February 2023 Newsletter - Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan


Happy February! The sunshine has been abound, and has provided an extra hour of daylight for those who yearn for longer days. February also commemorates Black History Month. A national month of celebration and observance of Black achievement and the many contributions of so many to help make all people aware of the struggle for freedom and equal opportunity. These achievements are deeply woven into the fabric of Third Circuit Court; home of many firsts for African-Americans and other diverse groups.  

The Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan is hiring for multiple positions. In addition to wages, retirement plan, medical, dental, and vision benefits, the Court offers generous vacation time and has an extensive holiday schedule that includes paid end-of-year shut down.  Additionally, employees of the Court may be eligible for forgiveness of their student loans under the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.  More importantly, if you are service-oriented and have an interest in work that is closely connected to the community, employees of the Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan are rewarded with the satisfaction of participating in the provision of justice in Michigan's largest, most populous county.


The following positions are open:

  • Account Clerk
  • Accountant/Analyst
  • Associate Attorney
  • Case Manager
  • Chief Special Assistant Prosecuting Attorney – Assistant Friend of the Court
  • Domestic Relations Specialist
  • Information Specialist I
  • Judicial Law Clerk I
  • Jury Services Specialist
  • Payments Clerk I and II
  • Pretrial Services Specialist


For more information and to apply, visit our website at https://www.3rdcc.org/job-postings and click on the Careers tab. Please share with anyone who may be interested.

Wayne County Dispute Resolution Center Parent Education Program – Understanding Friend of the Court and Mediation


The Wayne County Dispute Resolution Center is teaming up again with the Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan to provide a Parent Education Program. The Parent Education Training is a way for parents to learn more about the Friend of the Court, potential legal resources, and the opportunity to participate in mediation.


Hosted biweekly on Zoom, the class reviews several topics including the types of cases that Friend of the Court handles, the purpose of Friend of the Court, how a case moves through the process, and how to get information about your case.

This session also covers legal and mediation services available to individuals in Wayne County. Topics range from contact information and resources to the purpose of mediation, the mediation process, the benefits of mediation, and more.

There are also opportunities to ask questions about Friend of the Court, mediation and legal services, and other related topics. The virtual sessions are held every other Tuesday at 6 p.m. Parents may join online at www.zoom.us with Meeting ID 848 9315 7647. For more information, click here.

Child Support Changes Mean Families Receiving Cash Assistance

May See Higher Payments

Some Michigan parents who receive cash assistance will see increases in child support paid to them under a policy change enabled by the state’s fiscal year 2023 budget.

“We’re pleased to place Michigan at the forefront of the movement among states to implement a full pass-through,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of MDHHS, which houses the state’s Office of Child Support. “Putting more money into the accounts of families is especially important right now, with living expenses increasing.”

Currently, MDHHS passes through up to $200 of child support each month to families with two or more children and up to $100 to families with one child. MDHHS keeps a portion of child support payments above those amounts that would be paid to parents who receive cash assistance. This collected money is paid to the federal and state government to offset Family Independence Program expenses. However, federal law permits states to “pass through” child support directly to families instead of using it to recoup the government expenses.

Sending these dollars to families rather than keeping it may increase participation and cooperation with Michigan’s Child Support Program because the paying parents know a portion of what they pay will go to the family instead of the government. The parent or caretaker who receives the child support is also more likely to help the program establish and enforce child support orders instead of bypassing the program through a personal arrangement.

These changes to child support payments will begin in January 2023.

Request for Proposal for Juvenile STAND Program


The Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan Substance Abuse Treatment Services for Participants in the Supervised Treatment for Alcohol and Narcotic Dependency (STAND) Program in the Juvenile Section of the Family Division requests proposals from organizations to provide specified services. The successful contractor will provide some or all of the following services pursuant to a federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Grant, State Court Administrative Office Grant and the Child Care Fund:

  • Substance Abuse Treatment Services
  • Mental Health Services and Screenings
  • Recovery Support Services
  • Health and Wellness
  • Academic Preparation and Building
  • Continuity of Care/Resources
  • Transportation

Selected organizations will serve as Independent Contractors. For further details, the Request for Proposal (RFP) is available on our website at www.3rdcc.org. Deadline for applications is March 24, 2023. Please email any questions to STANDRFP@3rdcc.org.

In celebration of Black History Month, Comerica’s Michigan African American Business Resource Group hosted an empowering event highlighting the life of Dr. Ossian H. Sweet. Mr. Daniel Baxter, CEO of the Dr. Ossian Sweet Foundation, grew up in Dr. Sweet’s former home on Detroit’s east side, setting him on this journey telling the story of Dr. Sweet.

Ossian Sweet’s family were farmers and sent Dr. Sweet north to Ohio to receive his undergraduate degree from Wilberforce College, and later his medical degree from Howard University. Dr. Sweet started practicing medicine in Detroit’s Black Bottom, a predominately Black neighborhood bounded by Gratiot Avenue, Brush Street, the Detroit River, and the Grand Truck railroad tracks. When Dr. Sweet and his wife Gladys’s welcomed their baby girl Iva, they were living with her Gladys’s parents on Detroit’s east side. Dr. Sweet wanted a suitable home of their own to raise their daughter.

Dr. Sweet bought the home located at 2905 Garland, a modest bungalow on a corner with a spacious backyard and an elementary school across the street. The home was in a predominately white neighborhood. Dr. Sweet’s family planned to move in early summer but death threats pushed the move to late summer. The family moved in on September 8, 1925 and were greeted by gawkers checking out the black family that moved into the neighborhood. Then the following day a mob of more than 500 white people descended on the home throwing stones and bricks, breaking windows, and yelling slurs and threats. Fearing for their lives, the inhabitants responded with gun fire trying to scare the mob away. However, a teen was shot in the leg and an adult male was shot in the back and later died. Dr. Sweet and other family members were arrested and charged with murder.

The NAACP became interested in the case and vowed to defend Dr. Sweet and his family. Charles Darrow was Dr. Sweet’s defense attorney in the trial before Judge Frank Murphy using the “castle doctrine” defense, essentially that a man’s house is his castle and that under certain circumstances a person may use lethal and/or nonlethal force against someone who has invaded their home. The trial resulted in a hung jury and the case dismissed. Dr. Sweet’s brother was later acquitted at trial and the prosecution decided not to retry Dr. Sweet.

To learn more about the Ossian Sweet Foundation or to view Mr. Baxter’s documentary, click here.

Left to right: Edna Clark, Daniel Baxter, Jillian Fitzgerald


By Crystal Rose, Human Resources


It has been an initiative at the Court to move towards a more diverse and inclusive culture. The Court’s Diversity & Inclusion mission statement is as follows: “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 introduction of using pronouns is one step towards achievement of this mission. A person’s pronoun relates to their gender identity. According to the GLSEN education organization, pronoun is defined as, “The pronoun or set of pronouns that a person identifies with and would like to be called when their proper name is not being used.”


The focus on pronouns is geared towards respecting others by identifying yourself, and to know how to identify and address others. The objective is to create a more welcoming and inclusive space for people of all genders, including but not limited to transgender, gender nonconforming, gender non-binary people, and people uncomfortable identifying with "he" or "she". Ultimately, you don't want to make incorrect or hurtful assumptions about someone's gender based on their appearance. Just because someone appears feminine or masculine doesn't mean they identify as a man or woman. This article is an introduction to the use of pronouns to help us become familiar with the practice of pronoun-sharing. 


Common Pronouns

Some commonly used pronouns are “she/her/hers,” “he/him/his,” ze/hir/hirs,” and

“they/them/theirs.” Some people prefer no pronouns at all.


There are more traditional gender neutral pronouns you can introduce into your everyday conversation, regardless of the individual. These include "Them", "They", "Their", "Everyone", and "That Person".

Introducing Pronouns

An easy way to bring pronouns into the discussion is to start with yourself. If you’re introducing yourself, include your pronouns. By sharing your own pronouns, you're inviting the other person to share theirs, but not forcing them to. When you first meet someone, you don't want to ask about their pronouns. This could come off as invasive or make them feel uncomfortable, or like you are asking them to out themselves. You can also include pronouns on email signatures, or nametags.


What if I don’t want to share my pronouns?

It is ok if you do not want to share your pronoun. Providing space and opportunity for people to share their pronouns does not mean that everyone will feel comfortable enough to share their pronouns or has to share. In the case that someone has left pronouns off the nametag, email signature or chosen not to share their pronouns, please refrain from using pronouns for that person and refer to the person by Name. 


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.

Watch your email for the March D&I Calendar publication!

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