May 2023 Newsletter - Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan


How often have we heard April showers bring May flowers, but with flowers May brings so much more! New month, a new beginning, new mindset, new focus, new start, new celebrations, new intentions, new results, and new opportunities to make a difference.

Bye April, thanks for the memories. Hello May, I look forward to making new ones. Let’s remember our mothers, celebrate our graduates, plant something beautiful and help to create a blossoming moment in someone else’s life.

Hello, flowers. Hello, sun. Hello, May!

Hello May! Be good to me!

Hello May. Please Be Awesome!

Hello May! Bring love & happiness in our lives!

Keep Calm And Hello May!

Hello, May! Spring is here!

Third Circuit Court Criminal Division Pretrial Services Welcomes Two New Employees – Ruby Smith and Marjon Pierrie


Ruby Smith recently joined Pretrial Services as a Pretrial Services Specialist. She is a graduate of Central State University with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice. She obtained her Associates in Criminal Justice-Corrections from Rhodes State College. She was born and raised in Detroit and is the youngest of three siblings. Ruby had an original aspiration to go into dentistry that eventually was replaced by working in the Criminal Division. As a pre-teen she was a part of a mock trial with Hampton Middle School that took place inside Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. She was one of the witnesses for the mock trial; and when it was her turn to get on the stand, she completely forgot all of her lines because she was so amazed at how big and important the courtroom and the entire courthouse was. Since that day it was her dream to work at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice; and we could not be more thrilled to have her as a part of the team. 

Marjon Pierrie recently joined Pretrial Services as a Pretrial Services Specialist. Marjon graduated Cum Laude from Purdue University majoring in Legal (Pre-Law). She is in the process of completing the Business Management graduate program. Prior to coming to the Court, Marjon worked in the lending sector including, mortgages, resolutions, account research, collections, and investigations. She has volunteered in the CASA program; and is glad to be employed with the Court and serving the community.

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.


For more information and to apply, visit our website at and click on the Careers tab. Please share with anyone who may be interested.

Office of Child Support Enforcement

Commissioner Tanguler Gray Visits Wayne County

On Wednesday, April 26, 2023, Wayne County Friend of the Court (FOC) was honored to host Tanguler Gray, Commissioner of the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), for a presentation and conversation with Friend of the Court staff. In the morning, Commissioner Gray spoke to Friend of the Court staff and Family Domestic Relations Judges about her priorities and vision for OCSE. Commissioner Gray’s priorities relate to extending flexibilities to child support programs during public emergencies (like the one recently experienced with COVID), improving the collaboration with Tribal child support programs and reinvesting in programs that support fathers and further employment. Friend of the Court staff were able to ask Commissioner Gray questions and engage in conversation with her. Also present was the Child Support Director for the State of Michigan, Erin Frisch. In the afternoon, Commissioner Gray traveled to the campus of Wayne State University and spoke with leaders in fatherhood programs. This was Commissioner Gray’s first visit to Detroit and hopefully will not be her last!

Pictured are Wayne County Friend of the Court Erin Lincoln, State of Michigan Child Support Director Erin Frisch, Commissioner Tanguler Gray and Presiding Judge of Family Domestic Relations Melissa Cox

2023 Law Day

On May 3, the Court welcomed students from five Wayne County high schools for the first in-person Law Day since 2019. Students from Cass Tech, Dearborn, Northeastern, Osborn, and University of Detroit Jesuit participated in mock oral arguments addressing the issue of high school students’ First Amendment rights in the use of social media. Students were also given the opportunity to participate in an essay contest on that topic. Chief Judge Patricia Perez Fresard welcomed the students, and sixteen Court volunteers, plus volunteer attorneys from the Detroit Bar Association’s Barristers Section, ensured that students enjoyed a fun and informative Law Day. Judges Smith, Hubbard, Ewell, Testani, Lillard, Heise, Gibson, and Berry hosted the students in their courtrooms, offering guidance regarding their oral arguments and general information on the court system and practice of law. Courtroom staff also shared information with the students regarding their respective roles in the courtroom. Law Day provides a hands-on civics experience for high school students and is a great opportunity to spark their interest in the legal profession. A big thank you to all the judges that hosted mock trials and a special thanks to all of the court staff that helped make this event possible – Lisa Stroud, Lynn Reeves, Sonya Powers, Connie Molinaro, Nicole Fluellen, Rosalind Stokely, Mark Knight, Cheryl McGill-McNeary, Saundra Poe-Wheeler, Dianne Wilson, Manuwella Jones, Cara Lee, and Constance Johnson!

Southeastern Michigan Family Support Council


The Southeastern Michigan Family Support Council held its Annual Spring Conference on Friday, May 12, 2023, at MacRay Banquet Center in Harrison Township, MI. The Southeast Region includes Lenawee, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne County. Twenty-four Wayne County Friend of the Court staff members attended the conference. Attendees received interstate and customer service training, as well as legislative and Office of Child Support updates. Michigan Family Support Council welcomed 3 new officers to represent Wayne County – Torrece Simpson for Establishment and Jonn Walinske and Paula Blackwell for Friend of the Court – who will join current officer LaDonna Cato-Floyd.  

(Pictured left to right: Paula Blackwell, Torrece Simpson, LaDonna Cato-Floyd, Jonn Walinske

Family Division Staff Present to Wayne Law School Students

On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, Judges, Referees, Attorneys and Staff from both Family Juvenile and Family Domestic Relations presented to Wayne State University Law Students about what it is like to work at Third Judicial Circuit Court. Law students were invited to a zoom presentation and question and answer period to hear from those who work at the Court about what their day to day job entails, what benefits of working for the court are and tips on getting jobs with the Court. The presentation was part of a program to create a pipeline for law students to gain employment with the Court.

Pictured are Chief Special Assistant Prosecuting Attorney-Assistant Friend of the Court Dominique Peacock, Friend of the Court Erin Lincoln, Referee Alicia Bianchi, Judge Michael McClory, Judge Nicole Goodson, Referee Brandi Taylor and participants from Wayne State University Law School

Free Child Support Help Program


On Saturday, April 22nd, the Free Child Support Help Program, sponsored by the Salvation Army William Booth Legal Aid Clinic, was held at the Wayne County Community College District Northwest Campus. The Honorable Nicole Goodson opened the event with her remarks and presentations were given by Amy Roemer about the services the William Booth Legal Aid Clinic provides, Dayna Crenshaw on the State Discharge of Arrears Program, and with a partner spotlight on F.A.R.M. – Family Assistance for Renaissance Men – by Craig Harris.


Twenty attorneys volunteered their time on a Saturday to help over 100 individuals with their child support, custody, and parenting time issues. The Friend of the Court received over 35 applications for the State Discharge of Arrears Program. The overwhelming turnout of parents demonstrated the need for this type of legal support in the community. A special thanks to the Friend of the Court staff and Call Center who helped organize and run the program and for whom this event would not have been possible – Paula Blackwell, Michele Bradford, Dayna Crenshaw, Alyce Haas, Lori Kaczmarek, Carl Meyer, Lee Ann Rutila, Tom Smellie.

Pictured left to right: Craig Harris, Hon. Darnella Williams-Claybourne, Amy Roemer, Hon. Nicole Goodson, Erin Lincoln, Zenell Brown

Pictured left to right: Chaunte Sterling, Dennis Donahue, Jermain Wyrick, Katherine Shensky, Gabrielle O’Conner, Eileen Scheff, Joseph Shannon, Amanda Zack, Alisa Peskin-Shepherd, Sarah Creem, Jason Tower, David Karson, Matt Catchick, Tara Brin, Amy Roemer, Jenna Astolfi, LaChelle Bussell, Judge Nicole Goodson

Pictured left to right: Lee Ann Rutila, Dayna Crenshaw, Tom Smellie, Alyce Haas, Paula Blackwell, Michele Bradford, Erin Lincoln, Jillian Fitzgerald, Carl Meyer, Dennis Donahue, and Lori Kaczmarek

Congratulations Graduate Dawana Andrews!


Dawana Andrews graduated from the University of Phoenix in December of 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Business. She walked the stage in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, April 29, 2023. Her daughters and grandchildren were there to witness her achievement and cheer her on. Dawana last attended college in 1999 and thought it was too late to go back but her children and grandson encouraged her to go back and gave her the confidence to finish what she started.


Once again our Court, under the leadership of Chief Judge Fresard, joined forces with Love One Another, an organization founded by her daughter, Amanda Fresard, to prepare and give away over 600 Easter Baskets to needy children in Wayne County. The Easter Baskets went to children under court wardship, including youth currently placed at the JDF, church organizations, and community groups. Many judges, court staff, and attorneys participated in the project and volunteered their time to put the baskets together and help deliver them to needy families and community organizations. Chief Judge Fresard and her family have a long history of community service benefiting those in need. It is their hope that we can all join hands working together to find new ways to better serve our community and needy families in Wayne County.

One of the people picking up baskets this year was retired probation officer Wanda Stinson. After expressing her desire to help the court and citizens of Wayne County, Ms. Stinson is now working as a Pretrial Services Specialist in the Criminal Division. Chief Judge Fresard said of Ms. Stinson, “We are in dire need of people just like her in pretrial services to help us to attain our highest goals in tackling the criminal backlog and most efficient use of Criminal Backlog Grant funds. I was thrilled to meet Wanda and considered her presence a gift to our court brought to my door. Her kindness and generosity as a volunteer should serve this court well as a contractor Pretrial Services specialist.”

Chief Fresard would like to personally thank the judges, court staff, and attorneys for their time and participation in such wonderful project.


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 2023

LGBTQ PRIDE MONTH  - June 1 – 30

Caribbean American Heritage Month - June 1 – 30

Indian Citizenship Day - June 2

National Cancer Survivors Day  - June 4

Puerto Rican Day Parade  - June 11

Loving Day - June 12

Autistic Pride Day  - June 18

Juneteenth*  - June 19

The Hajj  - June 26 – July 1

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