By Dr. Leon Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute
Just when you thought it was safe to come out as a court corruption whistle blower, along comes an anonymous note in my mail this past week. Among other things, it read: “Your money hungry ex-wife is at it again. Parading Lou Usherwood (Usherwood Office Technology) around town and school events like he is the father of your children.”
Those of you following this site, http://www.leonkoziol.com, might help me analyze the peculiar mailing and understand what is really going on. Think of it as the television series “Forensic Files” or “Dateline.” You may have some vital information I need to know, or maybe you’ve had a similar experience with some psycho alienator, the truly bad parent targeting the good one to extinction with the help of a family court gestapo.
Over the past decade of reform work, I have come across countless bizarre stories in the twilight zone known as family court. Yet I remain confounded about my own. How could a model dad and stellar attorney for over two decades become so viciously targeted to result in his total alienation from his daughters, now 16 and 17 years of age?
How could I have been subjected to a “shoot on sight” threat during a traffic stop involving a driver of my vehicle en route to my location last year? It had all the scary trappings of the Walter Scott murder by a traffic cop in South Carolina. That dad was shot dead five times in the back unarmed while fleeing a child support warrant. In our last post, we posed the question: “Is our government now killing for money?”
My ordeal is the shocking precedent for a court which has morphed into the “star chambers” that our founding fathers set out to prevent in our Constitution. It features the kind of tactics Adolph Hitler championed using children as his pretense. It was a war which had my own dad surviving five years in a Nazi camp. How could he imagine what would await his own family when coming to this country so long ago?
How could anyone imagine a court which styles itself as “family” causing so many parents to war with one another until their money runs out, to deny the countless suicides caused by anal custody and support tactics? Where is the accountability from higher courts which defer to the domestic “specialization” which supposedly exists here, the misconduct commissions like those in New York and California which look into a mere 10 % of all complaints?
Strangely, this anonymous note could help answer such questions. A similar one was placed next to my garage door in 2005. It contained the same warnings about this “Lou Usherwood.” At the time, Kelly Hawse-Koziol was still looking to reconcile after agreeing to move out of the marital home. We still stayed with our girls on my boat at Lake George and spent holidays together. I looked into the Usherwood report and determined him to be a millionaire with no threat to my girls.
Less than a year later, along came Joe Flihan Jr. who, unlike Usherwood at the time was being “paraded around” as the father of my children. Kelly Hawse-Koziol, the state’s appointed “custodial parent,” offered in an October 25, 2006 phone call to give up child support if I would give up my fathering rights to this childless millionaire. That set off the escalating family court proceedings over the next 13 years.
Of the 20-plus trial jurists assigned to my originally uncontested divorce, not a single one raised a concern over this parent substitution scandal. Flihan removed Hawse-Koziol from his home in 2016. During her two year stay there, she had falsified a relocation notice, pretending to still reside in the home she has now returned to. Once again, family court gave this fraud no remedy. Was money the cause for it all?
During the time of my civil rights practice I literally saved lives, and since the time of my reform crusade I saved veterans and professionals from suicide. At least three would gladly testify to this. In one case, I saved the life of the president of our local bar association. He was caught cheating with a client’s wife who happened to be his law office secretary. It led to a hotly contested divorce.
Late one night that client came to my home to announce that he was finally going to end it with this adulterous attorney. He was inflamed by a divorce judge who refused to allow us to place that attorney on the witness stand (which was necessary at the time to win our case). His reason was to prevent reputational harm to the bar president. At least this judge expressed his intent which so many others fail to do while orchestrating similar illicit outcomes.
Rather than backing down, I challenged this judge. Indeed I won my first appeal against him right out of law school. My client was pleased with the risks I took but was left with the perception that the courts were sufficiently corrupt for him to take the law into his own hands. I knew his history, i.e. a gun fire exchanged during a Florida road rage. I knew exactly his intent but prevailed upon him to relent.
I was later thanked by both the bar president and former client. Nothing good would have come of this and sadly, that president died of natural causes when he collapsed on a courtroom floor years later at age 46. The practice of law can do that to you. Yet today I am being vilified by members of that same bar despite all the good I have done consistent with ethical duty.
Back to the Usherwood note and the title of this post.
In the summer of 1999, I was dining with my future bride, Kelly Hawse, at an upscale restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island. At one point, I mentioned that I was still friendly with an ex-fiancee, a relationship broken off four years earlier. Why is that so hard for some to accept? The next thing I knew, my lights practically went out when she punched me in the head. Any closer to my nose and she could have killed me.
Restaurant patrons were shocked. Had the genders been reversed, they would surely have tackled me. With a bruise on my head, I had sufficient cause to have Kelly arrested with a criminal record today. Instead, I got up quietly and left for my vehicle convinced beyond repair that there would be no marriage proposal. To my continued shock, Kelly jumped into the passenger side and refused to exit (fortunately I had paid the bill).
Over the next eight hours on the trip to her dad’s home across Narragansett Bay and back to my home in upstate New York, I was unable to convince this woman to leave my car. She was so incessant with her pleading that at one point along Route 91 near Springfield, I left her in my new red corvette with the car running to find a sanctuary from her endless nagging. Now it’s gotta be bad for a guy to do that.
Finally I got home with a plan long fixed in my mind. I ran from my vehicle parked next to hers and locked the dumb bolt to my enclosed front porch. She had her own apartment but sat down at my door crying. Concerned about how the commotion might be interpreted, I videotaped this scene from my window never expecting it would become relevant for the rest of my life.
After calming her down, I unlocked the “dumb” bolt and the rest is history. My daughters were born three and four years later.
So, against this backdrop, who was it that authored the anonymous letter in 2019, a concerned school employee, jealous lover or Kelly Hawse herself in a scheme to provoke another incident for family court purposes?
By Dr. Leon Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute
RIP: Ryan Kelley
How many more suicides will it take before our money lusting behemoth known as Family Court is finally overhauled from a lawyer friendly environment to a parent friendly one? Government reports continue to show twenty-two veteran suicides per day, a major percentage of which are triggered by family court abuses. And now there’s another persecuted dad, Ryan Kelley, who took his life yesterday, September 10, 2019. Ironically, it was Suicide Prevention Day.
There are those who benefit from the family court industry (and at least one self-loving troll on Facebook) who will try to deflect attention to a DWI charge which Mr. Kelley was facing. But there are countless people who face such charges, and much worse, without even considering a terminal outcome. They pay the price and move on. In Mr. Kelley’s case, he would face child support jail after completing his DWI defense.
According to his suicide note and follower comments, Ryan Kelley was “trying to stay alive” for years in the face of family court abuses. Even a moronic troll should be able to figure out that such abuses over an extended period would lead to alcohol problems. If there’s one lesson this family court regime has taught us, there is no escape from its persecution. Alcohol and suicide became that escape for Ryan, all in his children’s so-called “best interests.”
For thirty years now, family reform groups have come and gone. One-and-out websites, Facebook pages and lofty crusades that died a quick death. When are we finally going to stop pontificating and conjuring up bizarre lawsuits and reform ideas with little or no competency? When are we finally going to leave the comfort of our routines and join together in protests nationwide?
I’ve been in this reform movement for over twelve years. I’ve spent 30 years in both federal and state courts successfully litigating complex cases as an attorney and litigant, even after the retaliation I suffered as a consequence (summarized in complaint below). I’ve traveled from Paris to Hawaii and nearly every state in between meeting with victims and exposing court corruption.
Among the most promising events I have seen in all that time and travel is a three-day conference, lobbying effort and march which I sponsored this past May in Washington D.C. known as the Parent March on Washington. Under a plan of action put together by attendees, regional protests would follow. Instead only the carnage has.
Well, I, for one, who sacrificed everything short of life itself to end this carnage, never surrendered that plan of action. On September 26, 2019 we are planning a rally and march between Oneida County Family Court to Utica city court in upstate New York (dead center between Buffalo and NYC). Our target is ideal for capturing national attention. It is focused on my precedent-seeking case filed last month in New York Supreme Court which was recently removed to federal court by the Attorney General.
It is also focused on a rude, racist and rogue judge who is reflective of the problems we all have in these courts. Gerald Popeo is a city court judge named as a defendant in my lawsuit. He was assigned out of order as the 41st trial level jurist on my family court custody and support cases. He is avenging a public censure issued against him by the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct on February 12, 2015. That censure makes him anything but a judge with the temperament to preside in family court.
Gerald “Scary Gerry” Popeo has blamed me, in part, for that censure. It cited racist comments, violent threats to litigants and the jailing of men in violation of their due process rights. The prosecutor recommended removal, and Popeo’s defense attorney (a former state supreme court judge) asked for a private reprimand. The Commission compromised with the public censure, thereby allowing him to become improperly assigned to my family matters to exact revenge.
The administrative judge who made all these suspect judge assignments since 2007 died last month at the age of 68. No replies to my complaints were made by him during the same period prior to his passing. And now, Judge Popeo, after issuing a near fatal warrant against me last year, is at it again with raw abuses of power and ethics. Here are some of the comments and conduct which a hearing judge found to be true against Popeo in the Commission decision:
“You’re standing there with a grin that I would love to come off the bench and slap off your face”
“Mr. Scully (prosecutor) is playing cigar store Indian at the moment.”
“You know what black people from New York City call black people from upstate New York? Country Niggers.”
In a shocking irony, a downstate African-American is now the top attorney in both upstate and downstate New York who was recently assigned to represent Judge Popeo in my precedent seeking civil rights case. New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a notice last week removing my case from state court to federal court.
The circumstances could not have come together more profoundly for our tentatively planned event on September 26th. We are now working on getting the permits. Contact us for more information at (315) 380-3420 and help make this post viral.
Posted by Administrator
Leon Koziol.com and
Parenting Rights Institute
At 9:30 a.m. on Friday, September 6, 2019, an upstate New York city judge somehow assigned to the family court case involving a prominent civil rights attorney will issue an arrest warrant to incarcerate him on a fraudulent child support debt. It is expected to occur at the Oneida County Family Court in Utica, New York.
Civil Rights Advocate Leon Koziol has been exposing corruption in divorce and family courts for over ten years after a stellar career as a civil rights attorney. It led to the destruction of his professional career and father-daughter relationships in retaliation for his whistle blowing and court reform activity.
Among those abusing judicial office to execute on a concerted effort to discredit this principled crusader is Utica City Judge Gerald Popeo. He caused a warrant and “shoot-on-site” threat by a traffic cop last year. It resembled the police murder of Walter Scott in South Carolina on April 4, 2015, an African-American father shot dead five times in the back unarmed while fleeing a child support warrant.
As a result, Dr. Koziol filed a civil rights case against Popeo and his co-conspirators in New York Supreme Court on August 7, 2019. Popeo retaliated by ordering a sheriff deputy to serve a summons to appear for a child support hearing despite $35,500 in support payments never credited by the state support collection agency.
The goal here is simply to use child support as a pretext to punish Dr. Koziol with incarceration to avenge his supposed involvement in a judicial misconduct hearing against the same Judge Popeo. Here is the famous Footnote 1 of the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct decision of February 12, 2015 regarding Popeo’s shocking conduct while in a judicial robe:
It was alleged that after a court session had ended, respondent (Popeo) asked the lawyer, who is African-American, if the lawyer knew what black people from New York City call black people from upstate New York and when the lawyer responded in the negative , (Judge Popeo) replied, “Country Niggers.”
A hearing judge appointed to hear the evidence found that this did happen. However the Commission which did not hear the evidence decided that it was the only one of the many instances of serious misconduct which was too “50-50” to use against Popeo. He was represented by a white former state judge. The prosecuting attorney recommended removal but the Commission decided on a mere public censure.
You cannot change the spots on a leopard, and because Popeo was allowed to resume the bench as a repeat offender, he was assigned in bizarre fashion as “Acting Family Court Judge” on Dr. Koziol’s support and custody cases in February, 2018. He quickly denied all contact with Leon’s daughters and proceeded to orchestrate grounds for support incarceration in retaliation for that censure.
Leon responded with the state court civil rights lawsuit. Letitia James, New York’s first African-American Attorney General then became Gerald Popeo’s defense lawyer by operation of law. This now creates the unprecedented situation of a “New York City black” in Popeo’s category referring to “upstate blacks” as “country niggers.” At the time of Popeo’s racial slur, Letitia James was the Public Advocate of New York City.
In a highly unusual move, Ms. James filed a removal notice this week which immediately transferred Dr. Koziol’s civil rights case to federal court. The removal notice is reproduced here and provides the first major victory for aggrieved parents seeking to hold state judges accountable for constitutional and human rights violations in federal courts.
Such courts routinely dismiss domestic cases out of deference to state court “expertise.” Soon we will know whether this racist judge issues his arrest warrant and jail order against this model dad and parent rights advocate who sacrificed everything for his precious daughters and parental justice in these courts.
The removal places an automatic restraint on the state court proceedings until a federal judge can rule. But it is expected that this rogue, rude and racist judge will press forward regardless. You can keep up with Leon’s crusade by contacting him directly at (315) 796-4000.
Enough of the insanity! Let’s finally pull together and support Dr. Leon Koziol in this vital cause to protect parents legally residing in America.
By Dr. Leon Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute
In order to bring greater awareness and overdue reform to our nation’s divorce and family courts, I completed a book manuscript for a mother victimized by parental alienation and court corruption in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Entitled “Jurassic Justice,” an ongoing ordeal has prevented its publication. Meanwhile I completed and published my own shocking ordeal as a judicial whistleblowing lawyer entitled, Satan’s Docket. You can order a hard copy or download a PDF version at http://www.parentingrightsinstitute.com.
When Tamara Sweeney and I completed her book manuscript, we decided to do a homemade video to promote it. It was a spontaneous thing that came out miraculously well. It was not choreographed or directed by Ridley Scott but came out as if it was professionally created without all the costs and frills. It is being reproduced here because every mom and dad victimized by these courts should learn the background and signs of parental alienation with a goal stamping it out before it gets malignant.
In follow-up to our highly successful Parent March on Washington earlier this month, we must contact the members of Congress we visited on Lobby Day so that our hard work is not in vain. We must also prepare regional protests in their congressional districts. I am currently planning one in upstate New York in the wake of a 70,000 signature petition demanding the removal of a judge here. It will be the largest protest yet set for late September. We’re not just talking about the problems. We’re an action group doing something about it. I will be getting the band back together for this one starting with conference calls and a new access code next week.
In the meantime, I will continue to post this short video which accurately depicts the epidemic that we are all fighting together. It is important that you do everything you can to make this video viral because we are being suppressed and censored by a trillion dollar industry. You can e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our PRI office at (315) 380-3420. And PLEASE donate to our cause on this site, http://www.leonkoziol.com. We took a big loss on the last event but it was well worth the investment for the sake of victimized parents, families and children everywhere.