JUNE   2020 
June 2020 Newsletter Headlines
Suspension of the Visiting Judge from Japan Program
In February of this year, OOSUKA Hiroyuki, The Director of the Secretary Division, General Secretariat of the Supreme Court of Japan, regretfully informed Third Circuit Court that Japan is not able to send a judge to our court for the 2020-21 year.  On behalf of the Court, Chief Judge Kenny expressed sadness and shared that the judges and court staff have truly enjoyed the opportunity to interact and learn from visiting judges. 
Judge Toshinobu Akiyama was the very first judge to visit the Third Circuit Court in 1972.  Since that time, the Court has hosted over 46 judges since the inception of the Visiting Judge from Japan Program.  The Court plans to continue to share information about the court programs and operations with the Supreme Court of Japan and looks forward to the program resuming.  For the Court's 2019 Annual Report, the Court will do a special tribute for this program and welcome photos and stories that judges and staff wish to contribute.  Those may be sent to Jeannette Heacox at 
Justice Requires the Jurors
Justice requires the participation of citizens.
The right to a trial by jury by one's peers is a critical safeguard of the individual liberties of an accused. As a cross-section of the community, the jury through group deliberation, free from outside influence, determines the innocence or guilt of the accused. Criminal Justice requires the participation of jurors. The Third Circuit Court sends out over 150,000 jury summons each year.
To protect the health of the citizens reporting and serving as jurors and others involved in the jury trial process during the coronavirus pandemic, the Court suspended jury trials. The only other record of a suspension of jury trials to this extent was during the Spanish flu in 1919.
The Court is being very thoughtful and measured about resuming jury trials. During the courthouse cleanings, the jury assembly and deliberation rooms have been deep cleaned. The Jury Service and Court Administration have reached out to local and national resources. Judges have participated in a state workgroup. The goal is to ensure the safety of jurors, attorneys, judges, parties, court personnel, and court users.
As the local health departments are showing the numbers for positive diagnoses for coronavirus is decreasing and the resources for testing and treatment are available, the Court is convening a workgroup of facility, jury services administrators, attorneys, and judges to talk about next steps to ensure a safe return to jury service. The group will address logistics such as scheduling jurors, entry to the courthouses, seating, updates in the questionnaire, the PPE, and ongoing cleaning.
The Court invites the public and groups who serve the public to participate and provide input and ask questions regarding resuming jury services. Questions and concerns can be sent to:
The Court will continue to provide updates on Resuming Jury Trials on our website -
Before the doors of the jury assembly room reopen, Third Circuit Court is committed to ensuring it is safe to do so.



Important Court Phone Numbers
The following phone numbers are offered should there be questions about available court services.

Juvenile Division - (313) 833-4777

Domestic Relations and FOC - 
(313) 224-6639

FOC payments - 1-844-785-7593

Criminal Division - (313) 224-2437

Civil and Case Processing - 
(313) 224-5255

Court Administration - (313) 224-5261

Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny - 
(313) 224-5430

Jury Service has been suspended until the week of August 17, 2020.  If you have received a summons or a postcard advising to appear prior to August 17, 2020, you do not have to appear. If you have additional questions, please contact Jury Services at (313) 224-0244 and/or (313) 224-0667.
In Loving Memory:
Your presence we miss, your memory we treasure, loving you always, forgetting you never.
Calvin Jackson
served the Court as a Pretrial Services Specialist.  Calvin worked for the court for  
33 years.

Yellow Stripes

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During the past weeks, our community and nation have experienced an immeasurable amount of hurt and sadness.  The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of George Floyd have been profound.  We are at a crossing watered with tears, but there is hope and a future. As an institution, we are defining and forging ahead toward a new normal.  In our new normal, we will continue to uplift diversity and inclusion.  We will continue to build trust and confidence in our Court and in the judicial branch of government.  With renewed energy, we will continue to fulfill our mission of accessible and equal justice.  Our future lies before us, and it is promising. 

Judge Masahiro Dogauchi Returns to Japan
Judge Masahiro Dogauchi (Judge Masa) from the Osaka District and Family Courts was our most recent visiting judge from Japan.   When the coronavirus struck Michigan in March, Judge Massa's year at the Court was unexpectedly ended and he returned home to Osaka-hu, Japan.  As we were unable to say formal goodbyes, Court Administration reached out to ensure he had safely returned and to see how he was doing. 
Judge Masa responded he self-quarantined when he reached Japan and then began a temporary job issuing warrants for detention and granting bail at Tokyo district court.  Like us, he wears a mask the whole workday and agrees it takes time getting use to that. 
As Japan is gradually going back to normal or finding its new normal, Judge Masa is awaiting his wife's arrival from Scotland near the end of the month and may prepare to move to another court.  He closes his communication that he looks forward to seeing our court hearings on Zoom.

The Third Circuit Court was able to use technology to participate in the first ever statewide swearing in ceremony and reception.  Chief Judge Kenny presided over the reception and delivered a keynote to the new attorneys.  The Presiding Judges dispensed encouragement and advice for the attorneys who may be appearing in the Third Circuit Court.  Joanne Geha Swanson, President of the Detroit Bar Association and Detroit Bar's Barrister Katherine Brink Harrison welcomed the candidates to the Detroit legal community and extended a one year complimentary Detroit Bar membership.  Like the old movie saying goes, "The show must go one," and it certainly did as the judges, dignitaries, friends, and families had the opportunity to welcome the spring 2020 State Bar Passers to the Bar!  

The Michigan Supreme Court - Statewide Admissions Ceremony

Congratulations to the 2019 Annual Report Cover 
Contest Winners
Usually this time of year, the Chief Judge is visiting the schools to go present the awards and congratulate our Annual Report Cover Contest winners. 
On June 2nd, Chief Judge Kenny and Executive Court Administrator Zenell Brown, via Zoom, were able to congratulate and talk with the winners.  They were also joined by Commissioner Glenn Anderson and their teacher
Mr. Mark Benglian.

Darian Hopper - 1st Place winner with his family

Hayla Thurmand - 2nd Place winner with her mom

Lance Church - 3rd Place winner with his mom

For your safety and convenience, the Friend of the Court offers the following customer service options as an alternative to in-person contact:
  • You may call the Friend of the Court Call Center at (844) 785-7593 to speak with a customer service representative.  The Call Center offers a courtesy call back option.
  • You may call the Michigan State Disbursement Unit at (877) 543-2660 for payment information only.
  • Respondents may call (313) 224-4066 to try to resolve a Friend of the Court civil child support bench warrant by telephone. 
  • Customers in need of walk-in assistance may leave a voicemail at (313) 224-2184 or email A Friend of the Court child support professional will return your call or voicemail within two (2) business days.
  • If you have experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, you may request a FOC support review by emailing  You may also file a motion to modify child support.  Forms are available at
  • You may make child support payments by:
    • Mail to the MiSDU, P.O. Box 30351, Lansing, MI 48909-7851
  • Attorneys may contact a Friend of the Court child support worker by telephone at (313) 224-5295 or email at