April 2022 Newsletter - Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan

April has been a busy month. There have been several changes on the Bench.
Judge Lawrence Talon in the Criminal Division retired. Judge Christopher Blount and Judge Susan Debaja joined the Third Circuit Court. Their bios are forthcoming.

The Court Appointed Special Advocate program is now an independent nonprofit program with the goal of increasing the number of families served, new health screening and safety protocols were implemented, and jury trials increased for both the Criminal and Civil Divisions. It’s been busy, busy, busy, and positive and productive!

Thank you for your hard work to help reduce backlogs! Please take a few moments to enjoy April’s Court news and updates.
Referee Raeigen Evans of the Family Division-Juvenile Court has been appointed to a judgeship at the 36th District Court in Detroit! As she leaves Third Circuit Court, Ref. Evans wrote these words for her Third Circuit Court colleagues and friends: “I am so honored to have been appointed by Governor Whitmer to serve my fellow citizens of Detroit in this new capacity. I am extremely grateful to the Third Judicial Circuit Court for preparing me for this judgeship through my years of work as a referee. The judges that I worked under and my fellow referees have been exemplary jurists.” 

Referee Evans, your hard work, commitment, and pursuit of excellence have brought you to this moment. We are happy for you and know that you will be an asset to the 36th District Court.
Welcome Robyn Roberts, Wayne County CASA Executive Director!
A native Michigander, Robyn recently moved back home after living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has spent the past decade of her social work career advocating for children and families in a variety of nonprofit settings. Most recently, she held the first Executive Director position at Marin CASA, a successful startup CASA program located in Marin County, CA. Robyn comes to Wayne County CASA with a deep understanding of child welfare; she is extremely passionate about the incredible role a CASA volunteer plays in providing a voice for the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in the system. 
Robyn holds a BA from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University in New York. She resides in Oakland County with her husband, twin children, and two dogs. Robyn is honored to join the team at Wayne County CASA!
Everyday Heroes

Remove the mask, cape, shield, and cool gadgets and what do you have? Ordinary people doing extraordinary things, one heroic act at a time. The Third Circuit Court has its share of heroes making a difference by doing their job. The heroic acts of Deborah Nelson, Program Coordinator for the Juvenile Mental Health Court (JMHC) Program, did not go unnoticed. She was honored at a luncheon during the Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professions (MATCP) conference on March 31, 2022. Deborah was recognized for her dedication to improving the lives of youth and their families that suffer from mental health disorders. As a result, she was presented with the 2021 Hero Award in Recognition for her outstanding service to Michigan Treatment Courts. Deborah was joined by Zenell Brown, Executive Court Administrator, and The Honorable Edward Joseph, Presiding Judge for the Juvenile Section of the Family Division, to celebrate this momentous occasion. Deborah was nominated by Kevin Fischer of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a vital supporter of the JMHC Program. Below is a link to see the complete ceremony. 

In Loving Memory:
Your presence we miss, your memory we treasure, loving you always, forgetting you never.

Retired Hon. Prentis Edwards, Sr. served as a Judge in the Court’s Criminal Division. 
The Court system is able to operate effectively because it works collaboratively with various judicial partners. The Wayne County Clerk is one of the partners the Court works with closely. The Court Clerk, the File Clerks, and the managers ensure court documents are filed, processed, and retained according to Michigan statutes and court rules. 

Like the Court, the County Clerk Office had to pivot and navigate to the new normal over the past two years. The Clerk’s Office processes over 60,000 filings a year using a combination of eFiling, electronic filing, and in-person filing services. County Clerks staff the 58 courtrooms, answering phones, calling matters on the record, scheduling matters, updating the Register of Actions, and processing orders and other court documents. Each discrete activity ensures justice is carried out for the parties and the Wayne County Citizens. 

The Third Circuit Court acknowledges and values Ms. Cathy Garrett and the continued partnership of the Wayne County Clerk Office team. 

The Wayne County Clerk team stands ready to assist court filers and those seeking access to risks. If there are questions regarding these services, please call (313) 967-6938.

By the way, the Clerk’s Office has openings on their team and are seeking those with an interest in public service. Details on these opportunities may be found at https://www.waynecounty.com/departments/phr/job-postings.aspx.

The Third Circuit Court Diversity and Inclusion Team’s Mission: "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.

MAY 2022
May Day – May 1
Law Day – May 1
National Infertility Survival Day – May 1
Foster Care Day – May 3
World Press Freedom Day – May 3
Skilled Trades Day – May 4
Cinco De Mayo – May 5
National Day of Prayer – May 5
National Nurses Day – May 6
Military Spouse Appreciation Day – May 6
Birth Mother’s Day – May 7
Birthday of Buddha – May 8
Mother’s Day - May 8
Fibromyalgia Awareness Day – May 12
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day – May 14
National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day – May 16
HIV Vaccine Awareness Day – May 18
Armed Forces Day - May 21
Missing Children’s Day – May 25
Senior Health & Fitness Day – May 25
Multiple Sclerosis Day – May 30
Memorial Day - May 30
Small Business Week – First Week in May
Nurses Week – May 6 to May 12
Public Service Recognition Week – Begins first Sunday of May
Teacher Appreciation Week – First Monday through Friday in May
National Police Week – Week of May 15th
National Emergency Medical Services Week – Third Full Week of May
ALS Awareness Month
Asian/Pacific Heritage Month
Jewish American Heritage Month
Mental Health Awareness Month
Brain Cancer and Brain Tumor Awareness Month
Foster Care Month
Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Local Activities and Highlights
Many local organizations host activities and play an ongoing role in holidays and observances listed above.
Cinco De Mayo – May 5
Celebrate by attending Fiesta Detroit: Annual Cinco De Mayo festival. More information at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fiesta-detroit-annual-cinco-de-mayo-festival-tickets-297304875887.
The Mexican Patriotic Committee of Metropolitan Detroit will host the 57th Annual Cinco de Mayo Parade on Sunday, May 1, 2022. The 2.2-mile parade route will start from Springwells Street and will travel east along W. Vernor ending at W. Grand Boulevard. The parade will begin at noon. A cultural and musical fiesta is also planned at Bagley and 21st Streets from noon-7pm on Saturday, April 30th & Sunday, May 1st.
Combine your Cinco De Mayo celebration with a Fun Run for Mental Health Awareness by participating in the Cinco de Mile on Sunday, May 1, 2022. More information can be found here: https://runsignup.com/Race/MI/Detroit/DTLpresentsCincodeMile.
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day – May 14
Many local letter carriers collect non-perishable foods on this day. Visit https://www.nalc.org/community-service/food-drive for more information or to see if your letter carrier is participating.
Memorial Day Weekend – May 28-30
A popular festival over Memorial Day weekend is back in person in 2022. The Movement electronic music festival is back in Hart Plaza this year. More information can be found at: https://www.movementfestival.com/.

The Diversity & Inclusion Plan can be found on the Court’s website or clicking below.