May 2022 Newsletter - Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan

Facebook and LinkedIn timelines are flooded with pictures and stories of smiling graduates who are celebrating the culmination of their hard work. We are in the season of academic, scholarly, and professional achievement. Third Circuit Court gets to enjoy this season as well. Our jurists, administrators, and supervisors recognize the Court’s graduating interns, host graduation ceremonies for specialty court involved participants and Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers, award the winners of the 2021 Annual Report Cover Contest, and participate in the 2022 Spring New Lawyers’ Swearing-In ceremony. If you have a moment to join us for these events, please do and help us celebrate these individuals and their achievements. And congratulations to you, your children, grandchildren, other family and friends who are graduating from high school, trade and tech school, college, and other schools and programs. Job well done!  
Judge Susan Dabaja was appointed to the Third Circuit Court by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on April 18, 2022. 
In 2013, Judge Dabaja was elected as President of the Dearborn City Council, was reelected in 2017, and serves as Council President until December 2022. 

Prior to joining the bench, Judge Dabaja was a solo practitioner for over 17 years. In her practice, she specialized in family, civil, real estate, contracts, immigration, landlord-tenant, criminal, and bankruptcy law. She offered pro bono services for single and abused mothers, nonprofit institutions, and juveniles. She also served as a mediator and guardian ad litem.
As a young mother, she graduated from the University of Michigan – Dearborn, earning her Bachelor of Science. Judge Dabaja graduated first in her class from the University of Detroit – Mercy School of Law in 2004, earning her Juris Doctorate degree, magna cum laude
Among her many awards and accomplishments, she was inducted in both the Frank Murphy Honor Society and the Alpha Sigma Nu, participated National Jesuit Honor Society, and served as Symposium Editor of the Law Review Board of Directors.
Judge Dabaja remains actively involved in a variety of Community Service Organizations, including the Dearborn Education Foundation, the Dearborn Rotary, and Dearborn Goodfellows.
Susan and her husband Majid are the proud parents of three children – Claudia (22), Joel (18), and Adam (15).
Judge Christopher Michael Blount was appointed to the Third Circuit Court by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on April 18, 2022.
Judge Blount was born and raised on the Westside of Detroit by his parents, Michael (a retired Detroit Police Sergeant) and Sandra (a retired Detroit Public School teacher). He attended and graduated from Detroit Mumford High School and Wayne State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Master of Urban Planning, and a Juris Doctorate. 
As an art student at Wayne State University, Judge Blount successfully had two of his works displayed in the student show. Wayne State University is also where he developed a particular sensitivity to issues dealing with the urban environment, and was supplied an opportunity to study in South Africa. As a law student, he was elected to the law school’s student board of governors. He was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 2007, and managed a law practice that consisted of criminal and probate law from 2007 until 2017.
As a criminal attorney and a personal victim of armed robbery, Judge Blount saw the hardships of the city as a way to serve his community and make change. This desire for change is what led him to pursue a judgeship in the City of Detroit. He was appointed Judge of 36th District Court by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in March of 2017.   
He is a lifelong Detroiter and believes in being involved with organizations that empower and uplift the community. These organizations include: American Federation of Teachers, Association of the Black Judges of Michigan, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, St. John Church, University District Community Association, and the Belle Isle Conservancy. Most recently, Judge Blount has been added to the faculty of Wayne County Community College as an Adjunct Professor and is an executive board member of the Wayne State University Law School, Black Law Alumni Council (BLAC)
Friend of the Court Presentation Series

Wayne County Friend of the Court teamed up with Wayne County Fatherhood Initiative and The Children’s Center to present a series on the Friend of the Court processes and procedures. Those in attendance can learn about how to file a motion, how to contact the Friend of the Court, how to make child support payments and changes to the FOC processes and procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation was Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 5:30 p.m.  Those who wish to view a video of the presentation can access it at the Court’s website under News and Announcements at or via YouTube at  
The Detroit Bar Association hosted the 2022 State of the Court address. This event was held in the community for the first time, and over 160 lawyers, judges, and court professionals, stakeholders, and partners registered.

Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny and Chief Judge Pro Tem Patricia Fresard shared the current state of Third Circuit Court, acknowledging the accomplishments of the Court and the many lawyers who practice in the Court. They discussed the plans for the Court as we continue to transition out of the COVID pandemic.

Kevin Boyle was the keynote speaker for the event. A native Detroiter, Professor Boyle spoke on the racial history of Detroit and the case of Ossian Sweet, an African-American doctor who was charged with murder in 1925 after he and his friends used armed self-defense against a hostile white mob protesting after Sweet moved into their neighborhood. Professor Boyle is the author of the novel Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, an electrifying story about the1925 murder trial that divided the city and ignited the civil rights struggle. Professor Boyle is a William Smith Mason Professor of American History at Northwestern University.
Cristo Rey Interns

The Cristo Rey interns, Christianna Nelson and Emilio Zuniga, have completed their remote assignment, attended their prom, and buckling down for their last finals. Over the past 9 months, the individual Executive Court Administrative team (the ECATs) members have given them an up close and personal view into the third branch of government. The ECATs have shared about the various career opportunities, the jurisdiction of the various state courts, and the importance of jury service and voting. Christianna and Emilio are now ambassadors for the Court and justice, letting family and fellow students know TV court is not an accurate depiction of court operations and that jury service and voting for judicial candidates are important. Christianna plans to head to Wayne State University and Emilio to Henry Ford College in the fall. With the generous support of the Mediation Tribunal Association and retired Chief Judge Robert J. Colombo, Jr., the Court is able to participate in the internship program. 

As spring is here and it is warming up, Third Circuit Court employees are getting out and enjoying the weather. On May 7th, Jalona Colvard, Jeannette Heacox, Mark Knight, and Connie Molinaro, along with their family and friends, came downtown to run/walk the I Ran the D 5k. The race started in front of Comerica and after you finish, you get to walk through the tunnel of Comerica down along the outfield.
If you would like to feature your pic enjoying the great outdoors or other ways you are channeling your energy in hobbies, please send your photo to
On Saturday, May 14, the Salvation Army William Booth Legal Aid Clinic held its 10th Annual Zoo Walk.

Amy Roemer serves as the Executive Director and each year provides services to hundreds of low income families in domestic relations proceedings. The Zoo walk is the Clinic’s biggest fundraiser, and the commitment of sponsors, judges, and the legal community help ensure that the Clinic will continue into its 29th year of providing legal services to those in need throughout the metro Detroit area. 

At the Detroit Bar Association’s Annual Meeting on June 16th at the Roostertail, the bench and bar will celebrate Amy as she receives the prestigious Frank Murphy Award. 

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

Sandra Tates, Retiree, served the Court as a Probation Officer in the Juvenile Status Department of Family – Juvenile. 

Retired Hon. Paul Stephen Teranes, served as a Judge in the Court’s Civil 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

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.

JUNE 2022

LGBTQIA+Q Pride  - June 1 - 30
National Say Something Nice Day  - June 1
World Bicycle Day  - June 3
Shavuot – or the Feast of Weeks - June 4 - 6
Pentecost - June 5
Flag Day - June 14
Juneteenth Day - June 19
Father’s Day  - June 19
Stonewall Riots Anniversary  - June 28

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