Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Guardianships: A Broken Trust, Chief Judge Shakes Up Guardianship System After Post Series

Chief Justice Jeffrey Colbath
Palm Beach County Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath announced Tuesday sweeping changes for guardianship of incapacitated seniors. The actions come amid revelations by The Palm Beach Post that the savings of these elderly wards flow into the household of Circuit Judge Martin Colin via his wife’s [Elizabeth Savitt] work as a professional guardian in his division.

Also Tuesday, Colin announced that he won’t be running for re-election.
The chief judge’s reforms come in response to last month’s Post series examining the role of Judge Colin and his wife — former tennis pro Elizabeth “Betsy” Savitt — in guardianship cases. Among the changes is requiring all of Colin’s current colleagues in south county to recuse themselves from her cases.

Some of the changes by Colbath were unspecific, leaving more questions than they answered. The announcement does not mention Colin by name, though sources have told The Post that Colin is indeed going to be transferred.

The changes are:
*Rotation of personnel to be effective Feb. 15.
*In-house training for probate judges and court staff.
*The establishment of a guardianship wheel to provide random assignment of professional guardians to cases.
*Standardization of bill practices for guardians and attorneys.
*Recusal of the current south county judges from Savitt’s cases.

Colin, 66, said on Tuesday that he had planned not to run because he would not be able to complete his term before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.


StandUp said...

The ultimate power of the press does it again!

Anonymous said...

Good news from Florida.

Betty said...

The chief justice should not only shake up the system, but see to it that criminal charges are filed.