who return from foreign wars only to experience more oppression in divorce and family courts. That made our third branch of government the subject of our public criticisms.
It’s an epidemic captured by Second Class Citizen.Org in Purple Heart’s Final Beat. We’re part of a loose network of advocates seeking vital reforms. That makes all of us bloggers important to our nation’s politics because the divorce epidemic has received sparse coverage by other media.
Today more than ever, we are victims of a powerful bureaucracy seeking to control every facet of our liberties. Families are the last bastion. Accordingly the people rely on secondary media for information and protection. It may be our final frontier before the machines take over.
When major media is censored, they resort to our courts for protection as they should. These forums were created by the people to be the primary guardians of our constitutional rights. But what if the courts are the ones doing the censoring? Where do those victims go for protection?
Welcome to Leon Koziol.com, the most court-censored blog site in America. It started innocently enough, a loving dad and attorney seeking to spend more time with his daughters. He went against his profession for turning our children into a trillion dollar industry.
And boy did they retaliate. This site was offered to fight back, and since its inception, we’ve exposed court corruption like toxic spills from a chemical plant. With each post, public forum or court filing, judges and spineless lawyers acted to extinguish our protected activity.
The Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Fox News, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN are some of the major media seeking relief in our courts whenever they are censored. Their publishers, editors and reporters are never seized of their children, livelihoods and homes as a punishment.
Secondary media are not so fortunate. They lack real influence. But what we do have is an army of free service providers so the big guys can have something worth reporting. Here, because the courts were targeted, we became the most censored news site in America. Now for some proof:
• In June, 2015, a disciplinary hearing was opened to the public for the first time on Leon’s request to address a law license suspension caused by an insider fired from his office in 2009. That insider was not convicted for her crimes until 2016 after damage was done. Hence it could not be used sooner to defend against a 2010 suspension;https://leonkozioljd.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/finally-veronica-donahue-to-be-sentenced-for-felony-forgeries-join-us-for-justice/
• The ethics lawyers in the witch hunt against Leon were fired for falsifying their time sheets by the same court which suspended Leon. That fact was used to resist charges of inadequate insider supervision which Leon then applied to the judges before him regarding their own ethics staff. No public charges were ever brought against them;
• The 2015 hearing was video recorded by Divorce Corp because of a You-Tube interview with Leon which it publicized in June, 2015 on the subject of child support corruption. This publication caused Leon to be censored at a family law reform convention at our nation’s capital in November, 2014 sponsored by the same entity;
• On April 8, 2014, the state’s Committee on Professional Standards issued a report opposing reinstatement of Leon’s law license. It cited and attached seven blog posts out of more than 200 as offensive in content with no ethics charges ever brought;
• One of the cited blog posts consisted of Leon’s 2013 testimony before the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption regarding fabricated college degrees found by judges. It cannot be detailed here due to the gag order. Another post was merely a dedication to Leon’s recently departed mother, adding a sadistic flavor to it all;
• On May 22, 2013 at a closed hearing, ethics lawyers for the Committee on Professional Standards declared to a court panel that they would oppose reinstatement of Leon’s law license as long as he continued his public criticisms of judges. None was specified or prosecuted while “anonymous” complaints on other subjects were;
• The criticisms included a civil rights forum sponsored by Leon on January 19, 2010 featuring parent testimony for a report to the Justice Department. It was monitored by divorce lawyers. The later fired ethics lawyers asked Leon to explain why he did not introduce himself as a “suspended lawyer” prior to his first ever suspension.
• On January 9, 2008, Leon argued his first appeal challenging a lucrative system of custody classifications which forced parents to fight over their offspring. It was before a court which also appointed ethics committees. One member was his ex-spouse’s divorce lawyer. On the same day, an ethics prosecution was opened for the very first time against Leon after more than two decades of unblemished practice;
• On October 8, 2008, a divorce judge ruled that Leon’s support obligations under that challenged custody law were proper under Title IV-D (Child Support Standards Act). That meant that the judges and lawyers who disrupted the parents’ 2006 agreements did so for no good reason other than lucrative parental conflict. A violation was nonetheless filed to cause another basis for suspending Leon’s law license. Those details are also omitted here due to the gag order.
This is only a small sampling of Leon’s ordeal and punishments for protecting fellow parents (and others who cannot be mentioned here due to the gag order). None of it has ever been disproved or even denied, and this is not the first time Leon sacrificed himself for the people and their rights under the First Amendment.
As chief (corporation) counsel for an upstate New York city, he gave up his post and successfully sued a mayor in federal court for a gag order on public employees. You can look it up at Koziol v Hanna, 107 F. Supp.2d 170 (NDNY 2000)(supported by federal appeals court in Manhattan). On October 9, 2015, the same federal court issued an anti-filing order against Leon.
We continue to fight this battle on principle and for those who cannot be mentioned here. Leon is also fighting for parents, families and children everywhere. But he has been deprived his livelihood for more than six years while a local lawyer convicted of tax fraud on $2 million in client income was never denied his law license even while serving time in prison. We therefore ask you to support us with a donation and anything else you can do.
By Dr. Leon R. Koziol
Sorry that I have not posted a column on this site in awhile. As followers of Leon Koziol.com know, I have spent the past month on assignment in far away places. In San Francisco, I worked with moms and dads to promote public awareness of divorce corruption at the Super Bowl. We’ve seen all the focus on breast cancer and other worthy causes. Now it was our turn to be heard.
Then it was on to Hawaii where the bulk of my time was spent working on a book which is expected to be published soon. Starting as a sort of autobiography, it has now matured into a joint effort upon our Justice Department to investigate the abuses of Title VII-D funding in our nation’s divorce and family courts. More important, it is a mission to unite all parents behind an anti-corruption movement so that vast harm to our children can be prevented.
Rather than tell you about our work here, I have elected to leak our first chapter for your next read. You should digest the short text which follows to gain valuable insight on a growing epidemic. Hopefully you will help us spread the word to other victims, parents and injured families. Hopefully you will join a movement that is sparking interest across the country. Hopefully we can secure a proper place in the presidential debates and elections issues.
The new format came about unexpectedly as I got to know my book client better. A bit apprehensive about the invite at first, looking back, it made all the difference in the world, indeed a world of difference between what is and what might have been. But hey, let’s be real, who wouldn’t accept an invitation to Hawaii in the middle of winter? President Obama’s birthplace is a truly spectacular paradise.
The character in this opening chapter is fictitious because the real victim has asked to remain anonymous until formal release. There are reasons for this. Some of them you will find in your read. As a published author with two decades of experience as a trial attorney, I have applied relevant skills to voluminous transcripts and court documents, interviewing witnesses and distilling it into a marketable product. Some of the added intrigue will be obvious.
As Alec Baldwin emphasized in his 2008 best seller, A Promise to Ourselves, no one likes to revisit the horrors of their family conflicts in divorce court. Then again that is why the abuses continue and actually escalating at an alarming pace. I get the stories daily from victimized parents around the country. Just when I think I saw it all, another shocker comes along. That’s why I have offered my professional services so that these stories can be properly told, so that reform can finally become a reality. If you are interested in retaining me for your ordeal, contact me anytime.
Leon Koziol @ Parenting Rights Institute. Com
HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A MOM IN DIVORCE COURT (Tentative Title)
Cumulous clouds were progressing resolutely over earth’s horizon as the jet engines signaled their approach to Kuhalui Airport. It was late January but you wouldn’t know it from the topography of this island. Cloaked with emerald majesty, it grew with each thousand foot descent. Only days later I would make a dive through a similar cloud formation riding shot gun in a silver Nissan, a car operated by the person who invited me here.
Okay, that may sound implausible, even insane, but this was no ordinary assignment. It was something intended to reform America’s divorce and family courts, to make them more child- friendly as opposed to lawyer-friendly. It was the making of an odd couple joined by an unquenchable mission for justice, to expose corruption masked by a trillion dollar industry, to intercept every parent before that fateful visit to a law office.
Putting it in perspective, say you received a reliable tip on September 10, 2001 about a squad of terrorists set to board passenger jets the following morning. Would you spend the rest of that day warning authorities or the victims soon to enter the towers? Quite a choice if you had it, but you would be considered a fanatic yourself with either option. At least with the victims you stood a chance of saving real lives, however few you might convince even after the ’93 attack.
That analogy might seem a bit extreme but it aptly described what we were doing. My new client could not have anticipated the horrors of divorce court which awaited her back in 2001, and the number of premature deaths traceable to an antiquated custody system well exceeds the number of parents lost on 9-11. The problem is that there has never been a study to prove this, and the reason for that is the money which this lucrative system generates for lawyers, government and other beneficiaries. Like sheep to slaughter, parents sacrifice their life’s savings here for the logical reason that their offspring are made the prize in a war that so often never seems to end.
The public has been fed an overdose of propaganda behind the propriety of a custody award for countless disputes involving children. Shared parenting and mediation alternatives are routinely crushed in nearly every state by high powered bar associations which have cultivated this gold mine. Their preferred framework is not so complicated despite chapter and verse. Custody is awarded to the parent who could best destroy the other in a barbaric contest reminiscent of the Roman Coliseum while aligned spectators cheer and the government band plays on.
When you stop to think, it really is a barbaric process for a nation which styles itself as a civilized one. And the collective injuries to our schools, communities and productivity are mind-boggling. Politicians are quick to condemn needless surgeries, over-medicated patients, global warming and ever-elusive terrorism, but what about these barbaric courts? Why are they being so protected despite overwhelming evidence of their devastation to American society?
So ours was an ambitious effort to shake up moms and dads, to get them out of these courts before their careers, bank accounts and sanity collapsed before their very eyes. It was a vital cause for families of every kind; traditional, intact, separated or progressive. We had both sustained divorce ordeals at different times in far apart courts with similar outcomes. As a result, she became a born-again feminist and I a staunch traditionalist.
Yes, Cheryl Collins and I were destined to clash or crash like Gloria Steinem campaigning for Donald Trump, two polar opposites out to slay a family court system that excreted injustices like sewers do toxic fluids. And by the way, that car in the clouds. It actually occurred- with a woman driver no less. I’ll explain later. You can read any made-up John Grisham story, or you can gain valuable insight with this one, a real, life-altering challenge that could leave us dead or behind bars.
Everyone peered out of any window in anticipation of the gorgeous afternoon awaiting us. It was a six hour flight, for me thirteen, from New York with a lay-over in San Francisco. Judging by morning conversations in our fuselage, most passengers were tourists. The couple seated behind me was newly married and the row ahead was occupied by a young group of Asian athletes. Across the aisle, well, about the only thing I noted were three babies nurtured by expert moms with no eruptions. I liked those moms, felt almost drawn to convey compliments, but I passed on it as we arrived at the terminal.
Inside, as expected, everything was bright. Sun radiated from giant picture windows. No one exiting the jet bridge seemed interested in any diversions. Restaurants, cafes, boutiques, busy in most other airports, were eerily vacant here. Hardly a note was taken of the Welcome to Maui sign by a herd of primates making a mad dash for the baggage check. I watched momentarily, curious to know how many minutes would be gained before they were stopped dead in their tracks. After all, what can you do while the cargo was being deplaned?
I was not in any such rush. I had hardly slept in more than three days. There were reasons for this, but for now it was necessary for me to visit the rest room. A basic shave, cleaning and shedding of mainland attire would improve my chances of recognition. Sherry had promised a placard to draw attention to her, but it was often difficult to tell when she was serious. My name was not visible in any direction, and that suited me just fine. I needed major overhauls.
A half hour later, I was at the baggage conveyor, recognizing only a couple stray passengers of United Flight 1725. Neither my luggage nor Sherry was anywhere in sight. Only a few items remained on the belt. This situation was new to me. I always found my belongings at numerous airports over the years. As for Sherry, it was more peculiar because the flight was on time, she assured me of her punctuality to a fault and had toiled for a year to get me here. Now that it finally happened, a notion was growing that she had bailed.
Well it could be worse. I might have been at an airport in Moscow or Alaska, maybe even Antarctica given the fugitive status we both suffered at different times of our ordeals, and for the same reasons. Perhaps she got cold feet, maybe she had an accident. Whatever the possibilities that raced through my mind, this was an okay place to shop for new clothes and an excellent escape from subzero temperatures back home. Confident in my resourcefulness, I began charting a course of action.
“So I see they lost your baggage.”
Sherry declared time and again that Maui was a spiritual place, but I never thought she meant to prove it this way. I had just made another 360 degree search for her with no one left to block my view. She might as well have been an angel descending from the high ceiling, standing suddenly beside me to announce my misfortune. Slender, attractive for her age, and wrapped in a white summer dress, she smiled in a manner wholly at odds with that fearless gladiator I had been dealing with electronically, the custody warrior who took on the California divorce system.
I could only conclude that I was meeting Glinda herself from the Wizard of Oz, pleasantly afraid of no one. Then we embraced. Apparently we had met at a parenting convention in D.C., at least that’s what she insisted during our phone chats in the year since. There was a still a trace of that stoic character I had been anticipating. However I was now convinced that we had never met previously. I would have remembered it, angelic indeed. Maybe I got caught up in the hustle and bustle of workshops. Then again maybe she was spinning a web I had never seen before.
Her statement was very “matter-of-factly,” and although I could be mistaken, there was even a cynical half grin directed at my newly discovered predicament, as if Mona Lisa herself knew this would happen. She came across as one who could shift demeanor without warning, suddenly emotionless and creeping up on you like a lioness with body-piercing eyes. You just knew that she could dominate any board room. Well acclimated to life’s complexities, lost baggage was simply nothing to get into a twist about.
“Hey Sherry,” I replied happily and hoping to discount the now empty black belt of the conveyor. “I’m sure it’s still coming out. I was a bit late getting here so we’ll just have to wait. No problem.”
“Yeah, well don’t wait too long. See that sign in the baggage window over there? Recognize anything?”
It took a minute squinting in the direction she was pointing, but there was the anticipated placard with my name on it, not the way I expected, yet undeniable in verifying my predicament. Having experienced this before, Sherry was quick to guide me through. She took charge of the staff inside the reclamation office and they seemed to respond as if the NSA had just arrived. My early impressions of her were being vindicated.
“This is completely unacceptable, Miss (glancing her shirt) Tupalai. My guest is expected to be in court this afternoon, and he can’t do that in khakis and an NYPD shirt, although (turning briefly to me), I like the shirt. Come to think about it, it might scare off some of those stalkers on the beach. We’re going to get him proper attire while we wait on his baggage.”
The attendant came unglued as if her skirt zipper had just busted loose. It was bad enough that some irate local was giving her a scolding but a New York cop, soon-to-be lawyer at her side? This was not good. “We’re on it, mam, it should be here by eight o’clock, and I’ll personally see to it that you get priority. Just give us your address.”
Her nightmare was only getting started.
“Eight o’clock? The judge will be in bed by then. Look I know the FAA supervisor at LAX, he gave me all the protocol I need for this sort of thing. We’ll be making a claim and I want the names of the baggage handlers. It’s well into the 21st Century! How is it these things are still happening?”
“Here’s the form you fill out on the claim,” a visibly shaken Miss Tupalai offered as she multi-tasked the situation. I almost felt sorry for her. After all, none of this was her fault. Then again it was not mine either. I was sort of enjoying this female face-off.
“It is what it is,” Sherry replied with a more lady-like tone. “No time to dwell on it. Here’s my information and cell. We’re going shopping, and I love to shop.”
With repeat apologies that were beginning to appear more like condolences over a dead body, arrangements were made to have my luggage delivered to Sherry’s home. Confirmed on the next plane from San Francisco, it occurred to me after that exchange that my host was abundantly familiar with court rooms. It also demonstrated how easily she could inflame any judge especially when custody over her own child was being threatened.
“Sherry, not for nothing, but I don’t recall any court appearance on our calendar for this afternoon.”
“There isn’t, not yet anyway, but there will be if they don’t get that baggage problem cleared up. This is not the way I expect my special guests to be treated.” She placed an emphasis on “special” while sending an alluring smile in my direction as if there were other surprises in store for me.
“Don’t you think you were a little hard on her?”
“Not at all. Look she’s probably a very competent person, but if you don’t put the fear in them, they’ll get lax on you. You might never see your belongings again.”
We left the terminal with only my carry-on, replete with lap top, electronic devices and modern weaponry intended to wage war on a dysfunctional court system. Sherry had worked long and hard to get me here. She had a singular purpose that only she knew, and it would not be denied. A fifteen year divorce and custody battle had cost her precious years with an only child, fugitive status which took her to countries around the globe and an ordeal which nearly took her life.
It was an ordeal orchestrated behind closed doors, suppressed from accountability and remanded to a twilight zone of obscurity. There were many cases of court corruption I had come across in my years as a trial attorney but none like this. Sherry was the divorce court equivalent of a wrongfully convicted murderer released from prison by the Innocence Project. She certainly deserved a remedy but was entitled to much more, a release from the injustices which had plagued her for so long. Indeed society owed this to her.
My job in this project was to expose Sherry’s horrific journey through a corrupt divorce system so that other parents would not suffer a similar fate. As a victimized father myself, still in the heat of battle, I knew that little had changed since her annulment in 1997. In my reports to the Justice Department, I made the convincing case that it had only gotten worse. Profound investigations would have to be commissioned by our federal government to reverse decades of state sponsored family abuse which it had ironically caused through a funding law.
I also knew our joint mission would invite grave consequences. After 23 unblemished years in the legal profession, I was made subject to a witch hunt by ethics lawyers for exposing misconduct in New York’s divorce and family courts. That “hunt” was so inept that it made Dick Cheney out to be an expert marksman. I reported regular misconduct to their bosses, a high court and its appointed Committee on Professional Standards. They never flinched to give it credence.
A maliciously protracted investigation designed strictly to discredit my reform message drove me to career suicide. As you read on, you will learn of alarming whistle blower activity that was suppressed by these lawyers and mainstream media. At hearings before the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, I described my attackers as an “unethical ethics committee.” Before they could retaliate for that offensive but accurate depiction, the chief counsel and deputy lawyers engaged in this witch hunt were fired for falsifying their time sheets.
That’s right, your eyes are not playing tricks on you, the standard-bearers of lawyer ethics fired by their own ethics committee, people charged with overseeing unscrupulous billing practices and orchestrated conflict which have harmed more families than adultery, nagging and domestic violence combined. Like Bernie Madoff, they were the foxes watching the chicken coup. And if you can stomach that, try this: no public charges, ethical or criminal, were ever prosecuted against them.
Now if that had been you or I stealing money from any government agency, let alone a court of law, we would have been sentenced to a prison term. In one of my cases, a city worker was fired for exposing executive raises and charged with a felony for taking a $16 gas card reimbursement two hours later. At the Moreland hearings, I compared my client’s acquittal to Bernie Madoff’s $70 billion crime before he was finally convicted. Instead of setting a proper example, these ethics lawyers were allowed to resign while I sustained far worse retributions for exposing them.
Don’t go away, there’s more, and it’s all true. You can look it up on the internet in minutes. On the domestic side, more than thirty (30!) trial judges were disqualified from my (also protracted) divorce case, one for “political espionage” later removed from the family bench for admitting to sexual misconduct on his handicapped five year old niece. Now there will be a lot of court corruption related in this book, but you have to ponder that last one a bit longer. I was able to keep my young daughters out of a meeting in this judge’s chambers where parents are not allowed in. Countless other parents were not so fortunate. What sort of thought was Judge Bryan Hedges giving to all these little girls over so many years?
Every aspect of my life was therefore being scrutinized when I flew into this airport. Here I was adding to my ordeal with Sherry’s plethora of corruption carefully preserved in a voluminous record. Before getting to that, I had been a main speaker at a parental rights convention in our nation’s capital along with former Georgia Senator Nancy Schaefer. Like me she had been exposing vast injustices and had just published a book entitled, The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services. She never made it to the podium due to a highly suspicious murder-suicide involving her husband of 52 years. Did I mention I was writing a book here?
Sherry’s past was no less daunting although I would have liked to know certain details prior to boarding at JFK. There was a main character of our book which could not be avoided, her ex-husband. He had been prosecuted for attempted murder after putting a number of bullets into another man’s body. He was surprisingly acquitted, and during Sherry’s later ordeal, thugs were sent to find her. One of them even pulled a gun on a neighbor in order to coerce her location. Did I mention I was staying at Sherry’s home?
There was another aspect to this book which rendered it unlikely for completion. Sherry announced after my arrival that she might change her mind often about our approach. As she explained it, this was a right derived from her female status. I was okay with that, after all she was paying for such a right. But there was no way I could insert fifteen years of court transcript and documents to meet her demands while making this book appealing to the general public. On one occasion, entire chapters had to be revised. Did I mention that Sherry was a woman?
So that pretty much summed up my predicament on a small island in the middle of the Pacific. Just another day in paradise. With all that I had endured over the years, I began to ask whether I had made the right decision to come here. That question was already answered by the countless family victims beneath my flights from New York to Hawaii. I know what you’re thinking. Why would I risk my career, relationships and life itself over a David-Goliath battle whose outcome was so unpredictable? The answer is the same for all those parents and would-be parents who sacrificed in foreign wars only to return to this sort of human oppression.
For our mission to succeed, I would have to find a way to pierce a shell layered by years of pain and suffering which had protected Sherry for so long. If I was successful, she would become an ideal representative in the court of public opinion. The judges, lawyers and agents responsible for the ordeal you are about to read have long forgotten Cheryl Collins. But she never forgot them, and this was no princess at the baggage counter. It is said that “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” So out the airport we went, into the burning heat of this day, to war with a modern day Satan loosened from the fires of hell.