MARCH  2019 
March 2019 Newsletter Headlines
Employee Highlight of the Month

Employee Highlight of the Month
Sharon Atkins
Senior Domestic Relations Specialist
Family Domestic

Q. How many years have you been employed with the Court?
A. I have been employed with Wayne County Friend of the Court 15 years.

Q. If you could be anywhere other than here right this minute, where would you be?
A. I would have to say the state of Tennessee. I absolutely adore the beauty of the state itself and the warmth of the people.

Q. Who do you admire, and why?
A. I have always been a fan of Jackie Kennedy because of her poise, beauty, and charm.

Q. Finish this sentence. "On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me..."
A. Having breakfast with my eight-year-old son, Briceson.

Q. What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job?
A. Leadership and people skills.

Q. Name three words that describe you.
A. Ambitious, self-motivated, and creative.

Q. What are you happiest doing when you're not working?
A. Treating myself to a nice meal while enjoying the company of family and close friends.

Q. What are some causes you care about?
A. Breast Cancer Awareness, Heart Disease, and Domestic Violence.

Q. What is an enjoyable part of your job?
A. Assisting people with child support concerns and being able to find a remedy to address those concerns.

Q. What is your dream job?
A. A job that would allow me to utilize my skills and qualifications to the best of my ability where my services are needed and appreciated.

Q. What's a little-known fact you're willing to share?
A. I'm having a love affair with potato chips.



Starting May 1, 2019, DDOT will be promoting a new fare change to make riding easier. They will begin the process of eliminating some of the passes, tickets, and transfers. Below is the list of eliminated tickets:
2Ride - 2 Transfers
1 - Adult Fare
Student Fare
$10 Value Passes
Five Day Passes
Please be advised that if anyone has any outstanding passes, they will compensate you for the value of your unused passes.
Please click the link for some F.A.Q. regarding the changes.

Happy National Professional 
Social Work Month!

On March 2nd Judge David Allen
ran in the Hamtramck Paczki 5k, along with Governor Whitmer.

Third Circuit Court employees and their friends and family enjoyed the Red Wings vs Chicago Blackhawks game on February 20th at Little Caesars Arena.

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."
The 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.

MARCH 2019
Employee Appreciation Day
March 1
World Day of Prayer - March 1
Fat Tuesday - March 5
Ash Wednesday - March 6
International Women's Day - March 8
Plant a Flower Day - March 12
Nat'l Potato Chip Day - March 14
Freedom of Information Day - March 16
St Patrick's Day - March 17
Int'l Earth Day - March 20

Women's History Month
March 1 - 31, 2019
Women's History Month is a month-long celebration of women's contributions to society and history that is observed during the month of March in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and is observed during the month of October in Canada. In the U.S., it's been officially celebrated since March of 1987.
There are several ways to celebrate Women's History Month. For instance, you can buy a book of stamps that commemorates notable women and perhaps use them to write to an old friend. You can also donate some money to your public library and instruct them to buy a book on women's history, or even donate a book on women's history yourself. You can also give your son or daughter the biography of a famous historical woman such as Gertrude Stein, Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton or Ella Baker.

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness 
Month - March 1 - 31, 2019
National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month has been observed the month of March since 1987.
Founder:  President Ronald Reagan on February 26, 1987.
Hastags:  #NationalDevelopmentalDisabilitiesAwarenessMonth and #DevelopmentalDisabilitiesAwarenessMonth

Irish American Heritage Month

Irish American Heritage Month is celebrated by proclamation of the President and Congress in the US to honor the achievements and contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants living in the United States. It was first celebrated in 1991.   The heritage month is in March to coincide with St. Patrick's Day. St. Patrick's Day is a Roman Catholic religious holiday that honors the saint, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the early fifth century. It has developed in the US as a celebration of all things Irish. Each year in March the Irish Prime Minister visits the US for St Patrick's Day. A Shamrock Ceremony takes place in the morning at the White House where a crystal bowl containing shamrock is presented to the President in the Oval Office. This is followed by a Friends of Ireland luncheon hosted by the Host Speaker. In the evening, a St. Patrick's Day Reception takes place at the White House.

Deaf History Month
March 13 - April 15, 2019

Deaf History Month occurs annually. This period of time, observed nationwide every year from March 13 through April 15, celebrates deaf history and, in particular, contributions made by the deaf community and the hearing impaired to American culture and society. Deaf History Month appears to have had its genesis March 13, 1996, when two deaf employees at Washington, D.C.'s Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library taught sign language to their colleagues. This occurrence evolved into a week of deaf awareness created by the library. Quickly, deaf awareness week evolved into a month-long period dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of the deaf community, this period quickly evolved to last a month. 

In 1996, the National Association of the Deaf suggested the week become a full-fledged month, and in 1997, the first annual, nation-wide National Deaf History Month was celebrated from March 13 to April 15. The popularity of Deaf History Month grew over time, and there is currently an effort under way by the American Library Association and the National Association of the Deaf to get the White House to declare it an official national event.

Deaf History Month, by design, spans three key events impacting the deaf community that occurred in American history.

March 13, 1988 - Deaf President Now movement succeeds. King Jordan becomes President of Gallaudet University.

April 8 - Gallaudet University founded. President Lincoln signed the charter in 1864 establishing a college for the deaf.

This event is known as Gallaudet Charter Day and is usually marked with a luncheon and awards program at Gallaudet University. 

April 15 - American School for the Deaf, the first public school for the deaf opened in 1817.

2018 Third Circuit Court Annual Report Cover Contest
(Click on "Enter to Win" to learn more.)

Yellow Stripes

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

Please send us your name and email address to -
Spring is a celebration of new beginnings. Like flowers that begin to bud in March, many Third Circuit Court Strategic Projects are beginning to bloom as well.

On the list of 2018-19 projects are the enhancing Court facilities and security, developing operational plans for the Clinic for Child Study, addressing pay and benefits for staff, expanding leadership development, completing several technology projects, and developing diversity and inclusion initiatives. The project ideas were planted and nourished.

Monthly, we look forward to sharing our blossoming innovations and best practices as we address the changing needs of our court users, the need for efficient operations and improved internal communications, and the growing needs for equal access and effective programs. We look forward to showcasing the teams-the staff, managers, judges, and supportive partners. 

Welcome, Spring.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Michigan Honors was held on March 16th,

The event was to raise awareness and support for mental health.  Judge Edward Joseph presides over The Third Circuit Court's Juvenile Mental Health Court and Deborah Nelson serves as the Program Coordinator.  The program has served about 100 youth since its inception in 2016.

The mission of the 3rd Circuit Court's Juvenile Mental Health Court is to identify youth with mental health issues and divert them from the formal court docket; to connect youth and their families to appropriate services in the community; to reduce the number of youth with mental health issues who reoffend; to increase adherence to appropriate services for mental health issues by using a multidisciplinary team approach to develop and monitor service plans and compliance.

Court staff attended the Michigan Diversity Council event Women in Leadership.  
Michigan Women Forward #HERStory 

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Third Circuit Court has on display throughout the 7th floor Creating A Community: The Early Women of Lansing, which is on loan from the Michigan Women Forward #HERStory formerly Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame.

Court employees and the public can learn about women such as Dr. L. Anna Ballard (1848-1934) who in 1887 helped amend the law on the age of consent from ten to fourteen. The stories of the women like Dr. Ballard will be on display until the end of the month. 

On March 7, 2019, Erin Lincoln was sworn in as the Wayne County Friend of the Court. She is the second woman to hold the position, and the first woman with children under 10 to serve in the position.  How is that for Women's History Month?

Excerpt from Erin's speech:
"I often liken the FOC to a huge machine. Each person who works here may have a small part in the machine: they may turn a cog here, or push a button there. Without that person turning the cog or pushing the button, the entire machine would break down and not run.
So to the staff members present today and those who could not be here, I want to say this: I see you, I appreciate you. Your job is important and it matters not just to me, but to all of those who we serve. Thank you for what you do day in and day out. Our FOC Machine would not run without you. "

On March 15th, the 180 Program took a field trip to Judge Qiana Lillard's courtroom.
The 180° Program provides schools with a series of Parent University workshops and training seminars. They offer an intense and informative academic support and core behavior intervention training/coaching for parents seeking to improve their children's lives as well as their own. These services are specifically tailored for all academic and culture/climate settings. The School Districts who participate are Detroit, Harper Woods, Centerline, American Promise Schools and Atlanta, GA.  Their experiential learning for the students includes observing court procedures, college visits, morgue visits, Pingree Farms, and career tours.

On March 14 and 15, 2019, Judges, Referees, Judicial Assistants from the Third Circuit Family Division and staff from the Wayne County Clerk's Office gathered at the Federal Reserve in Detroit to learn about new processes related to the transfer of custody and parenting time matters between the Family Domestic and Family Juvenile sections of the Third Circuit Court's Family Division. The training was the result of several years' long planning process to better serve families who have cases in both sections of the Family Division. The project is part of the Court's Strategic Plan and furthers the Court's goals of bringing the sections together to be one cohesive Family Division. Presiding Judge of the Family Domestic Division, Kathleen M. McCarthy, and Deborah DesChenes presented the new processes to the Judges, Referees, and staff. The new process goes live on April 1, 2019. The change that the public can expect to see as a result of this process is that the Family Juvenile Judge hearing their matter will also be making decisions related to custody in the Family Domestic matter.

Diversity and Inclusion are core values of the State Bar of Michigan. In support of those values, Chief Judge Timothy Kenny invited his 55 judicial colleagues at the full bench meeting in March to sign a ceremonial copy of the pledge. All of the Court's Referees and Attorneys will have the opportunity to sign as well. The jurists and attorneys will then be directed to the State Bar's website to become official signatories.
The State Bar published in its 2017-2020 Strategic Plan: "We are more effective when we bring different perspectives, experiences, backgrounds, talents and interests to decision-making about how we carry out our mission. In addition to promoting greater diversity in the profession, The State Bar of Michigan embraces a culture within its leadership and governance processes that is open to and respects differing views and perspectives."
The Court's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan team coordinated the effort to obtain the signatures on the pledge. Judge Mariam Bazzi serves as the judicial sponsor of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan team and acknowledges the importance and significance of sharing the pledge with the judges and attorneys of the Third Circuit Court. "Our signatures are meant to reflect our shared public commitment to the values and ideals we endeavor to see reflected in our courtrooms." The Strategic Plan 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.