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...