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Showing posts with label BUDLONG & BARRETT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BUDLONG & BARRETT. Show all posts

Saturday, May 23, 2015


I remember when I first had to deal with a GAL in my case.  She came on board around August 2006.  I swear this lady was 300 pounds or so.  I recall our first meeting in my home--she conducted all our meetings in our home--and I remember that after she left, I collapsed on my couch in despair because I was well aware that she was totally against me.  How did I know?  I have no idea--I just knew.  That's how sensitive I am as a person.  

It would have been hard to prove at the time, however, because many of the nasty things she did were not done out in public.  For instance, in November 2006, this GAL wrote a detailed report that completely trashed me to the custody evaluator, but she didn't give me a copy of it.  In fact, no one officially received a copy of it except the evaluator, but I'll bet it got passed around to people anyway.  I only had a chance to take a look at it several years later through a motion for discovery in another case.  By then, of course, the entire custody matter had been settled and there was nothing I could do about it.  

The bottom line, however, is that the measure of a GAL, if not a custody evaluator, is how effectively they have been able to resolve the conflicts in a case.  If there is extensive pre-trial conflict, and then post judgment conflict in which the parties continue to fight over custody despite the involvement of the GAL and/or custody evaluator, this means that these professionals have failed to do their jobs and should be removed from their positions.  

Thus, it seems fitting that on March 21, 2014, approximately three months after the fake Amber Alert debacle, Judge Adelman ordered GAL Attorney Kerry Tarpey off the case.  

I am assuming this was not only in response to the fake Amber Alert nonsense, but also to a motion Colleen Kerwick filed on November 25, 2013 "Motion For Removal of Guardian Ad Litem".  

In this motion, Ms. Kerwick accused GAL Kerry Tarpey of demonstrating bias against her.  For instance, she states that on multiple occasions Attorney Kerry Tarpey spent considerable time consulting with the father in Court conference rooms.  In contrast, allegedly Attorney Tarpey refused to meet with the mother for any formal sit down meetings.  

Further, Kerwick's motion alleged that Attorney Kerry Tarpey neglected her duty to the minor child, failing to take into consideration that mother was the primary parent up until the time of the filing for divorce.  Most damaging among these allegations is the statement that Attorney Tarpey wrote letters on behalf of the father instructing doctors and other professionals that the mother no longer had any decision making authority and then did not inform the mother she had done so.  

Attorney Kerry Tarpey also is alleged to have steadily disregarded the manner in which the father neglected their child's medical needs.  

I am by no means in a position to verify the truth of these allegations in detail, but I do have a copy of all the bills that Attorney Kerry Tarpey generated from July 31, 2012 when she came into the case until December 27, 2013.  I obtained them from a motion Attorney Tarpey filed a week after the fake Amber Alert incident in which she requested a hearing in order to make sure her bill would be paid.  

I was rather struck by the timing there.  Did she want to ensure that she would rewarded for her collusion in that matter?  

From what I can see, these bills indicate that Attorney Kerry Tarpey spoke to the various attorneys representing Kenneth Savino--Attorney Steven Dembo, Attorney Campbell Barrett, and Attorney Jon Kuckuka--up to 34 times.  In contrast, Attorney Tarpey only spoke to Colleen Kerwick's attorney 7 times, and that only during a single month period immediately before dissolution.  

Also, Attorney Tarpey didn't once speak to Attorney Anne Dranginis, who was Colleen's primary attorney during the months prior to judgment.  

I find it quite striking that Attorney Kerry Tarpey would be consistently in touch with father's attorney, and barely, if ever, speak to the mother's attorney.  That tells a story of bias in and off itself.  

In addition, Kerry Tarpey only did a single home visit to Ms. Colleen Kerwick's house for an hour and fifteen minutes, and I don't see that she made any visits to Kenneth Savino's house.  

Furthermore, and what is even more telling, in total, during her entire involvement in the case, Kerry Tarpey only met once with her child client for 30 minutes on January 8, 2013.  In other words, overall Kerry Tarpey charged "more than $40,000 to represent the best interests and wishes of" the child and yet only $150.00 of that was actually spent on meeting with the child.  

How can you possibly provide opinions on the best interests of a child when you barely even met with him or her?  

As I stated earlier, in an order dated March 21, 2014, Judge Adelman allowed GAL Tarpey to withdraw from the case, which I believe was a good decision based upon these facts. There is absolutely no justification for medical neglect of a child, and denying a good and fit mother who has largely been the primary parent joint decision making makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.    

Finally, there were several other orders issued on March 21, 2014.  One that I consider peculiar to say the least is Item #2 which commands Dr. Barbara Berkowitz to prepare a psychological evaluation "based on the limited information she currently has given the defendant's refusal to participate."  

Simply put, if any psychologist actually obeyed such an order he or she would be in complete violation of their professional ethics--you can't properly evaluate a person with incomplete data.  

I also find it absurd that any judge would interject himself into a separate area of professional expertise in which he does not have training and attempt to direct what this other professional will or will not do.  

Further, when will the Court, not only in Colleen Kerwick's case, but with so many other litigants, stop attempting to smear and slander good and fit parents by calling into question their mental health in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and as Amended in 2008.  

But if we must hear from a mental health professionals regarding Colleen Kerwick because the judge insists, let us hear from Dr. Stephen M. Humphrey, a well respected professional who has done extensive work for DCF in Connecticut and who did a thorough evaluation of Colleen Kerwick. In a letter dated April 11, 2014 written to Colleen Kerwick, he states as follows:  

"With regard to your question about parenting capacity, I have not observed you engaged in any acts--or exhibit any pattern of thought or behavior--that would suggest to me that you could not function entirely capably as a parent to your son.  Further, I have viewed numerous photographs and videos of the two of you together that suggest you have had a rich, loving, and positive relationship with each other.  I am concerned that a prolonged separation from your son may have adverse psychological consequences for him especially because at his age he is likely to be confused as to why such a separation has occurred or is continuing."  

Report of Neuropsychologist Dr. Rimma Danov dated November 6, 2012 regarding Ms. Colleen Kerwick:

"Her responses to an objective psychological measure revealed that she is [a] warm, compassionate, outgoing, ambitious, active, self-confident, and  sensitive individual.

Her responses suggest that she is a person who accepts personal responsibility and is ready to make changes if necessary to better herself and her relationships with others."

And finally, "She does not present with any symptoms of personality disorders or psychiatric disorders."

Kenneth Savino, from what I understand, has spent over $600,000 in order to eliminate Colleen Kerwick out of the life of their child.  I think folks don't need to look any further than this number to know that this case is all about  father's superior access to money, power, and influence, and nothing else.

Over a thousand people agreed who signed the petition to return the child to the mother.  See below:

As a followup on the case, Ms. Colleen Kerwick posted the following later in 2014:

"After trying my own custody case in Family Court from October 20-29, 2014 against my exes teams of attorneys, shared parenting and joint physical custody was again ordered on November 5, 2014."

Still, no good mother like Colleen Kerwick should be put through this kind of family court injustice. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I am not particularly a big fan of judicial marshals because they have a habit of coming to my door and giving me bad news.  My worst experience of that was when a marshal gave my eight year old daughter 3 single dollar bills as a bribe.  He gave money to her so she would fetch me from the kitchen where I was washing the dishes so he could serve me legal papers.  When you start taking actions that affect my children, that's when I draw the line.

The statutes which cover the actions of process servers such as marshals are as follows:

Sec. 52-50. Persons to whom process shall be directed. (a) All process shall be directed to a state marshal, a constable or other proper officer authorized by statute, or, subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, to an indifferent person. A direction on the process "to any proper officer" shall be sufficient to direct the process to a state marshal, constable or other proper officer.

As you can see, the point is that a process server is supposed to be a neutral person--he is supposed to be dropping off papers, not advocating from one person or another. "indifferent person"*.  Just for clarification, this is what a process server does.  A process server delivers legal documents to the target person who is supposed to receive them and then leaves.  That is all he or she  does--nothing more and nothing less.  A judicial state marshal is not supposed to be snooping around or investigating or acting like an ad hoc detective.

He or she is not supposed to be showing up in Court with three page, single spaced, ten point font, long winded affidavits that have not been presented as evidence in court and have not be subjected to cross examination.  They are not supposed to write up affidavits which can then be used against litigants as a means of taking custody away from them.  Further, you are not supposed to accompany the opposing attorney in the case to the police station and attempt to get the target person into more trouble, which is what Attorney Marshal Kaz admits he did in an affidavit he wrote for Budlong & Barrett in the Savino v. Savino case.  When you start doing that, you are no longer an "indifferent person,"  and you are bottom line in violation of the law [see link at the bottom of the blog for additional clarification of the state marshal's role*]

At the very least, if you do so, you are overstepping your role.  It would sort of be similar to having your child's teacher dropping by unannounced at your house for dinner, just to talk to you more about your child's needs over a nice roast!  Then going back to the principal and telling him what the conversation was like, what the condition of your home was, etc.

So what happened in the Savino v. Savino case with Marshal Bruce Kaz?  Let's look at what his affidavit says!

On December 20, 2015, Marshal Bruce Kaz, a state marshall of Hartford County received motions from Kenneth Savino, the plaintiff in Savino v. Savino, which I have been discussing in this series in regard to the defendant, Colleen Savino.  He received the first motion at 10:15a.m. which was entitled "Plaintiff's Ex Parte Motion Regarding the Minor Child's Scheduled Vacation to Arizona With the Plaintiff Father".

I find this an interesting title because it is a "speaking title".  In other words, it is a title that attempts to provide testimony in addition to asking the Court to take action.  Speaking titles and motions ordinarily come from Pro Se parties who don't know any better.  In this situation, it comes from one of the most experienced attorneys in the business, Budlong & Barrett.

Ordinarily, I'd expect such a motion to be called "Motion For Order" or something of that nature.  Who knows why Budlong and Barrett chose to do it this way--perhaps they wished to convey a sense of a poor Dad who is so upset the words just pour out of him.  One thing you can be sure of, if you or I had written up a motion with a title like this, we would have been reprimanded or simply ignored.  But attorneys who do this, well, you know they get away with everything.

Marshal Kaz took the motion "Plaintiff's Ex Parte...Arizona, blah, blah, blah" and met Kenneth Savino at a Radiologist's office in Bloomfield at around 11:00a.m. where Mr. Savino stated he imminently expected Colleen to appear, even though there was, apparently, no specific appointment.  Further, there was no indication that Colleen knew anything about this expectation that she was supposed to be there.  While Marshal Bruce Kaz stated that the pediatrician had ordered the parents to go to this particular radiologist's office at a particular time, I have seen no evidence to prove that this is true.  Again, that is the problem with an affidavit where the opposing attorney does not have the opportunity to scrutinize it or pose questions regarding its content to see how accurate it is.

Further, the affidavit stated that on that day Kenneth Savino had a 1:00p.m. plane to catch going to Arizona.  Was Colleen Kerwick informed of this?  The affidavit doesn't say.  Because clearly, if you go by the concept that you should arrive two hours before your flight, 11:00am is getting rather late.  You'd think that if Kenneth Savino really anticipated flying to Arizona that day and had a ticket in hand, he would have scheduled these appointments for earlier in the day.  The fact that he did not calls into question his credibility.

According to Marshal Bruce Kaz, at around noon, Kenneth Savino received a text message from Colleen Savino indicating that she was getting lunch for the child at a fast food joint.  I would suspect this is a rather mundane activity to be involved in if you are planning to flee the country.  Also at noon, Marshal Bruce Kaz asked Kenneth Savino to send a text to Colleen explaining that the marshal wished to see her right away.  Marshal Kaz does not explain why he didn't send a text using his own phone.  He also states that he cannot be sure if Kenneth Savino sent the text or not, only that he asked him to.  Talking about deliberately setting yourself up for failure.  But again, we are only getting one side of the story because this is an unchallenged affidavit written by a Marshal who appears to have spent almost the entire day supporting one party in the litigation, which considerably calls into question his right to be thought of as "an indifferent party."

There is another factor that calls into question Marshal Kaz' position as an indifferent party.  Specifically, in his afafidavit Marshal Bruce Kaz states that he has "been involved in the exchange of the minor child for parenting time for quite a while."  I am surprised to see a judicial marshal playing such a pivotal role in the custody and access matters related to a particular divorce case.  As I have said, a judicial marshal's job is to deliver court papers as an indifferent party, not to become some sort of co-parent manager supervising the exchange of the child from one parent to the other.  This kind of situation inevitably leads to conflicts of interest and confusion related to boundaries that could be very destructive for the parties involved.

Still, whatever else we can agree or disagree on, it is clear there was no reason to think Colleen Kerwick was going to flee.  For example, according to his affidavit, at around 1:00pm while driving in Avon Marshal Kaz caught a glimpse of Colleen Savino, but wasn't able to catch up to her, "I saw a white BMW wagon that matched the defendant's vehicle with the a young female with blond hair pass me in the opposite direction."  So, at least around 1:00p.m. Colleen Savino had not fled the country!

Further, even if Marshal Kaz wasn't able to catch up with Colleen Kerwick at 1:00p.m., in his affidavit, he did make the observation that at 3:40p.m. that day that she was at home stating, "I stopped at the defendant's residence at approximately 3:40p.m. and noticed the defendant's vehicle was parked in the parking lot."  So why didn't Marshal Bruce Kaz drop off the "Plaintiff's Ex Parte Motion" regarding Arizona ordering Colleen to give the child to her ex husband right then and there? Is it because Marshal Kaz was colluding with Kenneth Savino in order to set up Colleen Kerwick for a custody switching scheme?

If he had delivered the first court order, since Colleen has always stated she was ready and prepared to hand over the child when required by law, perhaps the whole fake Amber Alert crisis could have been averted.  Instead, Marshal Kaz disregarded his duty and didn't bother to deliver the order to Colleen Kerwick at that time even though he was fully aware that she was at home and able to receive it!  How ridiculous is that?  Honestly, how can you blame Colleen Kerwick for not obeying a court order if she never even got it?

Instead, Marshal Kaz met with Avon police, Kenneth Savino and the attorney from Budlong & Barrett at the Avon Police Department.  By then, Budlong and Barrett had submitted a motion requesting that the Court deny Colleen Kerwick any further access to the child and asking that the Court grant temporary sole custody to the father.  This motion was entitled "Plaintiff's Emergency Motion to Suspend Defendant Mother's Access to Minor Child and to Award Temporary Sole Custody to Plaintiff father".  Again, this was a speaking title which I believe was intended to bully and intimidate.  Interestingly enough, in his affidavit, Marshal Bruce Kaz deliberately capitalizes the titles of these motions, which in the modern day of the internet is understood to be a form of written shouting.  

Upon review of the Motion for Temporary Sole Custody, yadda, yadda, yadda side by side with Marshal Kaz' affidavit I find a major discrepancy between these documents.  The Motion, which was date/time stamped as December 20, 2013 at 3:55p.m., fifteen minutes after Marshal Kaz noted that Colleen's car was in her driveway, states under Item #12 that "The plaintiff father is in the process of speaking to the police about obtaining an Amber Alert."  But Marshal Kaz' affidavit states that it was only after the Avon police received the second court order granting Kenneth Savino temporary sole custody that the Avon police officer "began to gather information in case an Amber Alert was needed."  From Marshal Kaz' testimony, it appears that Kenneth Savino's sworn statement in his motion to the Court re custody that he was filing an Amber alert actually wasn't correct.

Eventually, in his Affidavit, Marshal Kaz states that he, two police officers, and Kenneth Savino went over to Colleen Kerwick's residence in order to pick up the child.  He implies that they were forced to make "several attempts" before Colleen would open the door.  But when you look at his timeframe this description hardly seems credible.  The  team arrived at 5:45p.m. and Colleen Kerwick opened the door to her apartment at 5:50p.m.; that is a modest five minutes--not much time to argue about opening a door.  That's enough time to run upstairs and put a sweater on before you open a door, or just enough time to finish peeing, clean yourself up and open a door.  But I wouldn't exactly call this a stand off!

Subsequently, the child was handed over to his father essentially without incident.  Then, on the way out the door at 6:05p.m., Marshal Bruce Kaz finally put the two motions, including court orders and associated documents into Colleen Kerwick's hands.

After reviewing Marshal Kaz' affidavit, it would appear that Marshal Kaz pretty much spent all day with Kenneth Savino working on this case.  When you consider that a marshal can make up to 40-70 dollars per delivery of papers, clearly for a single day's work he made a meager salary on December 20, 2013, unless, of course, he could anticipate receiving other kinds of compensation for being so supportive and available to the firm of Budlong and Barrett on that day.  Oh, yes, I see!  It looks as though Marshal Kaz earned a whopping $457.23 that day, much of it for his time which he charged at $50.00 per hour.  Does anyone know if Kaz was statutorily allowed to do that?  

Apparently, tattling on the people he serves is not unusual for Marshal Kaz.  He has also provided witness testimony in other cases against litigants to whom he delivered papers under very similar circumstances, also where a custody issue was on the balance.  For example, Marina Golli and Hector Morera come to mind.

This leaves me with two questions:  1. How can a judicial marshal who is required to act as an indifferent person proceed to act in a manner that clearly favors one party over another; 2.  How is it that the Court allows the attorney firm of Budlong and Barrett to simply disregard standard legal protocol?  Why is this firm so extra special?

During the testimony at the legislature in 2014, many parents talked about how the opposing party in their case got away with obstructing their access and visitation with their children.  Even after repeated motions and hearings in court judges were reluctant to enforce court orders regarding parents' access to their children, and there were no consequences for a failure to obey court ordered parenting schedules.  

In particular, Gerry Mastrangelo spoke eloquently about how his ex wife obstructed his access to his three children.  

How is it that so many parents could go months and months without access to their court ordered parenting time with their children.  However, in this case, all Budlong & Barrett had to do was trump up a single ex parte false charge of denial of access on one day, and without even a court hearing Colleen Kerwick was immediately denied access to her child?  

I think we would all love to know how that is done!  Is it possible that some kinds of wealthy litigants and their special attorney firms are more equal than the rest?


Tuesday, May 12, 2015


On December 20, 2013, Colleen Kerwick started the day with joint custody of her child and ended the day stripped of all her parental rights.  How could this happen?  Through a campaign of legal abuse and harassment which, for advocates such as myself is only too predictable.  

As I've mentioned, Colleen Kerwick had signed the Marital Agreement from hell on March 25, 2013 which gave both parents a shared access plan, minimal financial support for Colleen Kerwick and her child, plus decision making in the hands of her ex-husband, Kenneth Savino.  

Still not satisfied with obtaining his freedom at such a minimal cost, after the divorce, Mr. Savino repeatedly attempted to have Colleen Kerwick arrested.  Thus, even though both parties do not live in West Hartford, the West Hartford police were frequently sent to the mother's house in Avon to ask questions regarding the child's care while in the mother's custody. To Kenneth Savino's chagrin, nothing came of these visits. 

Then, in August 2013, after spending the summer months harassing Colleen Kerwick with police, Kenneth Savino filed a motion for sole custody, a reduction in parenting time for the mother, and also requested that Colleen undergo another psychological evaluation.  

This was when the ink was barely even dry on the Marital Agreement!  

It is also this writer's understanding that Kenneth Savino spoke to neighbors, medical care providers and school personnel telling them that Colleen Kerwick had lost many of her custodial rights because of mental illness.  This kind of slander is extremely degrading and humiliating.  

Again, Colleen Kerwick has been evaluated several times and she has not been diagnosed with any mental illness, although I would surmise that the kind of intensive legal abuse she has endured must be very traumatic.  

It was within the context of this kind of ongoing harassment and bullying that the Christmas Holidays arose for the year 2013.  There had been much discussion on what would happen during this upcoming Christmas Holiday.  Colleen Kerwick had wanted to spend December 20-21 with the child, but Kenneth Savino insisted that he had plans to take the child to Arizona on that Friday, December 20, 2015.  The Gal, Kerry Tarpey, shared her view that the child should go with the Father on Friday, and recommended that Colleen Kerwick celebrate Christmas later on after the holiday.

Thus, on December 20, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. Colleen Kerwick went to the drop off location--Starbucks in Avon--to transfer her child into the care of her ex-husband, Kenneth Savino.  

However, he never showed up.  


Because at that very time, Mr. Savino supported by his attorney, Attorney Campbell Barrett of Budlong and Barrett, was down at Hartford Superior Court filing a motion entitled "Plaintiff's Ex Parte Motion Regarding the Minor Child's Scheduled Vacation to Arizona With the Plaintiff Father."  In it, the father, Kenneth Savino, told the Court that Colleen Kerwick was "refusing to comply with the parenting plan" which granted him access to the child as of December 20, 2013.  

Of course, you'd think if he really wanted the child, he would have showed up at Starbucks that day to take him!  But, as I say, he didn't.

This early morning ex parte motion was presented to Judge Olear who promptly granted the motion and ordered Colleen to "transfer the minor child to the plaintiff father at 10:00 a.m. at the child's pediatrician's office."  

Marshal Kaz was then given a copy of this order to deliver to Colleen that day; however, he appears to have wandered around Avon all that day without actually delivering it, even though he reported seeing her periodically.  The end result was that Colleen never actually received a copy of it.  

Meanwhile, the father, Kenneth Savino, met Colleen Savino at the doctor's office that day at 10:00a.m. but never bothered to take custody of the child and never informed her of the order.  

Again, the question is: if he was so eager to have custody of the child that day, why didn't he just take the child when he had the opportunity?  And he did have the opportunity more than once.  

I also have a question for Colleen. Knowing that her ex was eager to have the child and that Budlong & Barrett was gunning for her, why didn't Colleen Kerwick simply insist that Kenneth Savino take the child at the doctor's office that morning, which would have been in accordance with their parenting agreement of March 25, 2013?  

Apparently, Colleen Kerwick believed that she had an understanding with Kenneth that changed the terms of the agreement.  Prior to the Thanksgiving Holiday, Kenneth Savino had agreed in writing that he would allow Colleen to celebrate December 20 and 21 with their child since she was not going to be able to be with the child on Christmas Day that year.  Thus, when he didn't take the child at the doctor's office, she just thought he'd changed his mind and was going to go with the agreement. 

Unfortunately, when she brought this argument up later on, it turned out the agreement was not notarized and so the Court did not think it was credible.  On the other hand, if you have an ex who is not hell bent to get you, verbal agreements, casual email agreements, and agreements scribbled on paper work quite fine.  It all depends upon what you want to achieve.  

I will grant you, however, that in the days leading up to the 20th, Kenneth made it clear that he wanted to have the child and he wasn't going to abide by that written agreement.  

But then it turned out that the child contracted pneumonia during that same time period and there was concern about his ability to travel.  In his later motion for sole custody, the father stated he had obtained a letter stating that the child was capable of traveling, however, what he didn't mention in his motion (and, of course, it's what doesn't get mentioned that is so important!) is that the pediatrician recommended that the child travel only as long as father brought an oxygen mask along and gave the child antibiotics.  

Colleen Kerwick could have appeared to be an overanxious mother except when you take into account the history of Kenneth Savino medically neglecting their child.  

In the first place, if a four year old child is sick with a fever and cough, and is recovering from pneumonia, why are you making him travel anywhere at all.  He is sick, for goodness sake!  The airline will take that into account and reschedule your flight without charging you an additional fine.  And you would think that if you are putting your child's well-being first, that is what you would do.  

Clearly, Kenneth Savino felt that his vacation was more important than his child's health.  

This aligns with prior information regarding Kenneth Savino's disinterest in the medical needs of his child.  For example, on April 4, 2012, the police arrested Kenneth Savino because he interfered with health care workers who were trying to give his child medical care for a seizure disorder.  

The arrest report stated, "The officer ascertained, after initiating dialogue with accused [Kenneth Savino], that the child had suffered a series of seizures prior to the notification of EMS.  Upon further attempting to converse with the accused, the officer was met with what he would describe as verbiage laced with an attitude of nonchalance a "holier than thou" demeanor, and arrogance.  The accused told the officer that his presence, and that of the other emergency service providers, was "overkill" and that his child was ok."  

Later, on December 5, 2012, neuropsychologist Dr. Rimma Danov issued a Record Review Report which indicated that during the year 2011-2012 the child "had experienced seizures only during his stays with his father, Mr. Savino."  

Further, despite professional recommendations to place the child in the highly respected birth to three program based upon developmental delays, Kenneth Savino did everything he could to prevent the child from entering the program.  Knowing as I do what a great program the birth to three program is, I can only say that Kenneth Savino's attitude here is nuts!

Granting these circumstances, it was only understandable that mother Colleen Savino was extremely worried about passing the child over to the father and did not insist the father take the child at the doctor's office when he appeared to be disinterested.  

Instead, she went around town doing a few errands,  took the child out to lunch, and ended up at Jefferson Radiology where the child had a lung x-ray per the pediatrician's orders as a prerequisite for going on the airplane--hardly necessary if she didn't intend him to go.  

At the same time that Colleen was carrying out these mundane tasks with the child, Budlong & Barrett dispatched Kenneth Savino, along with one of their attorneys, to the West Hartford Avon police station where they filled out an application for an Amber Alert stating they had no idea where Colleen was and said they suspected she was attempting to flee the country with the child.  

They said this even though there was voluminous back and forth email communication going on between the law firm and Colleen during the entire time--granted that some of that was interrupted when Colleen's phone temporarily lost energy and had to be recharged.   Budding & Barrett alone sent 41 emails to the point where Colleen clearly lost track of them all.  It does get to the point where volume of that kind comes across as simple harassment hardly due a response.

Then, at around 4:00p.m. that day, Attorney Campbell Barrett of Budlong and Barrett filed "Plaintiff's Emergency Motion to Suspend Defendant Mother's Access to Minor Child and to Award Temporary Sole custody to Plaintiff Father."  

In it Kenneth Savino claimed that "plaintiff mother disappeared with the minor child."  Right--to the local Burgerfi!  And further, "The minor child's whereabouts are unknown," even though it was understood she was heading for Jefferson Radiology later in the day.  And further, "the plaintiff father is in the process of speaking to the police about obtaining an Amber Alert."  

Yes, he was in the process, but no police officer in his right mind would have issued one!  

After all, according to the parties' Marital Agreement of April 25, 2015 father had custody of the child's passport, so there was practically no likelihood they could leave the country together without one.  

Still, it was in the face of this extraordinarily absurd claim that an Amber Alert was about to be issued that Judge Olear granted the motion giving sole custody to the father and barring mother from any access to the child.  

In defending their abusive actions, Budlong & Barrett were quick to state (more than once because they think people are deaf) that no Amber Alert was ever issued as if that somehow absolved them.  But the bottom line is they tried to get one issued, and further they implied to the Court that, in fact, one would be issued momentarily when they knew that wasn't true.  

Later that evening police came to Colleen Kerwick's door and took her child from her arms.  It was ten months before she was able to see her child again regularly and the court reinstated the shared parenting plan.

To be continued...

Sunday, May 3, 2015


I've pretty much covered all the significant points that were in the Savino custody evaluation.  But there were a few additional areas of investigation that are worth reviewing before we continue on.  

For example, just so all of the curious know, at the end of 2011 when Dr. Sidney Horowitz was conducting the custody evaluation with Colleen Kerwick it looks as though she was ambulating well.  Ken was ambulating well too.   You wouldn't want any bad ambulators around.

Further, both were "oriented in all spheres."  I mean if either had one of the spheres excluded and didn't bring it up to speed, we'd definitely have a problem, I am sure.  

Doesn't look as if either had any dysmorphic features--I mean God forbid.  

Both appeared to have euthymic affect.  Hmmmm.  

No thoughts of killing themselves or others.  Glad to hear that, or it would be rather alarming.  

In short, both Colleen Kerwick and Kenneth Savino appear to have the exact same mental status.  Like I said, in the "both are wrong" world, everything kind of goes bing, bong, ding, dong.  

Ambulating forward, I do take note that apparently Colleen has "a relative weakness in visual motor integration."  Oh. my. God!!!  Do you think this will affect her parenting skills?  

But, wait a minute, look at that Kenneth!  Dr. Horowitz has offered that "a relative weakness in his nonverbal abilities is noted!"  

I mean without nonverbal abilities, I'm feeling very ambivalent.  I mean a Dad without proper nonverbal abilities--can you really trust him around a very young child?  This is, indeed, something we must carefully consider.  

And, under the circumstances, one must balance out the relative importance of visual motor integration problems versus nonverbal communication skills.  In the scheme of things, perhaps it would be better to have a parent who is better at nonverbal communication skills even though that parent isn't so great at visual motor integration problems.  

But then again, we mustn't take these features out of context as Dr. Sidney Horowitz states in his "caveat--redux" in the section on Kenneth Savino where he again repeats that "the psychological test interpretations presented herein are hypotheses, etc. etc." 

Again, ambulating along, based upon the Hooper Test, looks like both parents have a very low likelihood of neurological impairment in regard to vision--so looking good, looks like when they are diapering the baby they will both be able to identify where to plant the diaper.  

Score for Colleen Kerwick!  It looks as though she does not have any learning disabilities.  

However, the CTMT for Kenneth brings us some more problematic results.  

Specifically, "the results suggest that Mr. Savino is functioning in the average range on the easier trails, but shows a huge disparity ranging from the 6th percentile to the 62nd percentile on more difficult trails."  

What this means is that "The aforementioned "relative weakness" in the perceptual domain coupled with what will later be described as an underlying anxiety, may account for his performance on the test."  

But that doesn't mean he has any anxiety at all as Dr. Sidney Horowitz reassures us, "That said, there is no indication of a formal underlying neuropsychological deficit per se."  

Whew!  I am glad to hear that or I would have been worried.  

I think everyone reading this blog will also be glad to hear that the results of the Slosson Oral Reading Test - Third Edition - indicate that both Colleen Kerwick and Kenneth Savino both know how to read at the high school level.  

I mean, what would we do if Colleen, an aviation attorney who has passed the bar couldn't read at a high school level.  What would we be required to do?  Revoke her law degree?  And as for Kenneth, no more wealth management for you, bad boy.  Not reading on the high school level, you should be ashamed.  

Ok, that was just an imaginative scenario.  But seriously, if it turned out that, say, Kenneth, didn't know how to read, would they truly deny him custody?  Is there some rule out there stating that literate parents are superior and more effective as parents than non-literate parents--is there some body of research we have out there which proves the value of reading in parents over non-readers?  

Finally, there were some very interesting parent/child observations, one with Colleen Kerwick and also with Kenneth Savino.  

In the parent/child visit with Colleen Kerwick, the child went on a search for toy trucks and began to whine when he couldn't find the trucks.  Ms. Kerwick attempted to redirect the child's attention away from the trucks, asking him to read books instead.  

[Of course, I, zee grrreat doktor had hidden away all zee trrrucks, but that is my secret!  Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!]

Still, no matter what Mother did the child continued to express the fact that he wanted to play with trucks.  Trucks being effectively a symbol of the masculine, clearly the child had a specific need to identify with that masculine activity as opposed to the feminine activity of reading a book.  

Mother's refusal to play with trucks probably reflects her inability to come to terms with the masculine in her life and in the life of the child.  

Dr. Horowitz plans on paying close attention to the child's truck playing for the future.  I mean, if mother cannot accept trucks as a legitimate toy playing activity, it may not be appropriate for her to be the primary parent.  

This is a serious consideration.  

As for the father, during his parent/child activity, he was able to find some cars in the toy box which the child was very happy to play with.  Both father and son practiced using the word "poopy" in a he man type way which was reminiscent of burping games young men play in local bars, so clearly a very healthy father/son type activity.  

I'm sorry folks, when it comes to game playing and letting boys be boys, father as primary parent is looking a little bit better than mother.  Repeat after me, "Mommy is a sissy."  Mommy is a sissy..."

[Vat are you crrrying for, young man, big boyz don't do zee crrrying!]

To be continued...

Sunday, April 26, 2015


In 2008, Colleen Kerwick, a citizen of Ireland and aviation attorney who had been living in New York City, married her second husband, Kenneth Savino, an American citizen living in Connecticut and involved in Wealth Management.  The two had their first child in 2009.  Despite this auspicious beginning, on July 4 2011 Colleen Kerwick served   her then husband with papers for separation and relocation to NY, to which her ex responded by filing for divorce in Connecticut Family Court on July 11, 2011.  Two years later, on December 20, 2013, Ken Savino obtained sole custody of their son, then four years old.  In contrast, Colleen was barred from seeing her son for several months.  

How did Colleen Kerwick, a bright, well functioning, successful individual and loving responsible mother lose all rights her child?  The answer to this question lies in understanding the legal machinations of our corrupt family court system here in Connecticut.

Before proceeding with this discussion, I think there are some important factors that I think anyone looking at the Colleen Kerwick case needs to keep in mind.  I present them in no particular order of importance.

First, of all, Colleen Kerwick is not an American   She was born and raised in Ireland, graduated from high school and law school in Ireland with honors.  It was only subsequent to her graduation from law school, at the age of 24, that she immigrated to the United States.  

Ms. Kerwick speaks with an Irish accent, she is a native Irish speaker, and remains with the attitudes and presumptions of a person who for whom American culture is a taste acquired later in life.  As several prominent examples have shown--the Amanda Knox case comes immediately to mind--we must always take particular care when attempting to process a citizen of a foreign country through our legal system.  

We must ensure that a grave injustice does not occur simply on the basis of the profound cultural differences that exist between countries.  I came to this country at the age of 4 and I still have problems with this issue.  

Simply based upon this factor alone, the Colleen Kerwick case is a particular embarrassment to the citizens of the State of Connecticut and to the legal system itself.

Second, Colleen's ordeal began when she served her ex-husband, Ken Savino with papers on July 4, 2011 for separation and relocation to New York, to which he responded by filing for divorce on July 11, 2011.  Her decision to leave Mr. Savino arose after a considerable period of neglect and absenteeism in her life and that of their child.  During the marriage he was very controlling, was highly critical of her looks and behavior, and tried to restrict her access to sleep, even after their son was born.  Once Colleen made it clear that she could no longer stay in the marriage, this appeared to trigger Mr. Savino into a rage to the point where he has been extremely vengeful towards Colleen, has sought to destroy her relationship with their son and has filed several complaints with the police in an attempt to have her arrested.  Luckily, these attempts have failed.   

Third, Colleen Kerwick was/is a victim of domestic violence as was her child.  Thus, I have before me a letter dated October 12, 2011 written by Shanthi Rao, MSW of Interval House West in which she states, "[Ms. Kerwick] contacted our agency [on] July 2011 and was found appropriate for our services.  Ms. Kerwick shared her personal history and incidences of occasions of physical, emotional and verbal abuse by her husband during the course of their marriage, especially when she was pregnant with their son."  

Further, Ms. Rao stated, "As a domestic violence counselor, it is my professional opinion that Ms. Kerwick is a victim of very serious intimate partner violence/domestic violence and abuse.  These are extremely difficult issues and I wish to express my appreciation of your capable sensitivity to the complexities of this situation."  

I say this with confidence particularly because Ms. Shanthi Rao is a highly respected domestic violence worker who is very reliable in her judgments.  I have personally met Ms. Rao and if she has assessed Colleen Kerwick and concluded that she is a victim of domestic violence, I find that very persuasive.  Shanthi Roe is well respected among women's advocacy circles, not only by her colleagues, but also by her clients.

I also base this assessment on the psychological report dated November 6, 2012 of neuropsychologist Dr. Rimma Danov who concluded that, along with having many other admirable qualities, that Ms. Kerwick is "an emotionally stable, mature, well-adjusted and responsible individual..." This is hardly the kind of person who would just make something up.

Finally, I just have to look at the behavior of Colleen's ex-husband, Kenneth Savino and his attorneys to know that they are simply not good people.  When Ms. Colleen Kerwick lost her child as the result of a fabricated Amber alert in 2013, the incident was reported in several articles posted on this blog. 

Not long after they were posted, an individual who was clearly an attorney representing the father, Kenneth Savino, posted several aggressive, bullying and factually inaccurate comments regarding Colleen Kerwick and family court reformers underneath these articles.  This alone reveals the abusive character of Colleen Kerwick's ex-husband.  

In addition, if you look at the case detail for the Savino case, it appears that Mr. Savino essentially hired two of the most unscrupulous and warlike attorneys practicing in Connecticut Family Court today, i.e. Budlong and Barrett, LLC and Attorney Steve Dembo.  

If Kenneth Savino was serious about co-parenting his child, Nicholas, he would never have hired such litigious counsel.  You just have to see two attorneys jumping up and down and giving speeches on one side of the courtroom while Colleen Kerwick is on the other side representing herself to know exactly who is the victim here.  And I might add, ridiculing and mocking Colleen Kerwick because of her use of words which arises from her background as a citizen of Ireland.  

I want to add that not only has Budlong and Barrett, LLC been bullying towards Colleen Kerwick, it has also been bullying towards me.  

For instance, this law firm has submitted a complaint to the West Hartford police department because I cut and pasted a section from the law firm's own website and pasted it onto mine.  

In addition, Budlong and Barrett, LLC sent me a threatening letter indicating that it may at some point sue me on the basis of "incitement to violence" if I don't stop blogging about them.  

Nothing like honest words to scare bad people to death and put the fight in them.  In a recent incident where Divorce in  Connecticut reporter, Elizabeth Richter was court watching for a friend, Attorney Michael Budlong stood before Judge Jorge Simon and made false statements about her and persuaded Judge Simon on the basis of those lies to remove her from the courtroom.  If Kenneth Savino condones behavior of this kind, there is no doubt in my mind what kind of abuse he is capable of personally himself, and in regard to directing others to perpetrate it on his behalf.

To be continued...

Friday, December 26, 2014


I came from a difficult family and so when I was growing up situations often occurred which should not have.  And when they did, I would go to my Mom and say, "But that isn't fair!" and her answer to me often was, "Life isn't fair!"  I always felt outraged by her answer, and to be honest, I still feel that way. 
I can't understand society looking at circumstances that are fundamentally unjust and saying "too bad" then looking the other way, rather than taking steps to make things right. In the years that I have lived with being tortured by family court here in CT, I have been shocked by the lack of outrage, the indifference of men and women who should know better to the fundamental tenets of fairness. 
Of course, my Mom wasn't trying to change the world, she was just trying to run her household, so she didn't get into many justifications for what she was doing.  In contrast, what is so galling about the court system here in Connecticut is the elaborate, logic twisting, justifications judges write in the form of memoranda of decision to validate and explain away the outright injustice they are committing. 
In doing so, these judges make their decisions sound very scholarly by citing various case law, sometimes long strings of case law in a single sentence.  What they don't tell you is that if these judges had drawn a conclusion entirely opposite to the one you were reading they could find a whole string of equally valid seeming decisions supporting that opposite decision. 
The whole process of going by case law is a complete farce.  That is the dirty little secret that underlies the entire judicial system.
We won't even begin to talk about the cases that ended with completely lawless outcomes which never get mentioned because everyone knows they were formulated to deal with someone who was especially annoying whom the judge wanted to get rid of. 
So there is this surface appearance of formal and ordered results that masks complete chaos.  Just to give you some insight into the kind of nonsense that goes on, consider this one conversation I had with an attorney recently.  I mentioned to this attorney that there is no statute in the State of Connecticut which allows the court to deny custody to a parent based upon parental alienation, a point I have heard judges make in court. 
In response, the attorney told me that since Connecticut family courts are courts of equity, not just courts of law, judges are allowed to go outside of statutes in order to make their decisions and exercise their "judicial discretion". 
That's interesting, when you think of it! 
In other words, this attorney is saying that since Connecticut family courts are courts of equity, judges can pretty much do what they want, concepts of due process be damned. 
Perhaps this explains how Judge Herbert Gruendel found it possible to rule against Karyn Gil without according her a fair trial.  Thus, on April 5, 2004, Judge Gruendel ruled that Ms. Gil was in contempt of court and that she had committed parental alienation against her ex husband without allowing her to mount a defense. 

The court's decision to make its ruling on that particular day was not accidental.  April 5 is Karyn Gil's birthday.  I could write an entire blog on the family court's manipulative use of birthdays and holidays to conduct devastating court hearings, or release harmful decisions or  family relations evaluations.  So I have no doubt that Judge Gruendel deliberately chose Karyn's birthday to release his decision in the case as a means to demoralize and destroy her ability to stand up for herself.  For those who experience this particular kind of abuse, birthdays and holidays are no longer joyous occasions but instead simply trigger agonizing memories of loss and pain.

Family court is known for making these kinds of emotional guerrilla attacks against its victims, because it wants to crush them to the point where they will not take notice of the major constitutional violations the court has imposed upon them.

For example, in the Gil case, Karyn Gill was not allowed to defend herself.  What happened is that, after allowing her ex husband to present the details of his complaint, the court did not allow Karyn to present her evidence or expert testimony.  Instead, as soon as her ex husband finished his side of the case, Judge Gruendel stated he had heard enough and went ahead and made the ruling against her. 
This is what the law states about the question of due process, and I am quoting the Appellate court decision on this case, "A fundamental premise of due process is that a court cannot adjudicate any matter unless the parties have been given a reasonable opportunity to be heard on the issues involved...Generally, when the exercise of the court's discretion depends on issues of fact which are disputed, due process requires that a trial-like hearing be held in which an opportunity is provided to present evidence and to cross-examine adverse is a fundamental tenet of due process of law as guaranteed by the fourteen amendment to the United States constitution and article first, Sec. 10, of the Connecticut constitution that persons whose...rights will be affected by a court's decision are entitled to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner....Where a party is not afforded an opportunity to subject the factual determinations underlying the trial court's decision to the crucible of meaningful adversarial testing, an order cannot be sustained."  (Citation omitted; internal quotations marks omitted.  Szot v. Szot, supra, 41 Conn. App. 241-42.) 
Of course, here, those of us reading such an extraordinary statement bolstering citizens' rights in family court might start getting really happy, until we read on to the court's next statement which is, "Nothing in Szot, however, suggests that a party's right to present evidence is unlimited."  Eilers v. Eilers 89 Conn. App. 210, 218, 873 A.2d 185 (2005). 
And it is in that statement where you begin to see the court's long list of exceptions to our constitutional right to due process.  The one big one which the court cites in the Gil case is that "the plaintiff did not object to the termination of the hearing." 
Oh, I see. In other words, the court does not dispute the fact that Karyn Gil's due process rights were trampled on, but simply states that it is ok because she did not object! 
So if the court tramples all over your rights and you are so frightened and intimidated that you fail to object, or you have a typical scumbag attorney who is in cahoots with the other side and does not object, then that makes it acceptable to trample over a litigant's constitutional rights.  Of course, as a self-represented party when I have stated my objections to the court, I've been bullied, threatened and subjected to directly personal attacks on my character.  
In this regard, what happened to me is that during my trial the judge told me that court rules no longer require that a litigant state his and her objections for the record and since they are no longer required, he was going to forbid me from doing so.  I suspect this was one of those rulings put into place for special people but not considered precedential by attorneys in the know!  Otherwise, I think we're going to have to rewrite all of the Law & Order shows to bring them up to current legal practice. 
A second exception to the right to due process is the trial court's freedom to manipulate at will which expert testimony comes before the court and which does not. 
For instance, in Karyn Gil's case, Judge Herbert Gruendel was willing to accept the expert testimony and medical records prepared by Dr. Nancy Eisworth, Jane's psychologist from four years prior to trial, but he was unwilling to accept into evidence the expert testimony and medical records from Jane's current psychologist, Dr. Laura Ginther. 
Ordinarily, mental health information over a year old is not allowed into evidence because it is considered stale.  O'Neill v. O'Neill, 13 Conn. App. 300, 303, 536 A.2d 978, certification denied, 207 Conn. 806, 540 A.2d 374 (1988).  Again, we could get excited by how empowering the O'Neil decision is, particularly since it takes into account that a psychological evaluation is only relevant to the timeframe in which it is produced, and hardly has relevance four years later.  However, as usual, with family court there are always loopholes when a family court judge feels like exercising them. 
Like I said, in the law, for whatever direction a judge wants to go in when it comes to his or her decisions, there is always a large catalogue of case law to draw upon which provides you with sufficient case law to go and make any kind of decision you want to make. 
So despite, O'Neil there is Yontef v. Yontef and Blake v. Blake which allows the judge to do what he dang well pleases with old medical records.  There you go with a Judge having the right to exercise his judicial discretion no matter what. 
When Judge Herbert Gruendel ruled that he was going to bar testimony and medical records from Jane's current therapist, Dr. Laura Ginther, the court cited Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 52-146c (b) in regard to psychologist-patient privilege.  This is a good law that protects patients' rights to confidentiality.  However, I can't tell you how many family court cases I've observed where judges have simply denied litigants those protections and forced their therapists to disclose confidential medical records and provide testimony in open court court regarding their clients, or at least threatened to, or else allowed opposing attorneys to  do so, and get information simply by threatening. 
So, as I say, the court is all about doing what it wants, when it wants, how it wants, disregarding the law, or making the law up as it goes along. 
The bottom line is, if the court wants the truth to come out in a case such as Gil v. Gil, why prevent a perfectly solid, current witness from going on the stand?  There are questions any attorney can ask a child's psychologist without causing any harm to that child's treatment or confidentiality.  One I can think of which would be quite pertinent and relevant to this case, for instance, and not at all harmful to the child is as follows, "Do you think that Karyn Gil has been parentally alienating  her child from John Gil?"  A quick "yes" or "no" would do and still protect the rights of the child.  Of course, this genius level question only emerged six months later after this particular show trial was over when Jane was driven to the point of suicide by additional abuse from her father.  Then, and only then, did Judge Gruendel himself finally allow Dr.  Laura Ginther to go to the stand and provide the testimony she'd had all along that Karyn Gil had not committed PAS. 
So who was against such testimony?  Who blocked it?  Who barred it?  Who prevented the truth from coming out and instead continued to allow Mr. John Gil to subject Karyn Gil and her daughter to ongoing legal abuse? 
The answer to that question is, the Guardian Ad Litem first of all--well, yes, the judge who went along with it, but primarily it was the Guardian Ad Litem who was supposed to be acting in the best interests of the child, but chose not to:  Attorney Campbell Barrett of Budlong and Barrett, LLC -- that is the man responsible for this travesty, this monstrous breakdown in the right to due process.


Gil. v. Gil, Part I:

Gil v. Gil, Part II:

Gil v. Gil, Part IV: