APRIL  2019 
April 2019 Newsletter Headlines
Employee Highlight of the Month

Employee Highlight of the Month
Noraline Issak - Judicial Law Clerk
Criminal Division


Q.  How many years have you been employed with the Court?
A.   I am a recent hire.   I have been employed with the Court for about three months.

Q.  Do you have any skills or talents that most people don't know about?
A.   I speak more than one language (Chaldean, Arabic, and some Spanish).  

Q.  If you could be anywhere other than here right this minute, where would you be?
A.   I would be laying on the beach somewhere in the Caribbean.

Q.  Who do you admire, and why?
A.   My mother because she has taught me to do everything to the best of my ability, to work hard, and be resilient.

Q.  Finish this sentence.  "On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me..."
A.   At church or having breakfast with my family.

Q.  What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job?
A.   The ability to perform legal research, problem-solve, and communicate with others.  

Q.  Name three words that describe you.
A.   I am hardworking, ambitious, and dedicated.

Q.  What are you happiest doing when you're not working?
A.   When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends.   I also love to shop!

Q.  What is your personal motto?
A.   You can do anything you set your mind to.

Q.  What are some causes you care about?
A.   Cancer awareness, Human Rights, and Criminal Justice Reform.

Q.  What is an enjoyable part of your job?
A.   I really enjoy researching and writing.   I also enjoy being able to observe and digest interactions, arguments, and tactics in the courtroom.

Q.  What are some career highlights?
A.   I worked for a criminal defense attorney on the first federal female genital mutilation case in the U.S.   I spent several months researching federal wiretap and electronic surveillance issues.  

Q.  What is your dream job?
A.   My dream job is to become a successful attorney.   I would love to be involved in criminal appellate work.

Q.  What college/university did you go to?
A.   I attended Oakland University, where I majored in Political Science and minored in Spanish. I then attended Wayne State University Law School.

Q.  What's a little-known fact you're willing to share?
A.   I am a first-generation college student.   My family emigrated from Iraq.


On April 5 th , Candace Jenkins was the recipient of 
LHJ's customer service Shining Star award.

Priest Elementary School
Field Trip

On Friday, March 22 nd , forty-four 4 th and 5 th grade students from Priest Elementary visited the Jury office for a field trip. The students visited Judge Patricia Fresard's courtroom and witnessed the Friday motion call. Judge Fresard allowed the students to tour her chambers and to ask questions about the judicial process. She informed the children that she is the first female Hispanic judge on the bench. The students were very impressed and inspired by her success!
The children were then escorted back to the jury assembly room where they participated in a mock jury selection and mock jury trial facilitated by Yvette Blackmon, Gloria Hamilton, and Jury Commissioner Bonnie Leone. The students were assigned roles for the trial and the selected jurors deliberated and agreed upon a verdict. The students were sent home with an assignment to further discuss the importance of jury duty with the adults in their households.

The Juvenile Mental Health Court Program presented at the annual Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals conference on March 29, 2019. The program focused on the "Keys to Building a Successful Juvenile Mental Health Court Program."

The Detroit Public Library - Main Branch is a supportive community partner.  The Court hosts specialty court graduations and child support outreaches at the Branch. Tracey Wyatt, the Marketing - Administrative Projects Specialist, is shown here with Exec. Court Administrator Zenell Brown as the Court personnel showed up to enjoy Comerica Bank Java & Jazz presents Yancyy. Zenell Brown, Tamela Aikens, and Shelly Payne are pictured with Yancyy.

On April 10 th , judges from  the Third Circuit Court Judicial Community Service Team and their staff assembled Easter and springtime baskets. The baskets will benefit the following organizations: Third Circuit Court's Juvenile Mental Health Court and Juvenile Drug Court, La Sed, Detroit Rescue Mission, Turning Point, Gleaners, St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center, The Boys & Girls Club, Turning Point, and Stanford House.

The Third Circuit Court Diversity and Inclusion Team's Mission: 
" We recognize our common background and respect our unique human experiences. We move forward as an inclusive organization, community and society."
T he Court's Diversity & Inclusion Team strives to ensure the values of its diverse bench, staff, and court users are acknowledged and reflected in our delivery of service as well as our work environment.
In that spirit, the team creates and shares a monthly list of various holidays and observations along with some celebration suggestions. We invite our work community and the community at large
to contribute.

APRIL 2019
Autism Awareness Day  - 
April 02
Earth Day - April 22
    Diversity Month - All Month   

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.
Here are nine tips for interacting with people with autism ...
  • Please don't hate their shield.
  • Try not to stare.
  • Never talk about that person.
  • No sad faces about them, please.
  • They are inside bodies that work differently - be patient.
  • They are real. They are not shells with no inhabitants.
  • Let them be the best them they can be.
  • Try to help them, not control them.
  • Raise hope to give them better futures.
  • Help them to aim high.
Earth Day is held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.
Here are 8 Simple Things to Do to Celebrate Earth Day
  1. Plant Something
  2. Ride your bike
  3. Let your voice be heard
  4. Attend an event
  5. Buy reusable bags
  6. Use a refillable water bottle
  7. Get produce from a local farmer's market
  8. Shop for smart clothes
Diversity Month started in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity surrounding us all. By celebrating differences and similarities during this month, organizers hope that people will get a deeper understanding of each other.
Here are a few things to do for diversity ...
  • Do something that represents you
  • Do something to represent your culture
  • Bring food to celebrate your culture
  • Bring a piece of clothing
  • Plan a potluck for your unit and have each person to bring a dish

For our young people who are interested... our future lawyers.

Join our E-mail List and receive our monthly E-mail newsletter from the Third Judicial Circuit Court and stay informed. 

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Maybe the last of the snow has fallen.   Maybe we can retire our winter coats and boots.   And maybe we can begin to plant the bulbs and seedlings.   However, it is with certainty that we can expect that tax filings were due April 15 th, that we need to honor our Administrative Assistants on April 24 th, and that there is a lot going on at the Third Circuit Court.   In this edition of the newsletter, we share our biannual Child Support help event, updates from our Specialty Courts, and some of the volunteer projects supported by the judges and staff of the Third Circuit Court.   We invite staff and our community stakeholders and partners to not only read this edition, but to share it with friends and families, as well as invite them to follow us on social media for real time Court stories and happenings.   Be the weather snowy and wintery or crisp and springy, enjoy the read.  
On April 8th, Judge Helal A. Farhat was sworn in by Judge David Allen.   Judge Farhat will join the  Family Domestic Division.

In early 2019, Chief Judge Stephen J. Markman recognized the volunteer efforts of the judges throughout the state.  Third Circuit Court Judge Annette Berry was one of those recognized and featured in the Michigan's Judiciary Success Stories.  "Judges are public servants who are given an enormous opportunity to make a difference in their communities, not just by the work they perform on the bench," remarked Judge Berry. 
Judge Berry serves as the current president on the Father Clement H. Kern Foundation and volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America.  Judge Berry has received several awards for her volunteer efforts.   Judge Berry summed up her viewing on volunteering by saying "Giving back is the most important and valuable thing that a judge can do."

On Monday, March 25 th  , the Family Division held training at the Federal Reserve in Detroit for all staff of the Family Domestic and Juvenile Sections. The training was held in an effort to unify the two sections of the Family Division. The Family Domestic and Juvenile sections are housed in separate campuses, so it was a great opportunity for staff to reconnect and learn a little bit about each section. Richard Smart kicked off with a general overview of the Juvenile section. Erin Lincoln continued with an overview of the Family Domestic section. The Family Court Diversity Plan was introduced and Referee Viola King presented information about work she has done with the LGBTQ youth and resources available for those youth. The last half of the training was devoted to the Family Division's annual Child Protective Services (CPS) Mandated Reporter Training. John Frasik, Glenn Momeyer, Denise Fitzhugh and Leslie Murphy presented the CPS training. Thanks to all for attending!

Court Volunteers Make 
Women's History Celebration a Success

For the second consecutive year, women from the Third Circuit Court have volunteered the last Saturday of March to support the Lifting As We Climb Brunch. The Lifting As We Climb Brunch celebrates Rosa Slade Gragg; the record of her legacy resides in the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.
Court volunteers help make the event a success: Marsha Philpot aka "Marsha Music" presented "Belle Isle" in spoken word. Tamela Aikens served as the Mistress of Ceremony, and Jalona Colvard organized the catering and offered the blessing. Jonathon Heacox (age 11) son of Jeannette Heacox was the photographer in resident, while his mom, Toielynn Smith, Zenell Brown, and her niece Savannah Skipp were the background support players ensuring the guests had a great time.
Hon. Cynthia D. Stephens of the Michigan Court of Appeals was honored for her public service. Judge Stephens has served over three decades in the judiciary and celebrate her 50th year as a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Michigan Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden received the Image Award which goes to a young woman making her mark in service while uplifting others. Rep. Harris has transitioned from her civil law practice to the legislature committed to promoting the well-being of Michigan children and families.
Retired Chief Judge Virgil C. Smith, Judge Tracy E. Green, Judge Alicia Jones-Coleman, Judge Austin Garrett, Judge Kristina Robinson, as well as many lawyers and community leaders were in attendance for this Women's History celebration.

Strategic Plan Team Highlight
Divisional Purchasing/Facilities Team

The Purchasing/Facilities Team is comprised of Eric Weems, Team Leader; Lyn Roberts, Team Leader; and Team members Janice Hiller, Toby Horner, Violet Leonard, Theresa Mack, Kevin Martin, Cara Lee, Catherine Moore, Beverly Otis, Jeffrey Soboleski, and Dana White.
The Divisional Purchasing/Facilities Team for the past year has improved workflow processes relative to purchase requisitions, building maintenance, and transportation requests. These requests are now submitted online with the ability to track their status. The Team worked with ITSB and the Deputy Court Administrators to implement these systems. The systems were fully implemented in FY18. They have improved the communication leading to more effective and efficient responsiveness to these departmental needs. The Team is continuing to work on updating forms and policies used in the Purchasing and Accounts Payable Departments (i.e., service voucher, travel form, and check request form) in order to streamline these processes. Various users from each of the Divisions have been assisting the Team by testing the forms and providing suggested changes. The Team is planning to fully implement the new forms prior to the new fiscal year beginning October 1, 2019. Training sessions will be held prior to this date. Stay Tuned!

Third Circuit Court employees and their friends and family enjoyed the Detroit Pistons vs Portland Trailblazers game on March 30 th at Little Caesars Arena.

As part of its mandate to serve the children and families of Wayne County, the Friend of the Court has developed partnerships with community agencies and organizations to provide more localized access to FOC information and services.
The Friend of the Court's partnership with the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) began in 2015. ACCESS offers a wide range of social, educational, employment, and health services to a diverse population, regardless of ethnicity. On the 2 nd Friday of every month, Friend of the Court staff members are available at the ACCESS offices located at 6450 Maple St. in Dearborn, Michigan to meet with individuals who have questions or concerns related to child support, custody, parenting time, and spousal support. While Friend of the Court staff cannot give legal advice, they can remotely access case-specific information, discuss options, explain procedures and provide forms. Arabic translators are available on site.

Wayne County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is recruiting volunteers to help advocate for abused and neglected children. Volunteers must be at least twenty-one years old, have no criminal record, and be able to pass a background check. If you have a heart for children and want to be a voice that speaks up for children, this may be the opportunity for you.

Additional information :
  • All trainings take place in the evening from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • All trainings take place at 1025 E. Forest Lincoln Hall of Justice in a safe and inclusive environment. Our training is interactive, informative and dynamic.
  • All CASA volunteers observe real court cases for courtroom observation and are introduced to courtroom dynamics and decorum.
  • Our CASA volunteers interact with all stakeholders involved on the case as needed. (e.g., families, foster care workers, educators, medical professionals and attorneys, etc.)
  • CASA court reports are highly regarded by the jurists and are taken under consideration when the jurists make a decision on the placement, removal, and temporary court ward status of children.
Please contact our office immediately for an application at (313) 833-3093 or email Classes will begin May 7-21, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., two days per week.

The CASA program is successful because of ordinary men and women in the community who are compassionate about the safety and well-being of children. A successful CASA volunteer advocates for and ensures that all children have a voice in court proceedings and have a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible. Please join our team of specially trained volunteers. It takes a minimum of 8-10 hours per month to advocate for the children in foster care. Be among the finest and wear the badge of honor proudly. Make a difference in a child's life.