Freedom Convoy Has Precedent, One That Changed Upstate New York 20 Years Ago

Leon Koziol

Former Attorney for Upstate Citizens for Equality

In 1999, I was retained to represent a landowner group victimized by the Oneida Indian Land Claim. At the time, the Oneida Indian Nation of New York had filed a class action lawsuit in federal court seeking an “ejectment” (mass eviction) of 20,000 landowners in Oneida and Madison counties.

In a series of claims the Oneidas sought 6 million acres between the Canadian border and Pennsylvania (aboriginal tribal lands). The largest one was based on a position that the treaty which approved the transfer of this giant tract to the state (and therefore all subsequent landowners in its chain of titles) was improperly authorized by the state and not the federal government. But the transaction occurred when our Articles of Confederation existed. Therefore, the Supreme Court ruled this treaty valid and threw out the vast claim.

Another by the same Oneida Nation took issue with a 250,000 acre tract which was also transacted by the state and not the federal government. On this claim, featuring multiple conveyances between 1795 and mid-19th century, the new Constitution was in effect. That document clarified that the federal government had exclusive authority over land transactions with Native American tribes (nations).

In addition, the Oneidas relied on the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua which effectively declared such exclusive authority, but New York proceeded anyway to partition the remaining 250,000-acre tract. It was not until 1985, by a 5-4 decision that the Supreme Court ruled that the New York land conveyances were null and void due to the lack of federal involvement. Therefore, this particular tract remained tribal lands of the Oneidas.

By this time, the original tribe had split with additional reservations in Canada and Wisconsin. Only a small number (about 1,000) remained in the original tract on a 32-acre trailer park in Madison County (between Utica and Syracuse). More troubling, because the Court never directed a remedy for the Constitution and treaty violations, the answer was left open for further resolution.

Of course, the removal of 20,000 landowners (roughly 60,000 residents) would be daunting, if not revolutionary. Outsiders were quick to blame these innocent landowners who had nothing to do with any ” historical injustices.” And when the victims invited these critics to offer their own land for Native American reparations, they simply dropped their stones and walked away. After all, it was the state and not these victims who acted unlawfully with the federal government at the time too weak or political to intervene in a timely manner.

After years of negotiation failures, the Oneida Nation filed its class action lawsuit against the landowners using the millions obtained from their casino built in 1993. However, the state-Oneida compact which authorized this (Turning Stone) casino had its own legal flaws, most notably the lack of approval by the New York Legislature.

Like the son who followed him during our pandemic, Governor Mario Cuomo declared himself supreme over such matters and signed the compact into law. No one challenged this until I brought an intervenor action on behalf of the landowners in the federal court land claim. It was based principally on grounds that this intergovernmental compact violated a separation of powers under the state constitution.

This was essentially our way of saying that if these ancient treaties could invalidate the state land conveyances (upon which countless deeds were based), the same is true about the claimants’ lucrative casino compact (and all the monies unlawfully taken from gamblers). Action on the intervenor (countersuit) motion was quickly put on hold by the presiding federal judge pending the outcome of high-level negotiations which might resolve all issues.

One proposed outcome was a $500 million payment, ratification of the compact and a limited land purchase. But we quickly exposed that scheme with news conferences, protests and growing public meetings that included other Indian Nation land claims by the Senecas on Grand Island (between Buffalo and Niagara Falls) and Cayuga Nation (Finger Lakes region). At one point, an estimated 2,000 angry landowners turned out to hear my unconventional strategies that included the first-ever local convoy of aggrieved landowners.

Rather than wait indefinitely for a complex land claim resolution (which never materialized), I withdrew our federal counterclaim and intervenor motion, re-filing instead in New York Supreme Court. The Oneida factions with their high-profile law firms followed with a motion for an injunction against my state lawsuit in the federal litigation. The presiding judge denied their motion, thereby allowing our state case (exclusively against the casino compact) to proceed.

But to the delight of our adversaries, which included some of our own elected officials, a state judge put our case on hold until the outcome of the federal negotiations. We had no clout politically as the subject land claims existed in rural areas. Only the Onondaga claim remained dormant no doubt because it encompassed the Destiny Mall, most of the city of Syracuse and, of course, Syracuse University.

We therefore resorted to public protests which included the convoy (motorcade) that surrounded the casino property in January, 1999 (over 1,000 vehicles). A more expansive convoy followed months later on the New York Thruway beginning at Buffalo and ending on the Capitol steps in Albany, New York (over 300 miles). One of the flatbeds featured a giant fake canon daring the Oneida Nation CEO to come take our land.

Needless to say, we suffered all the same disparagements as the organizers of the Freedom Convoy are today. However, the racist label was somewhat diluted by my long-time status as a civil rights attorney. Several years later, the casino compact was finally ruled invalid by a state Supreme Court judge who replaced the one originally assigned. Shortly after that, the Supreme Court revisited its 1985 ruling and threw out the land claim as stale and unenforceable. Taxpayers were able to keep the $500 million earmarked at one time to settle the treaty violations.

This outcome was unimaginable in 1999. My role in all this earned an interview on CBS 60 Minutes. However, like my crusade against corrupt family courts today, I paid a high price. They never forgot me after that, a successful crusade against a billion-dollar casino operation (as the Las Vegas Sun described it in 2004). So, hat’s off to the Freedom Convoy. As Coach Jim Valvano might say, don’t ever give up. And as I am saying today, never allow your governments, federal, state or Canadian, to insult the people.

Why Pay A Lawyer If Your Judge Has Been Bribed?

cow lawyer
Judges have been accepting bribes for centuries, pictured here milking the family court “cow” with mom and dad lawyers on either side breaking it in half.

By Dr. Leon Koziol

Parenting Rights Institute

Judicial misconduct is the most censored, least publicized and gravest aspect of our federal, state and local governments. You can simply ignore it and move to your next on-line entertainment, but chances are it will find you especially in our nation’s domestic relations courts. So read on and share this post. It may be the most important one you will read in a long time.

The judiciary is our least accountable branch of government. Anyone who dares to reform it can expect severe retributions with no recourse. Judges enjoy absolute immunity for their reckless and even malicious acts. Judicial conduct commissions from New York to California are window dressing entities influenced by politics, typically investigating less than 10% of complaints.

So what does that mean to you? How do you know if your case is not already fixed, rigged or bought-off? You’re spending thousands, even millions of dollars in lawyer fees while your judge has already decided against you due to a bribe or political influence. Are you shocked by that, naive about the people in robes? Well here at Leon and Parenting Rights Institute, we have generated shocking examples of judicial and lawyer misconduct from our work all across America.

We are an up and coming “Judicial Watch” for divorce and family courts, doing the work where our oversight commissions are failing us. Currently we are soliciting investors and donors to upgrade our effectiveness. We will come into your community, home or court to monitor your case and seek accountability for any misconduct. As Director of Parenting Rights Institute with nearly 30 years of trial experience in both federal and state courts, I am dedicated to exposing corruption. It may be the only way you can secure true justice and turn things around.

We offer a Court Strategy Program to keep you from being abused and a team of experts prepared to expose corruption in your case if it exists. It is well worth your while, for he sake of your children if nothing else, to look us up at or call our office at (315) 380-3420. Then take a look at this shocking excerpt of misconduct from a book I have written to be published for divorce victim Tamara Sweeney entitled Jurassic Justice:

Examples of court corruption are provided throughout my work for victims nationwide. Many are quietly suppressed and “read like a docket sheet in any criminal court.” That is what I declared publicly time and again. Yet the public continues to hold judges beyond reproach. The fallacy of that belief was well demonstrated by my custody judge who was also declared by lawyers as  “beyond reproach,” at least until he was removed from the bench after admitting to sexual misconduct on his handicapped five year old niece: In re Bryan Hedges, 20 NY3d 677 (2013).

One of the shocking cases cited to make my point, and the need for meaningful accountability, involves a New York Supreme Court Judge in Brooklyn caught on camera taking a bribe from a divorce lawyer. It was part of a scam to shift custody from a mother to an influential father. Had the feisty mother not convinced the FBI to act upon her evidence, this judge, Gerald Garson, would still be dispensing “justice.” It begs the question: how many other such judges and cases are there? What can explain Tamara’s bizarre case? We let you decide as our story continues.

The conviction of Judge Garson for federal crimes was actually not the most shocking part of his case. Due punishment was compromised by judges and lawyer colleagues supporting his early release in 2009. Now you have to ponder that for a moment. If Garson’s colleagues are still backing him after a crime which goes to the heart of our justice system, what does that say for their tolerance of corruption generally? Isn’t this where precedent is set and examples are made?

While the “Honorable” “Justice” Gerald Garson was busy generating unreported income through an abuse of judicial office, another New York Supreme Court Judge, Thomas Spargo, was busy securing a bribe against a father arguing a client case before him. At a dinner conversation, he requested $10,000 to help defray the cost of legal fees needed to defend against judicial misconduct charges pending against him at the time.

Like Judge Garson, you have to ponder that as well. Judge Spargo was already being prosecuted for judicial misconduct and resorted to more serious behavior to get out of it. He referenced this lawyer’s own divorce which might be transferred to him. The pressure was not uncomplicated. Play ball or else. I suppose the lawyer could have won his divorce for a nominal “fee” to this judge when compared to a contested case. He was placed in a real quandary, deciding ultimately to report the crime only after taking steps to avoid false claims that could cost his law license.

Chief Justice Sol Wachtler of New York’s high court was imprisoned for numerous crimes during the nineties. In his book, After the Madness, he explained that judges are made to believe that they are gods. Such deep rooted convictions do not disappear. Judge Wachtler went so far as to direct paid court staff to dig up grounds for preventing licensure of a New Jersey lawyer assisting the judge’s mistress to discover a man making extortionist and kidnapping threats involving her daughter. That elusive man turned out to be the judge himself.

Then there’s that family court judge in the state of Michigan, the “Honorable” Wade McCree, whose case defied all manner of ethics. He admitted to adulterous sex in chambers with a litigant mother while presiding over her child support case. Judge McCree was removed from the bench for all sorts of misconduct involving numerous cases only after the affair (and pregnancy) was confirmed. The father, placed on a tether for support arrears during this affair was denied recovery for the horrific misconduct by a federal appeals court on grounds of judge immunity.

These and other cases are easily found on the internet to verify a judicial corruption epidemic of undefined proportion. Most people view judges as honorable office holders committed to justice, equality and all that other good stuff we read about in high school civics classes. But behind the black robes, in the recesses of chambers and among discreet exchanges in restaurants, bars and golf courses, there is often quite another set of characteristics at play.

Bias, coercion, schemes, scams, deal-making and outright crimes are taking place which violate all manner of ethics formally placed in our judicial codes. In our nation’s domestic relations courts, such corruption is taken to the next level under a pretext of family confidentiality, thereby concealing the misconduct and protecting a trillion dollar industry built on needless conflict.

Had Enough Corruption? Join Protest at Lincoln Memorial on 9/17

Let’s finally do something about government corruption on Constitution Day. They’re not paying any attention to your keyboards at home.

By Dr. Leon R. Koziol

Haven’t we all had enough of government corruption. Not a day goes by without another public official taking bribes, abusing office or getting a free pass to commit crimes. From the top down, across genders and all branches of government, corruption in America has gotten out of control. If we are truly a self governing nation, it’s high time we took it back with a march from Lincoln Memorial to the White House on September 17th.

If you think it’s going to correct itself or maybe you think someone else will organize and protest in your place, think again. That ain’t happening. You need to get seriously involved today. It’s your government too. Freedom is not free. We have inherited a duty from our founders for the sake of future generations.

We all know how our country was founded, but is there something from the Spirit of ’76 which tugs upon us today? Have the modern day trappings of electronic devices, moral depravity and self-love eclipsed the patriotism that defines America? Are we on a collision course with a new world order destined to erode our rights to extinction?

Look no further than divorce and family courts. The rights of parents are being tortured beyond recognition for profit. Parallels to the Revolution should send chills down the spine of any conscientious lawyer truly committed to a professional oath. In plain terms, these courts have assumed monarchial authority  over our children through “equity” powers carried over from feudal England, see i.e. Finlay v Finlay, 148 NE 624 (1925).

That power has expanded over time to a point where “constitution-free” zones have been erected among local tribunals fueled by a revenue generating scheme known as Title IV-D funding (family conflict incentivized by federal money from Social Security). It is a judge created “equity” power eroding a full range of rights protected by our Constitution. In so many respects, these tribunals have become more powerful than the NSA, IRS and CIA.

From left to right: Radio and Talk Show Host Sean Hannity, Civil Rights Advocate Dr. Leon Koziol and Path Medical Foundation Director Dr. Eric Braverman

The reason, of course, is money. Make mom and dad fight over an archaic “custody” award and you can swallow up life savings and college funds to benefit a giant trough surrounded by lawyers, evaluators and family “experts.” They include my custody judge, Bryan Hedges. I had him disqualified over lawyer claims of a reputation beyond reproach until he was ousted altogether for admitting to sexual abuse upon his handicapped five year old niece.

The parenting right traces itself well beyond the birth of our nation, indeed to the beginning of civilization itself. Governments have come and gone but families and parent-child relationships are the reasons we got here. It is that “bundle of rights” so fundamental to humanity that our founders saw no reason to put it in the Constitution. The Supreme Court declared it as our “oldest (protected) liberty interest,” Troxel v Granville, 530 US 57 (2000).

This all-inclusive right is now under assault. Bureaucrats are devising all sorts of fictional “wars” to raise taxes, i.e. a war on half the human population with the VAWA Act. This is a modern day equivalent of the Stamp Act invented to pay for British troops in the colonies. A war among parents pays for a glut of lawyers, over 600,000 in New York and California alone. And if you can exploit children (like Hitler directed in Mein Kampf), the people will “happily” surrender their rights. Welcome to the war machine known as family court.

All efforts to organize parents to this reality have failed miserably. The reasons are as diverse as the conflicts inflamed by lawyers. If you’re a conscientious reformist like me, they will exploit judicial office to discredit your name and message, seizing your livelihood, home, assets, reputation and even your children to preserve this gold mine. It has left the parental rights movement devoid of qualified leaders and meaningful support.

Out of law school, I was able to get a restraining order on a $30 million school project, later a judgment in New York Supreme Court declaring a billion dollar casino unconstitutional, and six figure recoveries for victimized women and minorities. Today I cannot get a phone call to my girls enforced by more than 35 trial judges assigned to my originally uncontested divorce case, an atrocity unprecedented in modern judicial history.

This video doesn’t exist

For over ten years I have studied this phenomenon, pursued proper channels to a point of incurring anti-filing orders, and assisted court victims in nearly all fifty states. I even completed a book for a mom in Hawaii who was severely alienated from her offspring and hounded as a fugitive for “child support.” Reform has been suppressed and censored as it was in colonial America because parents have been intimidated, stripped of their dignity and reduced to a pathetic state of despair, excuses and outright laziness.

I call it the “Foxhole Syndrome,” parents anxious to tell their war stories without real concern for the greater reform movement. I have been contacted from across the country and remain unable to extricate dialogue from these foxholes, sometimes over a period of hours without donations in my suppressed state. Indeed the reform terrain resembles the movie “Terminator” with “Devil’s Advocate” as its theme. Parents are underground on the comfort of their keyboards “raising awareness” to no one who cares.

Like our Revolution, this terrain is infiltrated by traitors, spies, cowards and plain idiots which distract us from the real enemy. A key example is this CAPRA class action which should stand for Con Artist Promoting Ridiculous Action. It was concocted by a non-lawyer out of jail who managed to convince thousands of victims to join “for free.” Well a brain surgery is also free with a GED volunteer from ISIS. Fancy letters, a lawsuit face page without a person or corporate identity, and a link to an on-line dollar store should have “raised awareness” to a paper Titanic with “all hands on dork.”

This is not to say that its sponsor is without utility, but if that talent could be directed to a real battlefield, we could change America as they did 200 years ago. That’s why I have proposed an anti-corruption rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Constitution Day, September 17th (a Saturday). This is where civil rights has a reform history. Due to past rallies devoid of participation, I have had to seek out prominent people and organized groups.

The Rev. Al Sharpton & Leon Koziol, J.D.

This sick system extends to school programs, it is a core reason for escalating violence, the decline of all religions and immorality, and it must be dismantled and rebuilt as our nation was. Discrimination, alienation, financial exploitation and state child abuse are all forms of corruption subject to protest. So contact your neighbors, get the signs ready, and let’s show that we’ve had enough. It’s not a problem if they don’t see it, and no one sees a foxhole.


Tired of Getting Beat Up in Family Court?

America’s leading authority on family court reform, Dr. Leon Koziol, J.D., with over 25 years of trial experience, has developed a  Family Court Survival Program specifically for you – regardless of how far along your matter is!

(Click Here for More Information)