SEPTEMBER  2019 
September 2019 Newsletter Headlines
Jury Services Highlights
The Wayne County Friend of the Court POWER (Providing Opportunities for Work, Education and Respect) Court program held its 9th annual graduation on August 5th to celebrate five successful graduates of the program. POWER Court is a special problem-solving court program with the mission of building a generation of financially and emotionally involved parents by providing resources to help ensure they are better able to make financial contributions and establish emotional bonds in the best interests of their children.  POWER Court enrollment is voluntary and contingent upon the child support payer in a case being a Wayne County resident with at least one actively cycling child support obligation.  Referrals to the program can be made by emailing
(Pictured are POWER Court Referee, Stephanie Witucki; Senior Domestic Relations Specialist, LaDonna Cato-Floyd; and POWER Court graduate, Mcarthur Phenix)   
3-on-3 Basketball Tournament & Family Fun Day
On August 30th, The Third Circuit Court - Clinic for Child Study held their 20th Annual Basketball Tournament & Family Fun Day at Tindal Recreational Center in Detroit. The tournament allowed consumers not only to showcase their basketball skills, but also for them to play and think as a team while utilizing appropriate social skills. This year there were 16 consumers (14 males and 2 females) who participated in the tournament. There were nine parents and 18 siblings present to cheer their team on to victory.   In addition, there were a total of 27 consumers, parents, and siblings that participated in the Family Fun Day. There was face painting, board games, Painting with a Twist, arts and crafts, etc. It was a fun-filled day for everyone. Everyone who attended the event was provided a T-shirt and candy bag.
All participants in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament received a medal of participation and trophies for the teams that placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The most outstanding player received the MVP trophy.
After the tournament everyone was served lunch that was catered by Eastpointe Manor.

Day In Court    
The Resource Network
Friend of the Court 
The Friend of the Court has partnered with The Resource Network to bring child support services to its participants and the general public. The Resource Network's mission is to cultivate and educate the unemployed and underemployed of various disadvantaged and specialized populations utilizing a holistic approach. The organization specializes in recruitment, comprehensive assessment and evaluation, realistic occupational career planning, goal-setting, employment preparation, job placement, and retention.
The Friend of the Court outreach occurs on every 3rd Tuesday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 11816 Jos Campau, Hamtramck, MI 48212. Individuals will meet one-on-one with a FOC staff member who will be able to remotely access their case information in the Michigan Child Support Enforcement System and provide case details.

Hon. Denise Page Hood, Chief United States District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan is being honored at the 15th Annual Dennis W. Archer Public Service Award Gala on November 14, 2019 at the Detroit Yacht Club. For additional information, contact the Detroit Bar Association at

Yellow Stripes

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By the time this newsletter goes to print fall will be here and the last days of summer will be gone.  Fall is a transitional time, the Court runs on an October-September operational year.  By fall we have discussed the lessons learned from the prior year, the best practices, and emerging trends.  We pay particular attention to feedback from the public.  It is critical that we know what the jurors, attorneys, parties, and court users have to say about our services.  We collected that data through multiple channels: business court surveys to practitioners, surveys to our family court partners and users, daily surveys to jurors, and our annual public satisfaction survey.  We read the letters we receive.  We even had an opportunity to hear from past and potential jurors on the airways of Superstation 910 AM.  We've incorporated the feedback from court users in our jury summons acknowledging we appreciate our jurors and we need those summoned to appear.  Our jury facilities have been updated so jurors have access to phones and emails, our Business Court operations improved so we have additional judicial resources and more published opinions, and our assistance for self-represented litigants increased so they have access to the Self-Help Center services five days a week.
We aim to be a national leader in court performance and the administration of justice.  We aim for our Court to be recognized for:
  • Using innovative and best practices;
  • Building trust and confidence in the judicial branch; and
  • Providing exemplary public service, programs, and work environment, including professional facilities and effective technology
We are on our way and we look forward to serving you in the year ahead and many years to come.

We are pleased to share that Judge Lucile Watts will be inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame as part of a stellar 2019 class! 
Third Circuit Court's Historical Committee nominated Judge Watts because of her impact both as a woman and a woman of color in the law. Judge Watts was the first black woman to serve on the Circuit Court in Michigan. She was elected to the Third Circuit Court in 1980. She was a founding member of the Black Judges Association of Michigan. Additionally, Judge Watts had an exemplary history of service off the bench as well. She served on the Board of Focus: HOPE for over 20 years, as well as a lifetime Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
The induction celebration will take place on November 7th at TCF Center in Detroit.  Ticket information is forthcoming.

Third Judicial Circuit Court would like to welcome our newest Japanese Judge, Judge Masahiro Dogauchi. He graduated from the University of Tokyo Law School and has been hearing criminal cases as an associate judge on a panel in Osaka District and Family Courts. His theme for his research while he visits our Court is well-organized proceedings for prompt judicial decision and alternative dispute resolution. Please join the Court in welcoming Judge Dogauchi.
The 2019 Summer Intern Tour sessions began with a visit to the Family Division-Domestic Relations Section. The interns met Friend of the Court Erin Lincoln, who provided an overview of the operation of the Office of the Friend of Court and the many different departments that work together to help families work towards the best interests of their children. Ms. Lincoln's Administrative Assistant, Lori Kaczmarek, took the interns on a tour of the various FOC Departments, ending in Presiding Judge Kathleen McCarthy's courtroom. Judge McCarthy offered the interns examples of daily cases to help explain Family Division Court processes and procedures and what attorneys should do when appearing in her courtroom. Ref. Lauren Middleton and FOC Attorneys Ms. Dominique Peacock, Ms. Adrienne Scruggs, and Ms. Jamie Bissell built upon Judge McCarthy's presentation and offered the interns examples of what a typical day would look like for them, as well as specific things they should not do as attorneys practicing in the Family Division.  

Attorney Alex Green, of the Mediation Tribunal, also spoke with the interns. He indicated that he is a new attorney who recently graduated from law school. Showing the ties that bind the legal community, Judge McCarthy pointed out that Mr. Green was a former student of hers at UDM Law School. Mr. Green also described his experience looking for employment and his position with the Mediation Tribunal. He presented the interns with Mediation Tribunal hats emblazoned with the Scales of Justice, a fitting gift for the interns.
The interns next toured the Criminal Division at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. There the interns met Judge Lawrence Talon and observed a jury trial in his courtroom. Judge Talon spoke with the interns before the proceedings began. He described his passion for his service as a Prosecutor and how it led to his appointment as a Judge. During a break in the trial, Judge Talon answered questions and offered the interns advice on trial practice. In describing the court, Judge Talon described how the courtroom is similar to a theatre. Touching upon staging, Judge Talon noted that there are specific spots where an attorney should stand when addressing either the jury or a witness, like the marks an actor hits when on stage doing a play.

Karen Smith, Administrative Assistant to Deputy Court Administrator Alisa Shannon, took the interns on a tour of the building to see the many departments that compose the Criminal Division. During lunch, the interns met Presiding Judge Prentis Edwards, Jr.'s, law clerk William Predhomme, who offered insight into his career path from law school graduate to working with the judge. DCA Shannon provided the interns with the history of Frank Murphy and the Criminal Division. She spoke about her time with the court and her journey to her current position. Judge Talon also joined the interns for lunch, while listening to Josef Funchess, Sauda Ahmad, and Linda Sims from the Office of General Counsel who spoke about their positions supporting the Criminal Division judges. The attorneys spoke about their different career paths, their efforts to become effective writers while in school, and taking advantage of internship opportunities as a means to gain insight into the law and making connections within the profession.
This is the second summer that Chief Judge Denise Page Hood of the U.S. District Court and Executive Court Administrator Zenell Brown have collaborated to conjoin the two court summer internship programs. All interns involved with either summer program were given the opportunity to participate in any event on the Summer Internship Calendars at both Courts. This open invitation to both Court's events gave the interns more networking opportunities to Judges and exposure to each court's processes and procedures, adding to their summer intern experience.

Back 2 School Bash

On August 22nd, there were 107 consumers and their families who came out for all the activities.
Special thanks to our Back 2 School Supply Sponsors: MCLC, Child Advocacy Nonprofit, CASA, The National Association of Negro & Professional Women's Club, and Helping Hands of Wayne County who donated: 57 gift cards, 126 backpacks filled with school supplies, hygiene items, and one tablet. In addition, six youth received dental care services from mobile dental, 16 youth received haircuts, and 15 parents received mini massages.
Four gift baskets, hygiene sets were raffled off to consumers. Activities included clowns, face painting, music, arts & crafts, games, drumming, candy bags, ice cream, and delicious food for our consumers and their families.
A special thank you to all the court staff that volunteered, as well as the Wayne County Clerk staff that were able to join in the festivities.
An additional 40 backpacks were received on September 12th from the Detroit Club of the National Association of Negro & Professional Women's Club (President Barbara Jean Patton) and will be handed out to those youth who did not attend the Back 2 School Bash and are still in need of a backpack and supplies.

Summer Intern in Jury Services
In the summer of 2019, the Jury Services Department participated in the InnovateGov Internship Program through Michigan State University. The Summer Intern for 2019 was Zoe Bougatsos. Zoe is a Political Science major with a minor in Human Behavior and Social Services. Zoe began the internship on June 3rd, working Monday through Thursday, at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center Jury office.
She reviewed and corresponded jury survey results, reviewed and made recommendations for change to the jury summons, assisted with the backlog of undeliverable questionnaires, participated in outreach events, served as consultant for jury matters that may appeal to the youth, reviewed the jury process from orientation to jury selection and delivery of a verdict, and shadowed the Prosecutor's Office in the Criminal Division.
The internship ended with a presentation of deliverables which included a manual for delivery of mock trials for youth outreach. The internship concluded on August 8th. The Jury Services Department extends its gratitude to the MSU InnovateGov Program and extends a special thank you to Zoe Bougatsos for a job well done!
The InnovateGov Internship Program through Michigan State University was able to place 50 undergraduate and master-level students last summer with 20 amazing partners, including the Third Circuit Court. Those 50 students helped save 1,000 homes from foreclosure, improved the 2020 Census process so that all residents are counted, developed new strategies to attract and retain teachers, and launched a system to connect local businesses in the City, to name a few of their contributions. As a bonus, more than 20 MSU students accepted full-time positions in civic institutions throughout Detroit.
Jury Service Highlights
On average 2,500 people appear for juror service each week at the Third Circuit Court. Jurors are critical to the judicial process and the Court appreciates all those who answer their summons and show up to serve.
The Court has undertaken efforts to improve the juror experience. The Third Circuit Court's Frank Murphy Hall of Justice Criminal Division has expanded the jury assembly room to include additional space for juror orientation and for jurors to wait pending their call to the courtroom or during the lunch hour. The additional space is located in courtrooms 203 and 204. As the current rules prohibit court users from bringing electronics into the building, the assembly area is equipped with telephones and computers.
Juror Satisfaction Surveys
In an effort to improve the juror's experience, the Jury Services Department surveys all jurors at the end of their service. The questions and responses from June 2019 are as follows:
Community Outreach
Outreach efforts continue! The Jury Commissioners and staff attend various events throughout the year to discuss the importance of appearing for jury duty, what to do when a jury summons is received, and what to do if you are a victim of a jury duty scam. Most recently, the Jury Commissioners and staff joined the Self-Help Center and Specialty Court Services at Council President Brenda Jones's 10th Annual Detroit Senior Citizens Informational Summit at Erma Henderson Park on July 25th.
The Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division, Prentis Edwards Jr., along with Judge Mariam Bazzi are working diligently to spread the word on the importance of jury service and to listen to the public's concerns about jury service. On April 27th, Judge Edwards, Judge Bazzi, and Jury Services Director Yvette Blackmon appeared on the Judge Nance Show on 910 AM to discuss jury services. Several listeners called in and stated that the language of the summons felt threatening and intimidating. Although the summons reflected the statutory language, Court leadership also thought it equally important to thank the potential jurors receiving the notice in advance for making the time to serve.  
Juror Appreciation Month
The Michigan Supreme Court has designated July as Juror Appreciation Month. In honor of Juror Appreciation Month, jurors were given candy, a Third Circuit Court pen, and other small swag as a token of appreciation. The Third Circuit Court recognizes the valuable part jurors play in the judicial process and will continue to work and identify ways to improve the juror experience.
The Third Circuit Court Diversity and Inclusion Team's Mission Statement: 
"We appreciate our common connection and respect our diverse and unique human experiences. We move forward as an inclusive organization as we provide accessible and equal justice."
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.

October 2019
World Vegetarian Day and Homemade Cookie Day - October 1
International Day of Nonviolence - October 2
World Habitat Day and Child Health Day - October 7
World Mental Health Day - October 10
National Coming Out Day - October 11
Sukkot - October 13-20
Canadian Thanksgiving Day - October 14
National Indigenous Peoples Day - October 14
Sweetest Day - October 19
Multicultural Diversity Day - October 21
United Nations Day - October 24
Halloween - October 31