JUNE  2019 
June 2019 Newsletter Headlines
Employee Highlight of the Month

June - Employee Highlight of the Month
Norvetta Baker-Strozier - Clinical Case Manager
Family Juvenile Division

Q. How many years have you been employed with the Court?
A. I have been employed with the 3rd Circuit Court for 3 years; however, I have served in the capacity of a Specialist in the Pre Trial Services and for Swift & Sure Sanctions Probation Departments in the past.
Q. Do you have any skills or talents that most people don't know about?
A.   Of course, but I must keep them confidential at this time.
Q. If you could be anywhere other than here right this minute, where would you be?
A. I would be with my family enjoying fun in the sun at Disney World where my eldest son makes magic as a popular character.
Q. Who do you admire, and why?
A. I admire my older sister, Tancier Baker, whom seems to make life look like an adventure with ease. She seems to be able to balance her personal and professional life, be an effective therapist, an awesome advocate, and an amazing mother. My Shero at best and I've learned many of life's lessons via her instructions and demonstrations.
Q. Finish this sentence. "On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me..."
A. Either I'm attending church with my family, or on some occasions, enjoying breakfast/brunch with my children, sisters, & nieces.
Q. What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job?
A. My best skills that I bring to my job is being empathetic, having positive energy, being creative, demonstrating problem-solving skills, and maintaining organization.
Q. Name three words that describe you.
A. Loyal, Honest, Dedicated.
Q. What are you happiest doing when you're not working?
A. I'm happiest when I'm able to relax and be entertained by my 3 children.
Q. What is your personal motto?
A. An inspirational quote by Legendary Maya Angelou, "I've learned that people will forget what you've said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget the way you made them feel."
Q. What are some causes you care about?
A. Any causes that children can benefit from.
Q. What is an enjoyable part of your job?
A. An enjoyable part of my job is when I've put in a substantial amount of support for a youth and they were able to make significant improvements to be successfully terminated from probation.
Q. What are some career highlights?
A.   I've worked in the public school sector as a substitute teacher, a therapist for youth, and a social worker at Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility for a number of years. I've worked with the adult criminal system in probation and Pre Trial Services, only to return to working my own Mother & Infant program. I've volunteered and served on committees at De La Salle Collegiate and Regina High Schools and now work with the court's Juvenile Intensive Probation Program. Still learning about life and enjoying each adventure.
Q. What is your dream job?
A. My dream job would be to win the Mega Millions and be able to not work at all, but to invest in various businesses and programs. To include creating a program for at-risk youth that would have supportive services to deter those youth from the juvenile system.
Q. What college/university did you go to?
A.   I began my college career at Michigan State University and graduated with a Bachelor's from Wayne State University and earned a M.B.A. with a Marketing Specialization from University of Phoenix.
Q. What's a little-known fact you're willing to share?
A.  I've spent nearly a decade enjoying camp life and can start a campfire and pitch a tent. Fun times!!!


Walking for Justice event breaks records

Preliminary figures indicate that the 7th Annual William Booth Legal Aid Clinic "Walk for Justice" on May 11 at the Detroit Zoo set a fundraising record of $93,000. More than 600 walkers - a record number - participated in the event, which helps Booth provide free legal services to poor people. "Our success in far exceeding this year's goal of $85,000 is attributable to the generosity of our walkers, sponsors and volunteers," said Amy Roemer (center), director of the Legal Aid Clinic. "The Booth Clinic will continue to do everything possible to increase our footprint in the community in the years to come." The Walk for Justice featured live entertainment, refreshments, and a Silent Auction. "I would be remiss in not recognizing the incredible support we received from the Salvation Army and the judges of the Wayne County Circuit Court," Roemer added. Pictured with Roemer are (left to right) Rebekah White, clinic assistant director; and Sean Fox, staff attorney.

Strategic Plan Team Highlight
Jury Service Web Team

The Next Generation Web Upgrade team has Yvette Blackmon, Director of Jury Services and Team Leader for this project; Gina Jackson, Assistant Director of Jury Services; Diane Gross, IT Programmer; and Audrey Mitchel, Jury Service Clerk III. The Next Generation Web Upgrade team is focused on reviewing the Next Generation Web system and expanding our research to additional vendors to upgrade the jury system.  Next Generation is our current vendor for our jury software. Our current system is not web-based.
The team is interested in new technology that the web-based system can offer such as debit card disbursement for jurors, text messaging to jurors, document upload for supplemental documents, remote access, and ease of function for jury staff. So far the team has participated in two demonstrations of the Next Generation web version and a demonstration for debit card disbursements with CourtFunds.  
They will also look into other vendors to determine which jury software will meet our growing technology needs. They plan to submit a proposal with a recommendation for which service would best meet the needs of the court and that would allow us to provide the best service to our jurors.


Will the real judge please stand up? Having fun with Intern Christopher from Cristo Rey on his last day.   Third Circuit Court would like to wish him well.

Diversity and Inclusion are core values of the State Bar of Michigan. In support of those values, the Civil Division JA's signed the State Bar of Michigan Diversity Pledge.
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.

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.

July 2019

Canada Day - July 1st
Independence Day - July 4th
National Disability Day - July 26th
International Day of Friendship - July 30th

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 -

We are never quite sure what the weather holds for the month of June, but there are a few things we can be sure of:  Graduations!
Third Circuit Court wishes all the staff and their families who have graduates the best.  Our Third Circuit Court staff graduating this year are: Kayanna Green, Wayne State University - Graduated May 2019 with a major in Romance Languages (French) and a minor in Business Administration; Brenda Westbrook, Wayne County Community College District - Graduated June 2019 - Medical Office Specialist; and Torrece Simpson, Central Michigan University - Graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree.  In addition, many staff are celebrating the graduation of sons, daughters, and other kin.  We acknowledge the hard work of staff and their families who are graduating.  May success follow them as they go forward in their educational and career paths. 
The Court is also proud of the graduates from its problem-solving courts and specialty court programs.  Juvenile Mental Health Court, Veteran's Treatment Court, Juvenile Drug Treatment Court, Adult Mental Health Court, Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program, Adult Drug Treatment Court, and the Friend of the Court's P.O.W.E.R.  (Providing Opportunities for Work, Education and Respect) Court will have June or summer graduations.  Specialty Court programs offer second chances for youth and adult participants as they are given resources to help make significant changes in their lives so as to not have recurring negative contacts with the justice system.  These graduates work hard to complete their program.  Behind each program is a caring program judge, program coordinator, and team helping individuals make a change in their lives. 
We can't promise that there will be sun and 80 degree weather on graduation day, but we can be sure that graduation day offers the promise of a sunny future ahead for our graduates.


The Visiting Judge from Japan Program started in 1972.  Judge Tatsunori Mashimoto visited the Third Circuit Court from September 2018 thru June 2019.  During his stay, Judge Mashimoto visited each division of Third Circuit Court, the U.S. District Court, the Michigan Supreme Court, and the Michigan Court of Appeals. In his leisure, he liked to run and participated in the Detroit Free Press Marathon in October of 2018. He enjoyed skiing and would go to the local snow park and visited Boyne Highlands Ski Resort. He also got to enjoy other parts of the country while he was here. He traveled to Key West, Florida; Chicago; Seattle, Washington; Mt. Rushmore; Los Angeles; Las Vegas; Boulder, Colorado; and the Grand Canyon.    

Third Circuit Court would like to wish him well!

On May 9, 2019, Michigan CASA programs met in Lansing to meet with legislators regarding the support of "Court Appointed Special Advocates" (CASA). This was deemed "CASA Day in Lansing." All programs were recognized when the house went into session.
Wayne County has the largest amount of legislators in our district. It was crucial that we were represented to heighten the awareness and the effectiveness of CASA volunteers who advocate for children in foster care. Our legislators and representatives received a personal visit, information, and a verbal presentation about our CASA program and how we effectively advocate for children. This daylong event proved to be highly successful and increased the awareness of the CASA program, as well as the CASA volunteers.
We were very fortunate to have Executive Court Administrator Zenell Brown; Chief Assistant of Administrative Operations, ToieLynn Smith; CASA Executive Director, Roland Smith; and three CASA volunteers, Emily Hall, Mary Droulard and Lacie Melaci, to accompany us and share the importance of the CASA volunteers and advocating for our children in foster care.

On June 5, 2019, the Third Judicial Circuit Court launched the summer intern season with the "Summer Intern Meet & Greet Welcome Luncheon." Following the practice that begun last year when United States District Court Chief Judge Denise Page Hood and Third Judicial Circuit Court Executive Court Administrator Zenell Brown collaborated to coordinate the two intern programs, the luncheon included interns from both courts and was designed to introduce the interns before the schedule officially began.
Third Circuit Judge Edward Ewell and Chief Judge Hood welcomed the interns and discussed the intersection of their careers over the years and the varied opportunities to develop a meaningful career practicing law. Chief Judge Hood also recognized her law clerk, Jim Carroll, who coordinates the law clerk program for the U.S. District Court.
Ideally, the interns, like Judges Hood and Ewell, will develop relationships that will not only assist them in the practice of law but will facilitate lifelong friendships. For now, the Court looks forward to hosting the interns at a series of educational and networking events that will build upon their internship experiences.

National Drug Court Awareness Month

In honor of "National Drug Court Awareness Month," Third Circuit Court's Adult Drug Treatment Court team organized multiple events throughout the month.
During the first week of May, the Adult Drug Treatment Court team, along with members from Veterans Treatment Court, Mental Health Treatment Court and Swift and Sure, distributed pamphlets to the public and employees regarding substance abuse, support groups, and counseling services available throughout the community. Handouts were donated by the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA) and Western Wayne County Families Against Narcotics (FAN).

Pictured (left to right): MHC Case Manager Christopher Whittington, ADTC Case Manager Tamika Lovejoy, Administrative Assistant Carolyn Robbins, MHC Specialty Court Coordinator Kristina Morgan, SSSPP Case Worker Geneva Spivey-Barnett and Manager of Specialty Court Services Yvonne Barnett Greene. Not pictured: VTC Specialty Court Coordinator John Marra, MHC Case Manager Rachael Norwood and ADTC Case Manager Rita Jones.

On May 13th the ADTC team partnered with the Networking, Organizing, and Advocating for the Homeless bag lunch program for the third year in a row. Team members prepared approximately 200 lunches and served approximately 100 members of the community. The Bag Lunch Program is offered Monday through Thursday and has served the downtown Detroit community for over 40 years. The program is designed to begin an ongoing relationship founded on trust and acceptance and is open to anyone without qualifications or restrictions.

Pictured (left to right): ADTC Case Manager Tamika Lovejoy and ADTC Specialty Court Coordinator LaShan Bradley.

On June 5th, the staff at CAYMC celebrated National Doughnut Day where they got to decide who has the best doughnuts: Dutch Girl, Looney Bakery or Avon Doughnuts. In the taste test, Looney Bakery won by one vote beating Dutch Girl. In the test of picking a doughnut by how they looked, Dutch Girl and Avon Doughnuts tied.

National Doughnut Day, or National Donut Day - celebrated in the United States of America, is on the first Friday of June each year, succeeding the Doughnut Day event created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor those of their members who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I. The holiday celebrates the doughnut (a.k.a. "donut") - an edible, torus-shaped piece of dough which is deep-fried and sweetened.

On June 4th, 2019, Juvenile Mental Health Court held their graduation ceremony at the MSU Detroit Center. They are proud to announce that nine participants successfully graduated from the program. The speakers included Justice Megan K. Cavanagh of the Michigan Supreme Court; Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny; and Hodari Pili Tourre Brown, a National Alliance on Mental Illness peer support facilitator. Congratulations to the graduates and their families!

The Friend of the Court has made efforts to be in the community by conducting outreach events throughout the Wayne County area. One of these outreach events is in collaboration with the Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LA SED). The event is held the second Friday of the month at the Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC) at the Mercado located at 2826 Bagley in Southwest Detroit. FOC Attorney Nilda Reinosa is on-site at the Mercado from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to provide walk-in assistance to the community. What is unique about this outreach is that Ms. Reinosa is able to communicate directly with Spanish-speaking litigants without the need of an interpreter, so nothing gets lost in translation.  These services are provided to all who need it, but it is refreshing to see the Friend of the Court reach out to a community that is sometimes overlooked or underrepresented. While this outreach is still growing, there has been increased visibility at the new Mercado location. With community activities taking place at the center, it brings awareness of this opportunity to individuals that perhaps were unaware of the services that are provided by Friend of the Court. 

Professional Development Opportunities Is A Win-Win Opportunity
Third Circuit Court is in its second year of providing in-house training opportunities for conflict resolution, and communication and leadership development. Restorative Practices and Crucial Conversations are a benefit to the organization and bring value because they provide employees with communication and conflict resolution skills and tools that help improve the quality of work, reduce complaints, contribute to increased civility, and an overall improvement in the work environment.
The Court's leadership development training is Supervisory Academy. At the conclusion of completing the Supervisory Academy, each supervisor is assigned to a team led by an Executive Court Administrator Team (ECAT) member so they have the benefit of mentor and peer guidance. Research shows that leadership development benefits an organization by imparting skills that make increased success in the implementation of change management initiatives possible.  An operational strategy that does not have a leadership development strategy closely connected to it will lack staff with the skills to implement it.  Leadership development is also a desired benefit of current and prospective employees and can help attract and retain talent.  Finally, effective leadership is a driver of employee satisfaction, which is a critical element of organizational success.
Court leadership believes that professional development is a win-win opportunity. Trainings and professional development opportunities prepare staff to deliver excellent service and improves the work environment. In addition to the in-house training opportunities, staff are encouraged to speak with the supervisors and identify additional training opportunities offered by various legal and community organizations.
Below are a few testimonials from past Crucial Conversations attendees:

*  I really enjoyed the training.  I had my overdue crucial conversation and it really helped.  Both of us are happy now.


*  The individual and group interactions, practicality of the model, materials were user friendly and the videos were helpful in showing the use of the model.


*  I like that the material learned can be used for more than one type of relationship.  The concepts can be used in personal relationships, as well as work relationships.


*  I liked or appreciated that it is a training that can be applied to more than just a professional training.  I also liked that it opened my eyes to my own behaviors that I was unaware of.