December 2017 Newsletter Headlines
Quote of the Month
Shout Out

December Quote
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands:
one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
~Audrey Hepburn

December's Quote of the Month Winner
Chief Judge Robert J. Colombo, Jr. & Angel Patterson
Information Services Department Clerk - FOC
Ms. Patterson has been employed with the Court for a couple months.

November Quote
Fill your heart with the kindness of friends, the caring of everyone you love, and the richness of memories you wouldn't trade for anything.
~ Douglas Pagels
November's Quote of the Month Winner
Ursula E. Richardson
Court Clerical Worker - FOC
Ms. Richardson has been employed with the Court for 5 years.

Detroit Parent Network
The Court participated in the 
15th Annual Parent Leadership Breakfast held on Saturday, December 9th.  Rhonda Askew was one of the Resilience Award winners.  Ms. Askew pushes through no matter the trials facing her, from losing everything in a house fire to having incapacitating leg surgery, to her mother's passing.  Through it all, she continues to be there for her community, for her three children, three grandchildren, and her great-grandchild. 

Congratulations to her and to the other winners!

Nori Maki Arare

Hana Usagi

Hana Usagi

Corn Potage

Learning more about Judge Kei and Japan

This month Judge Kei shared three different type snacks from Japan.  The first is Nori Maki Arare, which are rice crackers with seaweed in a Wasabi flavor.  The second is Hana Usagi, which are a little mint type treat shaped like a Cherry Blossom that come in a decorative box.  Hana means "flower" and Usagi means "rabbit."  The third snack was Corn Potage, which are fried corn puffs.  They taste like a sweet buttery corn puff.  As Judge Kei continues to learn about our culture, we in turn are trying to learn about his.  Thank you, Judge Kei, for sharing!

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Holiday Hours

The Court will be closed for the holiday beginning Friday, December 22, 2017 through Monday, January 1, 2018.  

We appreciate the many ways the December holidays are celebrated by various cultures. Although there are different traditions and practices, there are some common threads. Peace, goodwill, family togetherness, and kindness to neighbors and all mankind. May you have a great holiday observation and celebration. It has been our pleasure to serve you in 2017 and we look forward to serving you in 2018.

A Celebration of New Initiatives

On Friday, December 1, 2017, the Juvenile Division of the Third Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan and the Casey Family Program Foundation hosted a celebration and showcase of new initiatives and programs at the Detroit Branch of the Chicago Federal Reserve Building.  Casey Family Program Foundation has been working with the Juvenile Division by providing information, training, and technical support to bring new and fresh ideas to the area of child welfare to improve outcomes.   The program celebration highlighted all of the new innovative programs and dockets that the Court has developed over the past two years to foster better outcomes for the children and families that it serves.  The Court hosted judges from the Third Circuit, Supreme Court Justice Bridget McCormack, representatives from SCAO, honored guests from The Casey Family Programs, judges, and representatives from Washtenaw County, the Wayne County Treasurer's Office, elected officials and representatives from Wayne County, the State of Michigan, Michigan State University,  the entire region,  and many more.  The program also featured the Honor Guard from Cass Technical High School, who presented the colors of our nation's flag.  There was a special performance by the internationally renowned choir from the Detroit Academy of Arts and Science that honored the attendees with two wonderful songs.  The program highlighted the fine works of the Court, its stakeholders, and the community partners that work collaboratively with the Court to provide services to the children and families of Wayne County.  It was truly a celebration of the hard work of all involved.

To see more pictures of the event, click on the link
Third Circuit Court/Casey Family Programs Celebration

The Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, as represented by Kent Weichmann, FOC and the Chair of the Section, presented Judge Richard Halloran with the Justice Marilyn J. Kelly Award for Outstanding Service by a Family Division Judge in the State of Michigan. 
The award is presented each year by the Family Law Section of the State Bar. It was presented at the Family Law Institute (FLI) on November 9th to a Michigan Family Division Judge who exemplifies outstanding service and dedication to the area of family law to the families of Michigan. 
The FLI is sponsored by the State Bar of Michigan's Institute of Continuing Legal Education. This year over 600 attorneys and judges attended the FLI.

Judge Keisuke Koizumi  
and the 
Japanese Court System

On November 28th, Judge Keisuke Koizumi presented Civil Court Proceedings in the Japanese Court System at Wayne State University Law School.  Law professors, students, and Dean Richard A. Bierschbach were present.  Chief Judge Robert J. Colombo, Jr. and Executive Court Administrator Zenell B. Brown went to show their support.  Judge Koizumi opened by thanking Third Circuit Court and his adopted sisters--Administrative Assistant Jalona Colvard, and Executive Administrative Assistant Jeannette Heacox--for their hospitality and the opportunity to learn about the American court system,  and he closed by answering a lot of questions regarding the differences in the two court systems.


The Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan celebrated Adoption Day on November 17th. Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 110,000 children in U.S. foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families.  Judge Christopher D. Dingell presided over the adoption of four children.  Judge Christopher M. Murray from the Michigan Court of Appeals; Chief Judge Robert J. Colombo, Jr.; Presiding Judge Virgil C. Smith and Judge Karen Y. Braxton attended.
The Court congratulates and thanks the families for allowing us to celebrate their special day.

Taking Care of Families

The Third Circuit Court Juvenile Division's Clinic for Child Study held a pre-holiday luncheon for their families.  These families were treated to a presentation by Jonathan Edison, author of Survival Mode, and served lunch by the Clinic staff.  The finale of the event was the presentation of candies, gift cards, and gifts.  The gifts were donated by Michigan Fraternal Order of Police.  The Michigan Fraternal Order of Police Executive Director David Hiller, President Joe Adams, and Secretary John Marasco were joined by Judge Karen Braxton and Judge Frank Szymanski to present the gifts and share holiday cheer.  The Clinic staff donned their holiday sweaters and elf gear to kick off the holiday season at the Michigan State University Building in Detroit.

The Wayne County Family Law Bar Association

The Wayne County Family Law Bar Association's annual Holiday Reception sponsored by Dickinson Wright.  It was a festive gathering of Wayne County judges and attorneys practicing in the area of family law, and fundraiser with donations going to Humble Design; a Detroit-based non-profit providing furnishings and design services to families transitioning out of homeless shelters into homes.  The Wayne County Family Law Bar Association is open to members working with family law-related matters and promotes collegiality, education, and community.  Those interested in membership should contact Genevieve Tusa at (313) 885-5656.
Family Division Celebrates the Holiday


On Friday, December 8, Chief Judge Robert J. Colombo, Jr. and the Family Division Judges hosted a wonderful Holiday Luncheon for the Friend of the Court staff in the banquet room of the beautiful Guardian Building.  The luncheon was provided as an expression of gratitude for the hard work of the Friend of the Court employees.  Chief Judge Colombo, along with Presiding Judge Kathleen M. McCarthy and Friend of the Court Kent Weichmann, conveyed their thanks for the Friend of the Court's work throughout the year.  FOC staff were especially touched by the Chief's heartfelt words of thanks. 


The Friend of the Court conducts child support show cause and bench warrant interviews on the 19th floor of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.  As many as 412 show cause hearings are scheduled per week over the course of three days.  The dedicated staff members that handle the check-in of these parties include Saundra Poe-Wheeler, Keila Harvey, Lola Stringer, Melissa Brown, and Dinmasir Bryant.  In addition to checking in the parties, the staff in 1907 answer general questions; provide financial detail reports; look up case numbers for payments; and assist parties in finding their correct hearing location.  The courtroom is also stocked with information on local job opportunities, fairs, and training programs.  The staff is respectful and courteous in providing assistance to the parties.  These are often stressful hearings and it is especially appreciated that the parties are greeted with such warm, friendly smiles!