More Insults For Good Parents: Syracuse Family Court Magistrate Insulated From Accountability


In a recent post, we featured a 15 page report and demand for resignation submitted to Syracuse Family Court Magistrate James Gorman. This came only days following a related comprehensive report naming the same magistrate in a complaint filed with the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct. First Amendment retaliation was evident from the text and impact of a support decision by Magistrate Gorman issued within days of this complaint. It went so far as to fabricate a PhD degree for support purposes while admitting to intentional violations of statute. The illegal acts of this magistrate caused Leon Koziol, an outspoken parental advocate, to lose newly secured employment.

Numerous violations of the state’s Judicial Code of Conduct were cited in both complaints. Because a support magistrate is subject to local administrative review, a second complaint was necessarily filed and promptly referred to a referee (“special counsel”). Only one week later, a response letter arrived stating that nothing would be investigated here. This follows additional concessions in another “confidential” forum that the state was in fact targeting the public criticisms of Leon Koziol. In short, the subjects of criticism are going to every extreme to punish the whistleblower. Welcome to America.

Below you will find a two page rebuttal which summarizes this shocking display of retaliation and injustice. An independent Judicial Review Commission has been proposed to overcome the inaction and whitewashing of judicial misconduct. Self regulation of our judiciary is simply not working to benefit the people who entrust such important duties to the public servants in our third branch of government operations. We are presently engaged in soliciting investments and donations behind this cause. We need extensive resources to be able to come into your individual communities and root out misconduct through investigation, report and complaints before the media and related government entities. Please look us up at Leon and make your contribution today.


Office of Leon R. Koziol
Civil Rights Advocate
1518 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13502
(315) 796-4000

May 30, 2013

Gerard J. Neri
Special Counsel
Fifth Judicial District
Onondaga County Courthouse
Syracuse, New York 13202

Re: Support Magistrate James Gorman

Dear Mr. Neri:

On May 13, 2013, I submitted a 15-page resignation demand and formal complaint regarding serious ethical misconduct and gross incompetence exhibited by Onondaga County Support Magistrate James Gorman. It was provided to Family Court Judge Martha Walsh-Hood consistent with a procedure outlined by a Family Court clerk. I then received a May 16, 2013 letter from Judge Hood acknowledging my “complaint letters” and informing me that the matter was being assigned to you “for review and response”.

One week later, I received your letter dated May 23, 2013 which concluded the entire matter with peculiar, boiler-plate statements to the effect that “it appears you are objecting to legal decisions made by Support Magistrate Gorman…   that this office does not have authority to intercede in litigation or over-turn decisions of the Judges within the District… however, any objections to decisions/orders of the Support Magistrate should be made in accordance with the statutory requirements of the State of New York”.

I am appalled that such text was actually contained in a formal statement under the office letterhead of James Tormey as Fifth District Administrative Judge. To this, I have two questions: who are you, and did you read my submissions? If you are a referee for judicial incompetence and misconduct, the Walsh-Hood transfer notice did not specify this. And if you had read my material, you would have discovered the identity of your immediate supervisor as a related subject of complaint. In that case, consistent with ethical duties of a lawyer or a judge, I am not sure which classification fits your job description, you should have disqualified yourself.

When I submitted my complaint, I did so on the good faith premise that an independent entity was in place to investigate and prosecute violations of our state’s judicial Code of Ethics. It “would appear” that there are no such ethics applicable to this hybrid animal known as a “support magistrate”. Like you, he or she is treated as neither a judge nor an attorney. Therefore these publicly paid officials can go about abusing government authority by simply making up material facts and exploiting them to suppress the free exercise of First Amendment rights.

Is it “competent” to find that I possessed a PhD contrary to anything stated in a court record and then abuse such a fact to orchestrate a jail-able support violation in retaliation for offensive public criticisms? Did you really think that I was unaware of the “objections” and “appeals” process? If you read my submissions, you would have known that I was complaining about gross incompetence and judicial misconduct of Magistrate Gorman derived from matters outside of the court record. As “special” counsel, you would then also have known that such matters are not subject to either “objections” or “appeals”. Even a rudimentary reading would have caused you to conclude that Magistrate Gorman was being grieved for his proximate retaliation upon my filing of a published complaint against him before the Judicial Conduct Commission.

This decision came only days after the publicized event, more than six months since our support hearing concluded, and five months after the same decision was promised on the record. The delay alone was bad enough. To reiterate aspects of my complaint, Magistrate Gorman admitted to intentional violations of “statutory requirements of the State of New York” in his decision copied upon you. This is not simply an issue for appeal. It is an unethical and unlawful act which caused me to lose a new job. An appeal of his decision will not get the job back. It is furthermore unethical for you to “shoe-horn” my complaint within the convenient confines of a support case in order to insulate a colleague in the same courthouse from accountability. This is a complaint showing numerous violations of ethical code requiring a truly impartial and detached review.

Only today, the Syracuse Post Standard and featured a civil rights case by a professor against SUNY Institute of Technology for First Amendment retaliation resulting in a $600,000 verdict, or the same amount obtained against your boss for violating similar rights of a Family Court clerk. A support magistrate may attempt to claim immunity from monetary recovery of this kind, but he or she is not immune from ethical accountability for the same unlawful act. Otherwise there would be no purpose to any code of ethics, conduct commission or your “office” for that matter. Please do the right thing here by disqualifying yourself so that a proper “review and response” can be made in connection with this very serious matter.

The public has a right to expect some kind of accountability in our third branch of government operations. A truly impartial “support magistrate” would not only honor our ethical codes but he would commence every case with notice to the litigants that they are being subjected to a tax as well as a child support obligation in any final order. I have explained the logic of this in my submissions but that would of course impair the same magistrate’s overall impartiality due to a financial stake in the outcome (principally impairing fathers and non-custodial mothers). This is all part of my continuing effort to alert you of an escalation in tensions and violence arising from this kind of bureaucratic cycle of abuse, harming good parents, families and innocent children.

Very truly yours,

Leon R. Koziol

Cc: Martha Walsh-Hood
Judicial Conduct Commission
U.S. Justice Department
Syracuse Post Standard

Thank You to John Parent Supporters in Supreme Court Case

A doctor in Virginia, law partner in Chicago, professor at Columbia University, businesswoman in Syracuse, psychologist from California, fathers rights leader in Pittsburgh, a former congressman, and a retired officer of the United States Marines. These are some of the people who have answered our call for support in the John Parent case docketed for consideration by the United States Supreme Court. There is no guarantee that our high court will hear argument, but there would be no chance of success if someone did not pave the way, a competent advocate who risked his livelihood to make the case for parents victimized in divorce and Family Court.

As we press on by contacting organizations, fellow victims and family sympathizers, it is important to reiterate the uphill battle faced by any lawyer who undertakes a challenge of this kind against his own profession. While moms and dads remain angry and confused over the abuses they incur in these courts, the simple explanation is that they have become a gold mine for lawyers and service providers exploiting their children for money. When family resources run out, so do the intruders with their purported concerns and the needless controversies they perpetuate in countless cases. Our little ones suffer the most.

How did we, as intelligent Americans and loving parents, allow this to happen? How can we go on with our daily lives impaired by the crime statistics, productivity losses and health issues which this child industry has caused? Why are the presidential debates devoid of the most important issue of our day, the need to reform our domestic relations courts so that separated parents can be encouraged to raise their children in cooperative fashion? How can we continue to disregard a parenting rights case in our nation’s highest court which is being trumped by gay marriage advocates seeking the attention of the same court?

It took four years of hard work and sacrifice to get the John Parent case to the Supreme Court. During that time, less than $1,700 was donated to the cause, only $35 since the Supreme Court phase began last month. It cost over $2,000 in filing fees and print requirements alone just to have the case docketed, and even basic lawyer fees for the entire project is estimated to be well into the six figures. Yet many observers, detractors and self made “experts” continue to criticize and pontificate about this case without the slightest positive contribution. Is it no wonder that our family institutions are failing all around us?

A heartfelt thanks to all who have understood the importance of our work and perseverance on behalf of parents, children and families everywhere! We ask you again to get seriously involved in promoting John Parent v State of New York while the Supreme Court still has this case under its microscope. By December, this opportunity may slip by and never return, at least not during our lifetimes. It takes more than words and mere intentions to secure meaningful reform. And when it comes to our most cherished rights under the Constitution, there is no better place than our Supreme Court to make this happen. Just ask Ms. “Roe”, another fictitious plaintiff in the highly unexpected case of Roe v Wade, abortion rights circa 1973.

The staff and supporters at Leon

Administrators Note: We are asking all followers of this website to kindly help support Dr. Koziol and his efforts to bring forth this precedent seeking case.

A Personal Message From Parent Advocate Leon Koziol, J.D.

I am taking a few moments aside from my test litigation on behalf of parents across America to bring you a heart wrenching story from my home town newspaper. A mother released statements of her five year old girl at the sentencing of a drunk driver who caused the death of the little one’s father. “Mommy, when will I die so I can see Daddy again?” and “Mommy I think you and I should move to heaven so that we can be a family again.” The episode gave new life to causes such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to prevent this kind of needless carnage.

However, a similar carnage is occurring every day in America’s domestic relations courts with little concern expressed by anyone. Fathers and “non-custodial” mothers are being routinely ripped from their children through profit making laws such as the “Child Support Standards Act”. Government bureaucrats, lawyers and forensic agents are feeding off of marital demise and orchestrated controversies surrounding mandatory custody and support awards. These “awards” also cause needless and permanent carnage between parent and child.

There are purple heart soldiers and public safety officers committing suicide in lieu of a “child support” debtors prison. Then there’s the case of  Thomas Ball in Keene, New Hampshire, separated from his children recently based upon a non-issue blown out of proportion by a so-called “child protection” agent. To prevent the mother from losing the same children to the state, this agent convinced her to file false charges as a “custody” tactic. After years of useless and costly processes, Tom burned himself alive in front of a courthouse to protest an oppressive state which took away his loved ones. Unlike the protester he was seeking to emulate in the freedom uprisings of the Arab world, virtually no one in America took notice.

There were no heart wrenching statements from the children who lost their daddies as a consequence of a capitalist based child control system which is harming the productivity, health care and family heritage of an entire nation. There were no criminal prosecutions or civil liability against the people masquerading as state agents who caused the deaths of these good Americans, one whose roots go back to the Revolutionary War. No one appeared at any sentencing hearing in the way of a Mothers Against Dead Daddies (MADD) to protest money abuses in our courts.

While attending to litigation in Manhattan recently, I had occasion to tour the Trade Center and Wall Street protests. Like so many of you, I supported the causes of freedom and liberty which these sites stood for. However, a focus was sorely needed. Such focus is easily found in our parenting rights cause because the abuses of our children and livelihoods will not be corrected without judicial reform. Unless our courts show a willingness to uphold our Constitution by making these money/child abusers accountable, little girls and boys will continue to ask the silent question “Daddy where are you?”

As stated in previous posts, resources have dwindled to nothing in connection with our current cases. We are therefore seeking contributions from all concerned. Such cases would cost individual litigants or groups hundreds of thousands in competent fees and litigation expense. It is therefore crucial for all of our supporters to join us in this effort. A pay pal account has been set up to accept your donation. No matter how great or small it may be, every amount helps. Please consider this using the method provided below or by mail to: Parenting Rights Institute; 1518 Genesee Street; Utica, New York 13502. Once again, we would like to thank all of you for your help.