The showdown between the family of beleaguered Circuit Judge Martin Colin and the woman who gave birth to his grandson is slated for this Friday morning.
Colin, his wife Elizabeth Savitt and ubiquitous courthouse psychologist Stephen Alexander — a surprise witness — are scheduled to testify in what could be an all-day affair at the South County Courthouse in Delray Beach.
Among the myriad of issues, is a motion made by Matthew Colin — son of the judge and father of the 1-year-old child — to jail mother Kacie Herrick.
Her crime? She took her son to a pediatrician near her home in Coral Springs rather than near the judge’s residence in Atlantis.
Matthew Colin, the basketball coach at Wellington High School, lives with his father and Savitt.
Judge Colin and Savitt play a primary role in caring for the child, often picking up the child from Herrick and returning him to her, according to pleadings.
Colin and Savitt were the subject of The Palm Beach Post’s series, Guardianship: A Broken Trust that outlined vast conflict of interest for the judge and numerous complaints from families about Savitt in her guardianships. Savitt operated in the very division where her husband sat on the bench.
In the wake of the series, Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath transferred Colin out of the Probate & Guardianship Division and to the central courthouse. His wife’s cases were also moved to the North County Courthouse in an effort to mitigate the appearance of favoritism.
Savitt still works as professional guardian where accusations from families are still are rampant.
In the meantime, the judicial power couple are involved in Matthew Colin’s ongoing disputes with Herrick over the care of their child. Herrick’s attorneys — Tracy Belinda Newmark and Natalie S. Kay — say it is a rarity for the child to sleep in the same bed two nights in a row.
Her attorneys hope that Herrick can get approval of a proposed parenting plan that will allow her to move out of Florida to Maine where her parents live and away from Judge Colin’s family.
The case is being heard by Judge Alfred Horowitz of Broward County after Herrick said she could not get a fair hearing in front of one of Judge Colin’s colleagues in Palm Beach County.
Her motion finally succeeded in the wake of Palm Beach Post’s investigation that found numerous complaints by families against Savitt as a guardian died a quick death in front of Colin’s colleagues on the Palm Beach Circuit bench.
Another issue to bubble up in the paternity case is Matthew Colin’s surprise witness of Dr. Stephen Alexander, a psychologist who specializes in providing expert witness testimony to defense parties in multitude of cases. He is also married to one of Judge Colin’s colleagues: Circuit Judge Karen Miller.
Herrick’s attorneys said in a motion to strike Alexander from the proceeding that Matthew Colin attempted to disguise the psychologist by listing him as a lay witness. Alexander has never treated Herrick and appears to have no bearing on the parental issues, the mother’s attorneys say.
“Father has not even provided the most general information regarding the subject area about which the expert witness intends to testify,” the motion states.