“We the Parents” have had enough. For decades now our government has been invading our private lives while allowing greedy lawyers to profit off our misfortunes in divorce and family courts. They get moms and dads fighting on false promises only to blame us for the conflict and crises they cause in the end.
I’ve seen the corruption and carnage first hand. I took a conscientious stand against my profession after 23 unblemished years as a trial attorney because of needless conflict and irreparable harm to our children. A real lawyer gladiates among businesses, criminals and government. A sleeze ball exploits vulnerable parents, families and innocent children.
Hear what they had to say. Then construct your signs, contact family and friends, reach out to those desperate for hope and make arrangements to be in Washington. Otherwise the lawyers, judges and therapists will be happily waiting to act in your children’s so-called “best interests” for a big fee. Your state is taking over your parental authority with each passing year. It gives pause to reflect on what the dictator of all time had to say about this:
“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”
It’s been awhile since Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas depicted family courts in America as “Kangaroo” operations, see In re Gault, 387 US 1, 27-28. But Abe never came across New York’s Commission on Judicial Conduct. Now that’s a kangaroo commission if there ever was one. Its members are appointed by corrupt politicians such as Sheldon Silver (now in federal prison), Dean Skelos (convicted of federal crimes) and Andy Cuomo (currently under federal investigation). Governor Andrew Cuomo prematurely dissolved his own corruption commission when testimony (i.e. me) began implicating the politicians who created it.
Another entity, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, was created by the same trio of politicians in 2011 as part of a “Clean-Up Albany Act.” By 2015, state legislators were decrying it as “J-Joke” for its impotence. The chair of that Commission was recently named Chief Justice of New York’s high court by the same Governor Andy Cuomo who created both commissions. That should have all people visiting or doing business here very concerned.
Yeah there are so many taxpayer financed commissions these days that the public cannot figure them all out. Hell they all sound good, but what are they accomplishing? The third one (featured here) has kicked legitimate complaints against judges to the curb faster than its kangaroo sister commission in California (reported to have rejected more than 90% filed). It’s a nationwide epidemic calling upon the citizenry to make a stand. A rally has been set for September 17, 2016 at Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Be there !
As a result, this Judicial Conduct Commission has been renamed the Kangaroo Corruption Commission (KCC) by victimized litigants to accurately describe the entity’s true character. Okay it’s not official yet, but we commoners who pay taxes and put up with their circus show like to be graphic with what’s really going on. We’re not so easily duped into believing that a catchy title with elite law firm members verify a genuine commitment to public service. They’re the foxes watching the chicken coup. So we call it as we see it.
Today I received yet another letter from “Jean M. Savanyu” clerk of the Commission advising me once again that Lewis County Family Judge Daniel King (“Dan King” as he introduced himself to my family court opponent on the phone) is just a-okay. Now for our 6,000 followers, you all know this can’t be right. Dan King has committed so much misconduct that anyone coming into “his” court should bring along a recorder (since he caused one of my secret custody proceedings to be unrecorded so his misconduct could be concealed).
Appealing such clear misconduct is equally impotent. In my case, the “honorable” Nancy Smith of the Fourth Department denied recourse against King when he issued a support violation order impossible to comply with because it required support payments to an agency without legal authority to accept it. Dan King was simply abusing judicial office in retaliation for my (accurate) public criticisms of his incompetence (see listing below). Nancy is the only judge above trial level ever to be slapped on the wrist by the KCC for giving a glowing reference to a person she never met for personal and political gain as a judge. Does anyone seriously think she could be impartial here?
Hey, as stated time and again, we don’t make this stuff up at Leon Koziol.com. Check it all out on the internet. And while you’re at it, look up ex-New York Chief Judge Sol Wachtler, convicted of federal crimes and sent to prison without so much as a footnote from the KCC. So what are you going to do about it? Are you “a-okay” with this sort of government? Are you happy when lawyers get you fighting in family court only to grab everything you worked for in life? Is this how we reward those who put their lives on the line in the military, 9-11 and Orlando? Are you a scared American hiding behind a government monitored keyboard?
Now for the shocker in our so-called justice system: here is the list of incompetence raised before the KCC which it again found was “a-okay.” They kept open the possibility that a real oversight commission or high court might find otherwise just to protect their statures, i.e. “not enough evidence for an investigation.” If the victims of judge misconduct are supposed to do their investigations, what do we need them for, a bully group picking on all the non-lawyer town justices? (check out their so-called accomplishments).
Dan King’s incompetence was re-stated in a petition for writ filed with the United States Supreme Court on June 17, 2016. Social media caused our news conference on the courthouse steps to go viral the next day (Zuckerberg and company may have taken a weekend break from their select monitoring). The KCC finding of Dan King’s “a-okay” status as a family judge was dated June 20, 2016 on a series of complaints going back years. Coincidence? You decide:
1) A competent jurist does not issue or ratify a PhD and Masters degree for purposes of maliciously elevating his public critic’s child support for incarceration purposes;
2) A competent jurist does not insulate the foregoing misconduct from appeal and accountability by coercing a willful support violation under threat of imprisonment;
3) A competent jurist does not participate in the concealment of his critic’s daughters at a millionaire’s home on his own family court record through delays and rationalization.
4) A competent jurist does not accept the clear fraud and perjury of his critic’s opposing parent who testified under oath at a January, 2016 hearing that her required notice of residential change was confirmed under electronic address “gmai.com.” This would be akin to testimony of a letter successfully mailed from a trash can outside the post office.
5) A competent jurist does not issue defamatory forensic orders for the purpose of discrediting the public message and character of his critic without competent support of any kind, only the perjuries of a scorned litigant having no timely personal knowledge;
6) A competent jurist does not refuse to correct his own appalling errors by motion of the court, he does not retain college degrees as the “law of the case” while imposing an arrest warrant and maximum jail term of six months on a fraudulently supported debt;
7) A competent jurist does not threaten his critic with removal from a public courthouse at the opening of a custody hearing based on five objections (two that were granted) to narrative and unrepresented testimony of a perjuring and infinitely scorned parenting opponent to create a record that would justify his prior forensic weapons of suppression.
8) A competent jurist would not violate a stay order by an Appellate Justice by issuing orders suspending his critic’s parenting time ten days later on Christmas Eve 2013, thereby placing that critic in a condition of arrest by ambush due to conflicting orders;
9) A competent jurist would not sign every requested show cause order by his critic’s parenting opponent after every ex-parte protection order obtained by her was vacated since 2006 including a trial where the critic was not even required to put in a defense.
10) A competent jurist does not ignore an ongoing extortionist scheme in every decision to date, to wit: the parenting opponent’s threat to a loving father to give up his children to a millionaire replacement for an end to child support. Her conduct remains criminal;
11) A competent jurist would not conduct an evidentiary hearing on a first appearance without notice, resulting in orders suspending child contact on such grounds as “prohibited alcohol related gestures” when no other “unfit” evidence could be offered.
12) A competent jurist would not fabricate such an overbroad prohibition that could not be understood, and it was directed to a toast at the wedding of his critic’s niece. When an appeal was taken, it was later learned that this hearing had allegedly not been recorded;
13) A competent jurist does not retain an order of arrest and confinement of his public critic for inflated support obligations after proof by the critic’s lawyer showed that it was impossible to comply, to wit: certified funds at full purge amount, albeit in violation of a 2010 superior court order, to be paid to an agency without legal authority to accept it;
14) A competent jurist does not retain forensic orders in the wake of perjured “gmai.com” proof from the only witness supporting those orders strictly to continue a sadistic campaign of punishment against his public critic.
15) A competent jurist does not retain forensic orders on double standards. Judge King frequents a tavern in Lowville, New York with his own children while enjoying cocktails that a barmaid has committed to memory. He has exhibited all sorts of absurd behavior.
16) A competent jurist does not ignore every plea for simple phone contact by a father to his daughters over an 833 day period with sadistic satisfaction while an unfit millionaire substitute continues to cement a bond which has them exhibiting abnormal father hatred.
17) A competent jurist does not issue serial rulings laced with sadistic disparagements of his critic to avenge accurate disclosures even in the wake of former veteran family judge and current Appellate Division Judge John Centra who emphasized that the real father had no record to support suspended child contact when issuing his 2013 stay order.
The members of the Kangaroo Corruption Commission (KCC) a/k/a New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct are as follows:
Joseph W. Belluck, chair (appointed by Cuomo)
Paul Harding, vice chair (appointed by Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb)
Rolando T. Acosta (appointed by former chief judge, also appointed by Cuomo)
Sylvia G. Ash (appointed by current Chief Judge Janet DeFiore, also appointed by Cuomo)
Joel Cohen (appointed by ex-Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver now in federal prison)
Jodie Corngold (appointed by Cuomo)
Richard D. Emery (appointed by Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins)
Thomas A. Klonick (former useless Commission chair appointed by former chief judge)
Richard A. Stoloff (appointed by ex-Senate leader recently convicted of federal crimes)
David A. Weinstein (appointed by Cuomo, related to Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair?)
Vacant (politician Cuomo will name an “independent” person to this vacancy)
As I testified before the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, this is a “window dressing” commission which should be dissolved like the others because it does more harm than good through its impotence, political influences and ultimate protection of corrupt judges. Such impotence causes victims of severe injustices to forego the filing of useless complaints, making the actual corruption far greater than the record truly shows. Within four months of my testimony on September 17, 2013, my daughters were seized by Dan King who finally disqualified himself this month after the colossal mess he made.
For more information call Parenting Rights Institute at (315) 380-3420.
Have you finally had enough? Hardly a day goes by without another shocking display of government corruption impacting our nation like never before. And no one with a conscience is doing much about it short of knee-jerk reactions to catastrophic events.
From Bernie Madoff to the doctoring of public disclosures in the Orlando mass murders, the public is routinely the victim. Law abiding gun owners are targeted instead of the killer whose terrorist communications were doctored. So who’s the real enemy here?
As a self governing nation, we have a duty under our Constitution to make a stand. This is your government they are corrupting, your IRS paid for by your tax dollars that is suppressing free speech, your courts which are complicit in the scandals. It’s time for a mass rally against corruption in Washington D.C. on Constitution Day, 2016.
That’s only three (3) months, so if you love your country, your families and way of life, join us for a defining moment in American history. Don’t expect your neighbor or the few activists here to do it for you. We can be just as apathetic, bowling, basketball-watching or “raising awareness” to no one who cares from the comfort of our keyboards, but nothing will be gained until we make our grievances known, like it says in the First Amendment.
So get started now. Don’t get diluted through distractions. You mean something under the true government. Remember the phrase “We the People?” That’s you and me along with the rest accepting corruption as if it is to be expected now. Exercise your rights as you would your own body for the health of a government we created.Get organized in your back yards, construct the protest signs, and make arrangements with organizations to be there.
As a civil rights advocate, attorney for a former president of the National Organization for Women and now the Director of National League of Fathers, Inc. I’ve done my part and sacrificed everything for equality and justice in our nation’s courts. Now it’s your turn to be part of a growing movement to “Clean Up Government.”
For those of you who think we are not on the verge of a crisis, note the following: When a group of parents (including me) gave testimony before a Public Corruption Commission on Constitution Day, 2013, we were instantly targeted. That Commission was prematurely dissolved when evidence began implicating those who created the Commission. Top leaders of state government were eventually convicted of federal crimes and sent to prison.
If we focus only on corruption involving innocent children and families, the condition of our government becomes very alarming, much beyond the eroding of “public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary” as found in United States v Cossey, 632 F.3d 82 (2nd Cir. 2011)(federal judge employing a human gene to be discovered 50 years from now to make his decisions).
One exemplary case (you know there are many more) 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 mom not convinced the FBI to act on her evidence, this judge, Gerald Garson, would still be on the bench dispensing “justice.”
However his conviction of federal crimes was not the shocking part. Due punishment was compromised by colleagues supporting his early release in 2009. Now you have to ponder that for a moment. If disgraced ex-Judge Garson is still being defended after a crime at the heart of our justice system, what does that say for their tolerance of corruption generally?
While the “Honorable” Gerald Garson was busy generating unreported income, another 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 defray the cost of legal fees needed against misconduct charges pending against him. Spargo was already being prosecuted for judge misconduct and resorted to criminal behavior to get out.
These and other cases are easily found on the internet to verify a corruption epidemic of undefined proportion. Most people view judges as honorable office holders committed to justice, 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.
In my own case, I challenged a custody judge based on his undue parental alienation at a closed session with my girls (known as a Lincoln hearing without parents allowed in). I was especially vulnerable with all the corruption I was exposing. My motion for his removal was granted despite lawyers declaring his reputation as one beyond reproach. He was removed altogether from the bench the next year after admitting to sexual misconduct on his handicapped five year old niece (Syracuse Family Judge Bryan Hedges).
The chief ethics lawyer and staff attorneys in the witch hunt executed against me were terminated by the state Supreme Court for falsifying their time sheets. No public charges, ethical or criminal, were ever brought in contrast to the treatment of the commoners who steal from government. And these are the standard bearers of lawyer ethics charged with oversight of billing practices that bankrupt parents in divorce and family court.
Worse yet, the victims are left with no recourse. This is because judges have legislated for themselves a rule of immunity even from malicious conduct unlike the rest of us when we violate the public trust. The people have never consented to such a rule. To verify, consider a proposition on the ballot where government was proposing to act in a purely malicious way against a constituent. Such a proposition would surely fail by a near unanimous vote.
Ex-Chief Justice Sol Wachtler of New York’s high court was imprisoned for numerous crimes. He is back practicing law and teaching ethics while his campaign poster remains on public display at the state’s high court. In his book, After the Madness, he explained that judges are made to believe they are gods. He went so far as to direct paid court staff to dig up grounds for preventing licensure of a lawyer assisting his mistress to discover a man making extortionist threats on her daughter. That man turned out to be the judge himself.
Then there’s the family judge in Michigan, the “Honorable” Wade McCree, whose case defied all manner of ethics. He admitted to adulterous sex in chambers with a litigant 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 by a federal appeals court on grounds of judge immunity.
In Pennsylvania, two judges were imprisoned for the now infamous “Kids for Cash” scandal. It featured kick-backs from contractors benefited by the number of minors sent to juvenile centers. Over 4,000 convictions had to be overturned by the state’s Supreme Court now plagued by its own corruption. Two of its justices resigned due to misconduct leaked by a new Attorney General.
That same court retaliated by suspending her law license prior to any hearing or conviction. Even while I was filing my case before the Supreme Court this past week for corrective action, the same court was handing down a decision condemning the misconduct of that state’s ex-Chief Justice, see Williams v Pennsylvania, 579 US __ (June 9, 2016).
A natural outcome of the foregoing is lawlessness. Although examples abound, in my small city, a police investigator committed murder-suicide on his ex-spouse after leaving support court. Draconian practices produce homeless victims. In San Diego today, it was reported that a 50 year homeless man was beaten to death by two high school boys and a cheerleader. Does it get any sicker from inept state interference in parental discipline?
Facing such prospects, this law man used a common kitchen knife to complete his crime, voiding any deterrent effect of inflammatory protection orders issued. It left three children with no parents and city taxpayers responsible for a $2 million wrongful death pay-out, see Pearce v Longo, 766 F. Supp.2d 367 (NDNY 2011). An unarmed black father, Walter Scott, was shot dead five times in the back by a police officer in South Carolina simply because he was fleeing a child support warrant at a traffic stop. That city paid out $3 million so far.
In his book, A Promise to Ourselves, actor Alec Baldwin gives a scathing report of his protracted divorce with Kim Basinger. After a voice message to his daughter was made public, Mr. Baldwin was condemned as an abusive parent. Largely censored were the alienation tactics which fueled this exchange. So painful was the aftermath that he admitted to suicidal tendencies at his high rise apartment and during a drive to the Berkshires. Years later the same daughter was featured in a second wedding ceremony for her father.
The 2011 case of Thomas Ball is also instructive. An oppressed father seeking to ignite protest burned himself alive in front of a family courthouse in Keene, New Hampshire. There was no mainstream coverage in contrast to a similar self-immolation in Morocco which attracted world protest. This incident was cited only last month by me during a human rights conference to dissuade a prominent figure in Manhattan from attempting self destruction as a final reform tactic.
And so, while our federal government escalates its military involvement around the globe, soldiers are returning to empty homes, child alienation and felony support warrants. I was able to save another victim from suicide at a parent convention I sponsored in 2011, but the unsuccessful instances are more telling, see i.e. Purple Heart’s Final Beat, Second Class Citizen.Org (2009). Virtually all responders on 9-11 were men entitled to equal treatment in these courts. Yet a vast number became eternally separated without any reform.
Enough ! Be a part of the solution. These are your fellow citizens at risk. Contact me for further information at Parenting Rights Institute (315) 380-3420. I will not respond to keyboarding exercises. Serious inquiries only.
On the eve of Fathers Day this year, four professionals will assemble on the steps of the United States Supreme Court to file a writ for gender equality in our nation’s divorce and family courts. It will occur at 1 pm on Friday, June 17, 2016. They are victims of discrimination and civil rights violations in New York, California, Virginia and Florida. Other victims are expected to join on that day.
For too long, fathers have been raked over in these courts. While other groups have achieved great strides in equal treatment, fathers have been vilified and remanded to lower class parenting. The statistics do not lie. Our Census Bureau continues to report that nearly 85% of all parents paying child support are fathers, nearly 100% imprisoned for back support are men and a disproportionate number are minorities or homeless.
Sexist slurs persist even among public officials, evidenced only months ago by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey who exploited “Dead Beat Dads” on his government wanted posters. Stereotypes are so brazen that such politicians are actually criminalizing fatherhood. Good dads assume the stigma imposed upon them, abandoning their rightful roles and adding to a fatherless epidemic which is harming all aspects of society.
Four fathers have decided to take a firm stand to reverse this ominous trend. Having witnessed the carnage inflicted by needless court conflict within their professions, they are asking the Supreme Court to hear their extraordinary case against a child support program which mandates unequal parenting roles as a condition for federal funding. Each will present a public statement at a news conference. They are:
Dr. Mario Jimenez, M.D. Florida
Dr. Leon R. Koziol, J.D. New York
Dr. Daniel Pestana, DDS California
John Bautista, Jr. BSME, MBA Virginia
Civil Rights Advocate Leon Koziol is filing for a writ of certiorari (Click Here to View)at that time and he can be contacted for further information at (315) 796-4000.
Breaking News on Our Motto at Leon Koziol.com: “You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up.”
In a series of decisions received today, the gag order imposed on this site was lifted and the offense petition filed by Kelly Hawse-Koziol was thrown out. She was also warned of losing custody if Leon Koziol is denied contact with his children in bad faith.
Accordingly the posts that were taken down six months ago regarding her frauds upon family court will be returned to this website so that reform and accountability can press on consistent with the First Amendment. But what does all of this mean to victimized moms and dads everywhere? Well a lot! Sometimes persistence pays off. Read on.
To begin with, the gag order and petition were thrown out after a trial was postponed twice over the past two months without explanation. It was done on the face of claims treated in the best light of the accuser. Such a decision could have been made when the petition was first filed instead of six months later while our site was being censored and subjected to vague standards of compliance (contempt by ambush).
When are we going to finally take a stand against all this? We go to our courts for recourse because these are the forums created under our constitutions to resolve disputes yet it is Leon (not Kelly) being subjected to anti-filing orders. How does one defend against false accusations and a biased court system? It encourages victims to take the law into their own hands as Utica Police Investigator Joseph Longo did in a murder-suicide that left three children without parents and the city with a $2 million liability, see Pearce v Longo, 766 F. Supp 2d 367 (NDNY 20011). Recall also the police murder of an unarmed dad, Walter Scott, in 2015 simply because he ran from a child support warrant.
Kelly Hawse-Koziol testfied under oath that she made a successful transmission of residential change as required by custody order through the following e-mail: “firstname.lastname@example.org” (“L” character missing)- Try it for entertainment purposes. We posted her alleged confirmation sheet employed by the children’s lawyer, William Koslosky, showing no successful transmission (removed from this site when the gag order forced us to do so).
Yet Judge Daniel King accepted her excuse that she retyped it by error on another computer on this isolated occasion (unlike years before and months after). But even if you disregard the obvious lie, it does not and cannot excuse a fact which any kid could figure out that such a transmission never occurred (because either computer would kick it back as unsuccessful on the screen). So where is the remedy for the victim? Perjury charges? Lots of luck, and this father (unlike the mother) would never pursue that anyway for his children’s sake.
Divorce and family court victims as far away as Florida and California are already committed to attend public hearing on gag order, equal rights and parental alienation.
After ten years of litigating for parental justice as high as the United States Supreme Court, Dr. Leon Koziol may finally get his day in court on behalf of divorce and family court victims everywhere. A New York Supreme Court Justice has just signed an order to hear arguments in a mandamus proceeding on June 10 at 10:30 a.m. at the Oneida County Courthouse in Utica. Mandamus is considered extraordinary, in this case directed at a family court judge named Daniel King in Lowville, New York, and it is open to the public.
In the past, Leon was bombarded with technical dismissals, jurisdictional chaos and judge misconduct designed to suppress his overdue reform efforts in our third branch of government. Unscrupulous lawyers across America have turned our children into a lucrative trillion dollar industry eating alive our life’s earnings, retirement savings, health and college funds. And the corruption is escalating for reasons found in Leon’s ordeal described with horrific detail at Leon Koziol.com.
After 23 unblemished years practicing law in federal and state courts, he was suspended, threatened with contempt, deprived of a livelihood, denied access to (important people in his life) and now they are seizing his home. We can’t disclose who those important people are because this site is still subject to a gag order which Leon seeks to remove on June 10th so that fraud, perjury and judge misconduct can be conveyed to you when government commissions fail us.
The timing before Fathers Day and location of these arguments are also extraordinary. An opportunity like this may not occur for another ten years. Leon has sacrificed too much for this cause and is destined to lose this case because the establishment and gold mine he is seeking to reform are too powerful. But if we can finally rally together at the Oneida County Courthouse in a judicial district which includes the Fort Drum Army Base and former Griffiss Air Force Base, a profound message can be sent to courts all across America.
Leon is highly focused on protecting military, minorities and law enforcement, or those mostly harmed by the antiquated custody system. Instead of promoting shared parenting, our federal government today is obsessed with transgender bathrooms in North Carolina with Attorney General Loretta Lynch accusing us of being racists if we don’t support her. What??? Leon was a highly accomplished civil rights attorney and lawyer for a past president of the National Organization for Women. Racism and religious convictions are not the same. And while everyone else is demanding equal rights, fathers are still discriminated through an abuse of Title IV-D federal funding.
This courthouse in the center of New York state is three hours from New York metropolitan area and Buffalo, two hours from the Canadian and Pennsylvania borders. Already supporters are committed to attend from as far away as Florida and California. Hotel Utica and the Radisson downtown are less than a mile from Thruway Exit 31 (Interstate 90). These were the sites of various civil rights forums sponsored by Leon that were targeted by ethics lawyers engaged in the witch hunt against Leon. They were ultimately fired by a licensing court for falsifying their time sheets. No public charges were ever brought against them.
You may have heard about Arkansas Judge Joe Boeckmann charged this week with sexual predator crimes over a thirty year period through judicial favors. In the mandamus lawsuit and at Leon Koziol.com, you will read about Leon’s custody judge, Brian Hedges, removed from the bench for admitting to sexual misconduct on his five year old handicapped niece, family judges who fabricated college degrees to elevate Leon’s support obligations, and his consequential testimony before the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption which led to more severe retributions. You will read about judges sent to prison in Brooklyn and Albany for soliciting custody and divorce bribes, and of course the “Kids-for-Cash” scandal in Pennsylvania.
It’s out of control people. Stop keyboarding in the comfort of your homes to one another and people who don’t care. “Raising awareness” this way is misguided and creates false hope. It’s time to make a stand against parent waterboarding by a corrupted system. Spread the word every way you can. After the June 10 arguments, Leon will file a petition for writ at the United States Supreme Court in Washington D.C. concerning a similar mandamus action dismissed by a federal appeals court in Manhattan. An opening excerpt is provided below. For more information and desperately needed donations, contact our office, Parenting Rights Institute, at (315) 796-4000 or Leon direct at (315) 796-4000.
U.S. SUPREME COURT WRIT (OPENING):
While our federal government asserts itself around the globe to advance human rights, its military is returning to divorce and family courts which exploit children for profit. Public safety officers, such as our responders on 9-11, are being hauled into the same courts and subjected to discrimination on account of their gender or line of duty. Many are alienated from their children, committed to debtor prisons or oppressed as inferior parents to feed a trillion dollar industry.
It is a highly protected industry orchestrated under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 USC section 651 et. seq. States are rewarded by the number and size of “child support” orders manufactured by their courts. Superior and inferior custody classifications are essential to these money transfers and mandated by federal statute even when parents with near equal incomes and childrearing periods set up contrary agreements, see i.e. Bast v Rossoff, 91 NY2d 723 (1998).
Accordingly support judges have been rendered inherently biased against all those classified under the inferior “non-custodial” label with or without justification. Such classifications are arbitrary, stigmatizing and institutional in countless cases, requiring otherwise cooperative parents to compete over their children. Their infringement of a fundamental right to parent one’s offspring is easily replaced by childrearing plans and orders which retain more family oriented labels such as mother, father and parent, see i.e. Webster v Ryan, 729 NYS2d 315 (Albany Fam. Ct. 2001) at fn. 1(veteran family judge declaring “custody” and “visitation” to be offensive terms in an antiquated system which brings out the worst in parents when children need their best).
However such less intrusive custody substitutes are foreclosed by the blanket classifications and marginalized by overburdened courts committed to the funding scheme. Over time, such injustices have reached constitutional dimension while ever elusive, utopian and overbroad child rearing standards displace parental discretion without compelling state interest contrary to a right declared by the Supreme Court to be the “oldest liberty interest” protected by our Constitution, Troxel v Granville, 530 US 57 (2000)(prolonged custody case can itself violate parental rights), Parham v JR, 442 US 548 (1979)(fit parents presumed to act in their children’s best interests).
A full range of constitutional rights is easily trampled under principles of equity, or the power seized by family judges to “father” our children, see often cited Finlay v Finlay, 240 NY 429 (1925)(“paternal jurisdiction” derived from feudal common law). In plain terms, the Constitution is being ignored because the custody scheme is lucrative for those who depend upon family controversy for their livelihood. It is being facilitated by judges charged with the highest duty of safeguarding such rights, Federalist Paper No. 78; Marbury v Madison, 5 US 137 (1803).
Support inequities triggered by this scheme (child support standards act) are typically countered with custody tactics to result in untold harm to our children, i.e. Pearce v Longo, 766 F.Supp.2d 367 (NDNY 2011)($2 million city liability for police investigator committing murder-suicide with ex-spouse after exiting support court leaving children without parents). In his highly researched study, Is There Really a Fatherhood Crisis, Professor Stephen Baskerville places the blame on government: “What many are led to believe is a social problem may in reality be an exercise of power by the state,” Independence Review, vol VIII, n 4, Spring 2004, at pp 485-486.
Unsuspecting litigants are also exploited by an expanding bureaucracy under Title IV-D to finance welfare costs created by unrelated and irresponsible parents. The ones properly devoted to their children therefore shoulder an unjust burden merely because they reside separately from their partners. These support judges engage in highly abused fictions such as “imputed income” to raise obligations beyond realistic capacities. There is no express provision for shared parenting under the federal entitlement statute, and the regulatory scheme has replaced the child’s needs with “way of life” standards to elevate support even further. It has removed critical discretion from proper decision makers with outcomes that shock the conscience, see fn 3 and 4.
The “band plays on” in our nation’s family courts because civil rights attorneys and parental advocates such as petitioner are subjugated, vilified and punished for their exercise of reform efforts otherwise protected under the American Constitution. Meanwhile, gay, lesbian and trans-gender parents, soon to be victimized by this same lucrative system, have achieved far greater strides in equality with repeat court actions than fathers have over a century of discrimination.
This is a petition for writ of mandamus and prohibition directed to the federal court of the Northern District of New York. It seeks relief which is central to any self-governing society, namely, the right to seek reforms to this over regulated and oppressive system of child control. In that vein, it matters not whether the decision makers here agree with the foregoing legal posture concerning a federal statute. It matters only that the petitioner is accorded his inalienable human right to express public views and raise his offspring free of the severe retributions he sustained for criticizing our third branch of government, see i.e Garrison v Louisiana, 379 US 64 (1964).
 Petitioner’s revenue-bias conclusion was deemed frivolous by the lower court. However it is supported by our nation’s top civil rights experts at the Justice Department. They issued a report on March 4, 2015 after the Ferguson, Missouri race riots concluding that the region’s municipal courts were committing civil rights violations through concocted arrests and excessive fines as part of a revenue generating scheme. There is nothing to distinguish that conclusion from petitioner’s long asserted claims here regarding family courts which incite needless controversy to exact excessive support orders and attorneys fees. Unequal custody classifications are the workhorse behind all this with rampant prejudice against male parents which can no longer be denied or tolerated. The Census Bureau and private entities continue to report that nearly 85% of all support obligors are men. In his court filings, petitioner has described this as “the last bastion of institutionalized discrimination remaining un-checked in America today.”
 As this case verifies, money interests have displaced the “best interests of the child” in family court. Financial disclosures are mandatory for gauging child support but exploited by unscrupulous lawyers to concoct needless and even bizarre issues for fee maximization. When resources are exhausted from both parents, they orchestrate cause for settlement or client abandonment. Ethics violations are so numerous and even accepted as part of a litigious child control process that attorney disciplinary agents cannot logistically police all the abuses. Worse yet, these agents are able to abuse their entrusted positions to suppress accountability. This case features a chief ethics attorney and two lawyer subordinates who engaged in the witch hunt against the petitioner-attorney (and father) for his public disclosure of vast misconduct. They were terminated from their court-appointed positions as standard bearers of lawyer ethics after an Inspector General discovered their falsified time sheets. No public charges, ethical or criminal, were ever instituted, see Robert Gavin, Oversight lawyers quit amid inquiry, (Albany) Times Union, July 10, 2013.
 The injustices have reached epidemic proportions. Only one month after the Ferguson report, a fit and unarmed father named Walter Scott was shot dead in the back while fleeing a child support warrant during a traffic stop in South Carolina. He had been imprisoned a number of times due to a growing support debt based on imputed income capacities. Under prevailing law, an imprisoned parent for any reason continues to face support obligations at pre-commitment levels. Upon release, the debtor is typically overwhelmed and unemployable. He is nevertheless subjected to a rule that one should not profit from the mis-deeds which caused the incarceration even with full rehabilitation. Only because of the “mis-deeds” of this traffic cop, quickly charged with murder, was it publicly revealed that one out of every eight persons imprisoned in South Carolina resulted from support debts. Nearly all are male parents, and a review of warrants lists across New York reveals a similar pattern. South Carolina boasts one of the strictest support enforcement laws with jail terms of up to one year, yet it reports one of the worst collection rates under the federal (performance) statute, partial source: Robles and Dewan, Skip Child Support. Go to Jail. Lose Job. Repeat, New York Times (front page), 4/19/15. Debtor prisons have been invalidated since the mid 19th century but re-introduced through willful support violations. As the case before this court demonstrates, such a contempt avenue is an illusion behind a de facto debtors’ prison due to biased judges having a financial stake in the outcomes of support litigation. Such jurists bring court revenues and personal advancement through support performance measures and payments derived from sources other than the debtor parent, see i.e. Bast, supra. As relevant here, the petitioner-father issued public statements at the Walter Scott funeral before national media, civil rights groups and reporters of the New York Times as part of his ongoing reform efforts. He suffered further retributions in the lower court, state family courts and attorney disciplinary tribunals by actions and decisions beginning only weeks later.
Many loyal followers here at Leon Koziol.com have been misled by the notion that my support of shared parenting made me a fathers’ rights advocate opposed to mothers. Those who truly know my work recognize how wrong that assumption is. It’s the way our detractors profit from a corrupted court system, by pitting parents against one another. Children need both.
During my years as a practicing attorney, I saved many women from false charges and discrimination. In fact one such case led to the bias of my support court judge who was forced to step down from that earlier woman’s case. He then exacted revenge by staying on my support case and finding a violation. I also was the lawyer for a former president of the National Organization for Women.
Good mothers support shared parenting even where equal time is impractical, for example due to career demands or distance. When fathers are encouraged and facilitated, children fare best in life. That much is supported by human history and expert studies. A good mother never asks a judge to incarcerate a father for back support. No amount of money justifies the criminalization of parenthood or a debtors’ prison.
This was a stand I took against my profession eight years ago which I am still fighting today. You will receive important news on that later this week. In the meantime, as many of you know, I am writing book manuscripts for those parents wishing to publish their court ordeals for posterity or reform’s sake. The opening chapter of my latest project is offered for your education and amazement below.
It’s about parent alienation and we are hoping to get contributions for its marketing phase upon publication this year. If you have a story you would like to have published, it’s no small undertaking and requires publishing expertise and court room experience of the kind I uniquely possess. Feel free to contact me personally for details and a cost estimate at (315) 796-4000. You can also help represent yourself or seek litigation alternatives in a court program offered at http://www.parentingrightsinstitute.com.
The Tamara Sweeney Story
The first time I saw Tamara Sweeney, it was at a hotel lounge in Binghamton, a small city on the New York-Pennsylvania border. The remarkable aspect of our meeting was not how hastily it had been arranged or how we drove two hours there from opposite directions. It was her captivating smile which seemed to bring energy to a collection of fatigued business people that had congregated at the end of a work day.
Outwardly, all indications were that she was a motivated woman with a sense of confidence, a person who knew what had to be done in any given situation even if she had to acclimate to new levels of competence on a moment’s notice. Behind that flare, however, I knew this was not the real Tamara. The person I knew from my readings was hopelessly immersed in a cauldron of pain and anguish concealed by layered walls of self-preservation.
Imagine yourself a loving mom who gave life to four children in five years, three boys and a girl; a parent, days filled with feedings, baths, runny noses, kissing and hugging. The number of calendar and diaper changes would confound any corporate executive. Then, suddenly, after so many promising years with their father in a dream home, these children are seized from this mom, prevented from having any contact and left without her regular guidance and affection.
That was the Tamara Sweeney I had read about in a voluminous court record, a mother who could not have imagined the level of cruelty inflicted by her own government residing in the family courts of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. She was not a criminal and despite my search of the record, I could find no evidence to justify the severe alienation she had suffered from her offspring. To the contrary, these children were her entire life.
As she approached, that incessant smile complemented the rest of her, a stunning lady which by all indications defied father time. She carried herself gracefully exuding everything genuine. Later she would boast photos of her family in diverse settings. As I gazed upon their similarly captivating faces, I could not help but conclude that a sort of Camelot had been underway in a pleasant valley community near Philadelphia, that city of brotherly love.
It was an idyllic setting without the paparazzi. However that setting would shatter when a corrupt court system seized it, a commonplace occurrence in America today. I had seen my share of shocking ordeals, but this divorce crushed logic. Having saved the falsely accused, securing record recoveries for victims of government abuse and even managing to strike down a casino compact worth billions of dollars, this story would set precedent in the court of public opinion.
The worst of my professional experiences resided in divorce and family courts which I avoided with a plague. People separate for countless reasons but that should not translate into lucrative custody battles for lawyers. Tamara had solicited me not as a lawyer but as a writer, someone who could distill her complex case into a literary work that might capture the world, not as her smile had done for me, but to tell a story which might prevent others from falling into that same cauldron.
It would be a project which took proper aim against a court system that was destroying the very fabric of a nation. As I liked to describe it, divorce and family courts were the Hotel California of the legal profession: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Resigned to her fate as a victim of a corrupted system, after exhausting civil recourse to the point of bankruptcy and homelessness, Tamara would nevertheless refuse to go quietly into the night.
No, no, hell no! I could envision her declaring. Come hell or high water, the world will know the horrific injustices inflicted upon a loving American mom. Lawyer reform and judicial accountability were high on her list of objectives, but towering over it was a fervent desire to be reunited with her babies. Unfortunately time was working against her as they approached adulthood with family court processes operating at the speed of a snail.
Competing against that process was a mother possessed by human nature. After all, is the umbilical cord ever truly cut between a loving mom and her offspring? We can put a man on the moon, split atoms, engage artificial intelligence and achieve vast breakthroughs in medicine but remain unable to tackle this extraordinary human phenomenon. It may well explain why our government is unwilling to extricate family courts from their twentieth century practices.
Those same practices made Tamara an ironic victim, swallowed whole by a gender biased system which women have been protecting for decades. Tamara was a “non-custodial parent,” a custody classification typically reserved for dads. She was not concerned about that aspect of the system. It was as if she had danced around it, the devil for years, never imagining how she could end up its prey. Instead she was obsessed with the symptoms and one in particular: Parent Alienation Syndrome or PAS.
PAS is the condition discovered and popularized by Dr. Richard Gardner three decades earlier which had yet to be recognized by the psychiatric profession or legal community. It was based on numerous cases involving parents who had suffered immense trauma from children rejecting their affection and very existence for no logical reason other than a spiteful parental counterpart. It remains a condition cultivated by lawyers anxious to pit parents against one another for profit.
American society is still unfamiliar with PAS, let alone in a position to embrace it as an epidemic. It is a single cause for health issues, moral dysfunction and social ills that have claimed more families than cancer. Indeed mass violence can be traced to this epidemic, one that finds its way into our schools, workplaces and homes. Of all the issues confronting our clergy today, few are more threatening to the viability of religion itself than this one.
However, if our government and regulated professions are unwilling to recognize it, there will be no cure any time soon. And the reason for that is the same as the explanation for tobacco, energy and drug industries. It’s all about the money. But here the cancer is eating away at the very souls of our children. PAS is the embodiment of evil depicted somewhat like it was in the film Devil’s Advocate, starring Al Pacino. The moral fiber of future generations is under siege in these courts.
Tamara’s objectives must be achieved if we are to stem this crisis. You will have to read on to know how and why, what it means to you and your loved ones. This story is about a jungle filled with primates in skirts and ties devoid of a civilized conscience. They pounce on unsuspecting parents and children for the primeval purpose of filling their bellies with modern day manna, the almighty buck. Shortsighted and self-serving, they blame their victims for the harm they cause.
Lawyers, psychologists, therapists, evaluators and former lawyers on the bench are among the predators anxious to destroy relationships which could be retained or salvaged through non-litigation alternatives. As a general observation, industrialists sell products, government sells services, businesses sell both, doctors sell advice and cures, psychiatrists sell therapy and medications, but lawyers sell controversies and promises.
Of all these stocks in trade, the last is most counter-productive to families. They do not belong in a forum created to protect our children. And when government makes it profitable for their participants to incite controversy, it is the worst kind of evil. Minor disputes erupt into major ones with the words of an unscrupulous lawyer adept at abusing the system for fee generating purposes. In the end, a protracted court battle yields irrevocable harm.
Laws have been drafted to incentivize conflict in these courts. The very structure for resolution is built upon artificially induced controversy and an unsupported foundation for distributing childrearing authority between superior and inferior parents. Shared parenting initiatives have failed time and again all across America due to a universal failure to invalidate the archaic system being protected. I have described it as the “Custodial Institution of Childrearing.”
If you are not yet convinced of the critical need for reform, consider the fact that there are more than 600,000 attorneys licensed in California and New York alone with as many candidates as there are practicing attorneys nationwide. There is no end in sight to this glut of lawyers entering the market, and the least qualified typically end up in family court. This is where apprentices learn their trade and marginal lawyers can instigate lucrative controversy to last an entire career.
The archaic process begets a host of forensic additions to the mix by request or court order, including law guardians and social workers, all in the business of dictating how our children are to be raised on vague, conflicting or utopian standards. It is job creation of the worst order, encouraging vulnerable children to hate one or both parents, destroying any notion of forgiveness and praising them for spying on their moms and dads toward a new world order of child control.
Accountability is as nonexistent as the number of malpractice cases arising in these tribunals. In the medical profession, a surgeon who performs needless operations for profit is discovered through an objective review process. In family court, when a lawyer performs a needless hearing for the same reason, there is no similar review, no real measure for competent performance. The all-encompassing child’s best interests can be satisfied by any half baked participant.
Making matters worse, parents learn too late that child alienation is a damage claim that cannot be recovered monetarily like other injuries. Hence there is no remedy for the child predator disguised in professional attire feeding on college funds, retirement plans and the very shelters of human beings until there is nothing left to consume. If you are a person who has not yet been harmed by this system, you pay for it in taxes, crime and productivity at the very least.
Tamara had no idea what she was getting into when she first retained a lawyer in April, 2012 to separate amicably with her husband of twelve years. Rick Cohen would certainly not advise her properly. As with most divorce lawyers, his goal was to generate as many fees as possible. His firm probably had a performance measure based on the number of billable hours he could orchestrate much like the federal government does for purposes of support enforcement funding.
Indeed everything was working against Tamara when she made that fateful call to his law office. Even her husband was enraged by that phone call when he learned of it. Still recoiling from the knowledge that she had entered into an extramarital relationship, he was pleading with and threatening her to call it off. Nevertheless he was served with divorce papers the following month. It was a regrettable by-product of escalating abuse in the homestead.
Years earlier, Tamara had been forced to compromise her role as primary care taker when her husband quit his lucrative position to start an on-line business. Revenue projections did not materialize, and before long the family homestead and finances were at risk. She then became a breadwinner only to learn that the boundaries which she had worked so hard to establish for her children were now in ruins. Unbearable conflicts escalated as a natural outgrowth.
When a mother verifies through proper testing that her seventh grade child is consuming alcohol and smoking marijuana, it is a shock of the worst kind. A responsible parent cannot and does not ignore the vital signs particularly as grades and social conduct tank as a predictable result. Her husband responded with more of the same, parties at their home Wednesday through Sunday and abuses so severe that Tamara found herself in a closet or locked in a bedroom afraid to come out.
Her teen boys emulated such abuses. Tamara was made out to be a disease in the homestead by an alienating parent who could not forgive let alone realize how his unrelenting anger could jeopardize crucial long term relationships. Soon it became necessary for mom to move out until the situation could stabilize. But this only harmed her custody position later on. It was the beginning of her ordeal with parent alienation and the end of the world as she knew it.
When I met Tamara in Binghamton four years later, she was a mother desperate to save the very lives of her children. She was a parent running recklessly into a burning building prepared to sacrifice herself if necessary. There were many things which amazed me about her dedication but one stood out even as I began preparations for this book. The scheduling of our first meeting had to be made around her daughter’s team event at school. Everything else took a back seat.
Days later, Tamara took a call from me while watching a ball game featuring her son. It wasn’t her presence at those events which fascinated me but that she continued to promote her children from a distance while under court orders to stay away over a two year period. The tactics used against her were the same as those inflicted upon separating parents everywhere. The idea was to shoe horn mom and dad into unequal custody roles so that child support could be justified.
This was the real Tamara Sweeney heading my way for the first time at a hotel lounge in Binghamton, New York. I had read her ordeal in substantial part. Volumes of court papers, photos and diaries sent to me the prior week. Too much to digest so early in the assignment, I was more eager to hear her story first hand, to listen intently for purposes of sizing her up, to study her facial expressions and reactions to a bevy of questions I was prepared to unload on her.
This would be best achieved in a relaxed setting, carefully but meticulously executed over a period of hours. I remained in awe over her unending smile after such a horrendous ordeal which was still ongoing. Dressed casually, blond hair feathered back to shoulder length and cosmetics applied sparingly, she angled her slender figure between a pair of table stools before arriving at my tight spot. We composed ourselves when nearby patrons made room for us.
“I was beginning to think you wouldn’t show after reading my stuff,” she opened with an embrace. “I got us a table over there in the dining area so we could be more private,” pointing over to a location by the window. “But this is okay if you like. I’m sure no one around here cares about our craziness,” she asserted jokingly but uncomfortably. Her smile expanded a bit as if it was even possible and her left arm was wrapped around a file that seemed ready to explode.
“No this is fine Timera, did I pronounce that right?” I answered, doing my best to compete with the noise and her pleasant demeanor. How did she manage it, I asked myself, wishing for the moment that we had made that move to her selected area.
“It’s alright, you said it like so many do. It’s actually Tamra, but I’ll accept either one. Not so picky you know.”
“The correct way sounds much better so I’ll stick with that. Are you hungry? Because I’m starved and ready to order.” I searched the crowded bar for service. “It was all I could do get out of Dodge before some phone call derailed our last minute meeting here. I haven’t eaten since breakfast.”
“Yeah thanks for that. I’m really not hungry but I might order something light to nibble on.” Anxious to get down to business, it wasn’t long before she moved past the perfunctory exchanges. “So how much of my material have you gotten through?”
“Enough Tamara, enough to get a decent impression of your nightmares. To be candid, it is an unbelievable story so far, and I’m not even close to an overriding theme. There’s so much going on like most divorces. But yours is an extraordinary one. I have a lot of questions.”
“Good! I’m ready. Fire away.”
“No, not so fast. We just got here. Let’s have a drink, relax a bit, have a bite, and your cross examination will come. As I explained on the phone, I like to get to know the real person I’m writing about, not just the client. Your files do that in abundance. Let’s talk for awhile on the lighter side. Then when the time comes, it’ll occur naturally. This is not a lawsuit you know.”
“Thank God! You’re right,” she agreed with a sigh of relief.
I guided her to another table away from the noise and laughter. She then placed a large binder on a nearby stool, guarding it like a sheep dog over her flock. As she explained excitedly this morning, she was able to locate it after a desperate search. This binder contained a synopsis of her divorce and family history which a judge refused to review. Privately I concluded that it had not been properly offered. For me, however, it was a blessing in disguise, a fateful error of a robotic jurist meant precisely to become the book I was about to complete. Then I continued.
“You see I’ve changed my approach on this kind of assignment. Trust me, Tamra, it works. I’ll give you references. My last subject was a woman who engaged me with conflict and dictates regularly. She came across like one who could never be satisfied. There are only so many hours in a day, and if I was billing at lawyer rates, such books would never be possible.”
Tamara nodded in agreement. She knew my own ordeal after discovering my website during a parenting conference at our nation’s capital. Anyone writing her story would have to demonstrate a requisite level of expertise before she could entrust him with her sensitive files. They were years in the making, and I certainly understood her fears. That’s because I took a conscientious and long overdue stand against my own profession in these matters and was vilified on all fronts.
“This witch hunt which my profession did against me for exposing misconduct had the fate of permitting your book. And go figure, the lawyers in that witch hunt ended up getting fired by the court for falsifying their time sheets. So much for our standard-bearers of lawyer ethics. These are the same guys charged with a duty to correct overbilling practices. I don’t know about Pennsylvania but corruption in New York is a cottage industry.” I chuckled briefly.
Tamara was immediately engaged with enthusiasm over an experience she had already read about. Now she was made a part of it, joining my amusement to where her smile might reach both ears. “Oh no, once we dig in, you’ll find that it’s just as corrupt, maybe even worse in Montgomery County. Any day I’m expecting them to be exposed and come crashing down.”
The conversation was going better than expected. We were joined not only by common experiences but clicking as if we were telepathic. That’s what tends to happen when human beings have gone down similar emotional highways. We were getting more relaxed and committed to our joint goals with each sip of our drinks.
“After months of hard work,” I continued, “that woman is now a believer. I’ll play her last phone message if you like. She called her finished book ‘brilliant.’ It’s in the hands of a publisher.”
“That won’t be necessary. I’ve read your work since that parent conference two years ago. I’ve actually been targeting you for my book ever since. I know what I’m doing.”
I was sincerely impressed that Tamara had become committed to me for so long before her first phone inquiry only three weeks ago. It made me realize that my hard work might have to eclipse my last manuscript. That would be a tall order, but so far so good. It was like entering uncharted waters, an unexplored wilderness, a journey to the edge of humanity, all for a cause destined to impact future generations.
We talked into the night like schoolmates on a first date. Anyone observing this exchange would have no idea the horrific pressures we were hiding beneath our laughs and discourse. For the time being at least, this was wonderful. Our mutual pain had subsided. Moments that meant everything to each of us became merged through a sense of shared identity. But the lightheartedness soon graduated to our business at hand.
Later that night I would summarize our opening session as a contest over who could hide their pain better. Talking about it here so freely and so far away from our homes helped us open up. And boy did we open up. On and on we went until before you knew it, the crowd had dwindled to a few stragglers from a wedding reception in a nearby ball room. The bride was now snuggled up to the bar with her newlywed and the rest of the bridal party was taking pictures in the lobby.
“Come on let’s get a picture of us too,” Tamara offered with sudden enthusiasm. “I like photos. It helps me remember special events, and I’m feeling real good about this book now.” She reached for my arm and pulled me into the open. We searched for the ideal location with a view from an expansive window. The father of the bride was drafted for the photo op.
We ended our meeting shortly after that. To my surprise we had talked incessantly for over four hours, never expecting to become so energized along the way. She turned over some additional materials from her file after walking me through her binder, cautioning me again that it had become her life’s treasure and a major reason for our trips here. I was veritably impressed with its content. This was a mother who meant business, and I was not about to disappoint.
As I turned for the hotel exit for my trip back home, I took note of the newlyweds embracing at the bar. I felt compelled to give them some friendly advice of the kind I dismissed so many years ago. I mused for awhile but opted against it. After all, there are lifetime marriages of the kind I always admired. Then I walked out into the night, a rainy, miserable and cold one while glancing up briefly into a black foreboding sky. Perhaps a storm was on its way.