September 2017 Newsletter Headlines
Quote of the Month
New Payment Centers

September Quote
"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."
~ Oprah Winfrey
Chief Judge Robert J. Colombo, Jr. & Jennifer Howard
Forensic Family Clinician - FAME
Ms. Howard has been employed with the Court for 21 years.

September's Quote of the Month Winner

Wayne County Friend of the Court Hits it Out of the Ball Park

Governor Snyder declared August to be Child Support Awareness Month.  In celebration of all the effort put in by the employees of the Friend of the Court to collect child support, the Friend of the Court threw a baseball themed recognition party for its employees.  Staff enjoyed hot dogs, cracker jacks, nachos, popcorn and peanuts while taking some time for camaraderie and acknowledgment of all that they do.  Each year Wayne County Friend of the Court workers assist in collecting over $250,000,000 in child support.  The ratio of number of cases to child support worker is higher than any other county in the state.  It is difficult, sometimes stressful and yet rewarding work and the Wayne County Friend of the Court staff deserves all the support and recognition they receive.  A special thanks to the Friend of the Court's Sunshine Committee and to Lori Kaczmarek, Administrative Assistant to Kent Weichmann. Without their efforts, this event would not have been possible.
Back 2 School Bash

On August 17, 2017 the Clinic for Child Study held a Back 2 School Bash.  One hundred ninety-four youth and seventy-one parents attended the event and were treated to lunch, games, arts and crafts, a clown, and a DJ.  Seventeen parents were able to receive a free massage while their children participated in other activities.  Twelve youth also saw the Mobile Dentist set up in building C.  The dentist provided checkups, x-rays, and cleanings.  We were able to have a very successful event through the generous donations from the following sponsors: National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women, Child Advocacy nonprofit, Michigan Children's Law Center, Helping Hands of Wayne County (Juvenile Law Group) and Friends of CASA.  Donations included 200 backpacks full of school supplies, 200 hygiene kits, 179 gift cards, 10 T-shirts from Infinite Design, 35 haircut vouchers, and 4 hair salon certificates.  Though we had to move the event inside because of the potential storms, families stayed the whole time and enjoyed all the activities.

Juvenile Status Department
Congratulations to the Juvenile Status Department (formerly known as the Juvenile Intake Department), under the direction of Sam Porter, on the completion of the Management Assistance Project (MAP) review that was conducted by the Michigan Supreme Court - State Court Administrative Office.
The department review consisted of staff interviews, court observations, and file review. The desired result was to bring issues to the forefront and evaluate policies and procedures to improve the efficiency of the Juvenile Status Department.  The MAP Team highlighted several positive points about the Juvenile Status Department including how Sam Porter and his staff exhibited wonderful hospitality to the MAP Team during their time at the court.  The staff was open to and has accepted change in certain department policies and procedures.  The MAP review has equipped the Juvenile Status Department to become more empowered and efficient in providing services to the families that they serve.  The experience required due diligence by all and was worth it in the end.  The department has implemented the recommended changes made by the MAP Team and is proud of their contribution to the project.  The MAP Team commended the Court's Administration for requesting the MAP and seeking to improve court operations. 


2018 PAM Poster Contest

The contest deadline is October 16, 2017.

For more information call (800) 968-4968 or  CLICK HERE.


Fall is upon us and students have returned to school.   Let's begin a promising academic year with students who are excited to learn and teachers who are excited and ready to teach.  The Clinic for Child Study, S.T.A.N.D., and the Friends of CASA, along with numerous court staff and partners collected and distributed over 300 backpacks, with hygiene supplies for students and families.  Third Circuit Court remains committed to the academic success and well-being of Wayne County youth.  Additionally, the Truancy Informal Program (T.I.P.) has begun to reach out to new schools to help support attendance and reduce absenteeism with a holistic approach to helping families address the causes of truancy.  There are over 290,000 students learning in Wayne County schools, each representing a multitude of promise and positive possibilities. The Court wishes each student and his or her family the best school year ever!

Judge Prentis Edwards, Jr. was appointed to the Wayne County Third Circuit Court in 2017.  He previously served as Chief Judge Pro Tem on the 36th District Court in Detroit.
Prior to joining the bench, Judge Edwards was an assistant prosecuting attorney for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office where he served in the Special Operations Community Prosecution Unit, and Trials Division, prosecuting a variety of complex and serious crimes.  He also worked as a policy analyst and legislative aide in the Michigan State House, Senate, Detroit City Council, and as an attorney for the Detroit Public Schools, respectively.
Judge Edwards is a member of the State Bar of Michigan Diversity Inclusion Advisory Committee, the Detroit Bar Association, the Wolverine Bar Association, the Association of Black Judges of Michigan, the Charles H. Wright Museum, and the NAACP Detroit Chapter.
Judge Edwards is a graduate of Michigan State University, Eli Broad School of Business and Western Michigan University -Thomas Cooley Law School. 
Judge Bazzi's Investiture

Judge Mariam Saad Bazzi's investiture was held on September 7th at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center.  She took the oath of office in front of Supreme Court Justice Kurtis Wilder, surrounded by her husband and kids.
Judge Bazzi was appointed to the Third Circuit Court in May of 2017.  Judge Bazzi received her bachelor's from the University of Michigan - Dearborn in 2001 and her Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University Law in 2005. She has over 11 years of experience prosecuting various types of criminal cases at the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, where she most recently served as the lead attorney in charge of the Deed and Mortgage Fraud Task Force. As such, she oversaw a multi-agency unit that prosecutes financial crime, complex and high profile cases.
Jury Services Department - Shout Out

The Third Circuit Jury Services Civil Division is located in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in room 301.  The jury office oversees and manages the qualifications, summoning, and reporting of jurors for court proceedings and includes the operations of the Wayne County Jury Commission.  The Civil Jury Services Department also sends, receives, and qualifies jury questionnaires for 24 district courts throughout Wayne County.  
The goal of the Jury Services Department is ensuring that there are sufficient number of jurors for trials held in the circuit court, probate court, and the district courts of Wayne County.  We strive to broaden citizen participation in the jury system and distributing the responsibility for participation in the jury system among the residents in as fair a manner as possible consistent with constitutional mandates that require the jury be drawn from a fair cross section of the community all while attempting to lessen the inconvenience to the citizens of serving as a juror.  We strive to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of court activity and ensure maximum juror utilization.  We call in jurors based upon the number of trial confirmations that we receive the previous business day. 
Jury trials are scheduled in the Civil Division Monday through Wednesday.  The Civil Jury service staff includes the Jury Services Director (Yvette Blackmon), Jury Service Specialist (Gloria Hamilton), two Clerk III employees (Albert Breeden and Rachelle Loyd), and two Jury Commissioners (Commissioner Genet Barthwell and Commissioner Bonnie Leone). 

Women's Empowerment Expo

On August 26, 2017, the COBO Center hosted the Women's Empowerment Expo.  Thousands of women came from all around the area to attend this event and learn how to start, run, maintain, and expand their businesses.  The event was high energy with scores of tables for vendors and informational material on health, fashion, schooling, service organizations, and much more. The conference had individual breakaway seminars and there was naturally a lot of networking going on between the vendors as well.
Third Judicial Circuit Court volunteers were at the event to provide information on the Court and its functions.  Court volunteers were present from Court Administration, the Friend of the Court, the Mediation Tribunal, and Juvenile Court. The Friend of the Court volunteers had the opportunity to interact in a non-threatening environment with both male and female attendees as to the functionality of the Wayne County Friend of the Court.  The Court provided informational packets on the Friend of the Court and many other areas of interest to the attendees at the event. The Court thanks its employees who give of their time to provide this necessary service to the community.
  Historical Society in Lansing
On September 19th, Third Judicial Circuit Court's Historical Society took a trip to Lansing.  They went on a tour through the Supreme Court, where they looked at many portraits displayed throughout the building, toured the Learning Center, and also Chief Justice Stephen J. Markman took some time and spoke to the group about the Supreme Court's Historical Society and The Douglass cup.  In the afternoon, they took a tour of the Michigan State Capitol.
The Historical Society was formed when Chief Judge Colombo undertook writing the historical highlights of the Court and locating and restoring several portraits of prior judges, including one of Ira Waite Jayne.   The Historical Society's volunteers plan to expand on the Court's written history to include more history of the women who have served on the bench, the history of Criminal Division, and the history of the Friend of the Court.  The Historical Society is also entrusted with locating and cataloguing valuable court documents, portraits, and other artifacts.
Congratulations 2017 Pillar of Justice Awardee -
Judge Qiana Denise Lillard!
DRMM graduation ceremony, DRMM awarded Judge Qiana Denise Lillard the Pillar of Justice Award.
The Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) was founded in 1909 as a non-profit and continues to offer a multitude of services to women, children, and men at its metro Detroit facilities and through community outreach.  Each year DRMM carefully chooses men and women to Pillar Awards.  Chad Audi, PhD, the President and CEO of DRMM, describes  the significance of the Pillar Awards; "Through the annual Pillar Awards, the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries recognizes and honors exemplary men and women whose work in public service, media, business, and community has been resplendent and remarkable in promoting and protecting human well-being and dignity."  At its August 25th
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan State Disbursement Unit have once again made it easier for parents to pay their child support.  Parents who owe child support may now make payments at CVS Pharmacy and Walmart stores using the MoneyGram payment option. This option will be available at CVS Pharmacy and Walmart stores only, and does not include CVS Pharmacy locations within Target or other retail stores, or online payments at
The Michigan child support program is committed to providing alternative payment methods and increasing customer convenience in paying support. With the addition of the MoneyGram payment option, Michigan child support is now payable at over 34,000 additional locations. Other retailers may be added at a later date.
The process is simple. Parents simply need to:
  1. Find a MoneyGram location - over 34,000 agent locations - at
  2. Bring these with you:
    • Cash - Enough to pay your child support + $3.99 fee
    • Order ID/Docket Number_________________. Parties needing their order ID or docket number can call 1-877-543-2660 to speak with a customer service representative.
    • Receive Code: 14689
  3. Complete your transaction at the cash counter and keep your store receipt.
For any questions regarding MoneyGram or child support, please contact the Wayne County Friend of the Court at 1-877-543-2660.