March 2024 Newsletter - Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan

From the Chief’s Desk

Dear Third Circuit Team,

How very lovely that March is bringing us better weather!  We are looking forward to Spring sunshine and the chance to get outside and enjoy the good weather. I hope to get to see more of you in-person during these times and look forward to exchanging ideas and making even more progress on joining forces with you to serve better together.

I have heard from many of you through e-mail and it has definitely helped us to find better efficiencies and solve problems that we may not have been otherwise aware. Please continue contact me and feel free to request appointment on issues of interest to you. I hope that many of you can attend our State of the Court Address in May and joining us to celebrate State Family Reunification Day that will be held at CAYMC in June.


I hope that you are feeling as optimistic as I feel, given the positive changes in our Court as well as in our weather. Happy Spring!


Honorable Patricia Perez Fresard

We are pleased to announce Fran Yturri as Deputy General Counsel

for the Third Circuit Court.


Fran Yturri has been a practicing attorney in the State of Michigan since 2001. She began her career with the Court in 2005 as a Judicial Attorney. In addition to her work with the Court, she has also practiced as an ERISA and Civil Rights Attorney, representing clients in State and Federal Courts. In her most recent position as Judicial Attorney to Hon. Patricia Perez Fresard, she has worked on court projects such as expanding resources for self-represented litigants, developing manuals for Civil Division Judges and JAs, and implementing bench-bar conferences. Fran earned her B.S. degree from the University of Texas at Austin and received her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Texas School of Law. She is a member of the Detroit Bar Association Pro Bono/Access to Justice Committee and has served as an ICLE presenter. Fran resides in Plymouth with her husband and two children.

We are pleased to announce Kathleen Walton Allen as Deputy General Counsel for the Third Circuit Court.


Ms. Allen has been a practicing attorney in the State of Michigan for almost 39 years. She began her career in 1985 as a civil litigator specializing in discrimination and wrongful discharge litigation. A short term with a private general practice and then as a solo practitioner she enlarged her legal representation skills to include Probate, Criminal, and Family law. In September of 1999, Ms. Allen joined the Juvenile division of the Third Circuit Court as a Referee. In this capacity, she served as the Chief Referee and legal counsel for the division from 2010 through November of 2013. She is a long-standing member of the Michigan Juvenile Court Rules and Court forms committees; SCAO Taskforce Court Improvement Plan Committee, Quality of Legal Representation and court improvement committees, several Juvenile Justice compliance and reform initiatives, as well as the MDHHS Quality Service Review Team. Ms. Allen has presided over the Wayne County Baby court docket, serving on both the State and County levels to support the zero to three model. She has presented at numerous conferences as well as serving as both a Co-Creator and presenter on an 8-hour Baby Court training video. In December of 2023, Ms. Allen was published in the Oxford Handbook of Developmental Psychology and the Law on a chapter she co-authored entitled, The relational Context of Early Development: Consequences of Maltreatment in infancy and Effective Early Intervention.

Kathleen has been married to Daniel Allen for 28 years and is the proud Mother of three children. Her favorite motto is “Always do the Right thing…even when no one is watching.”

We are pleased to announce Mike Scott as Public Information Officer (PIO) / Communication Manager for the Third Circuit Court.


Mr. Scott was selected after an in-depth interview process by a panel that included Margaret Flanagan, Frank Hardester, Bridget Lamar-Jackson, and Dominque Peacock. Mr. Scott is a marketing communications professional with more than 25 years of experience in such industries as healthcare, legal, market research and utilities. He is a published freelance writer for more than 100 websites, magazines and newspapers and has significant expertise in media relations, strategic and crisis communications. In his free time, Mike enjoys finding new restaurants and live music performances with his wife, keeping up with his daughters' college and high school lives, and playing tennis, pickleball and golf.

The Importance of Celebrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

It is extremely important to celebrate and amplify the cultural traditions of those around us. When people from different backgrounds bring their level of expertise and experience to collaborate, it can help boost innovation and creativity within the organization. It can be easy to create a diverse workforce, but sometimes we often forget that being inclusive and equitable are essential aspects of creating an open, engaging, and enjoyable place to work. Companies that embrace a more diverse and inclusive work culture stands to benefit from being able to relate to its diverse customers and the surrounding community.

Vicki Jones & Mercedes Alexander Celebrate Leap Year

Anton Brown Celebrates Black History Month

FOC Welcomes New Staff Members

Monique Hannah is in the Information Services Department Medical Unit. Monique has an Administrative/ Registrar/ Customer Service background. She is also a CDL holder. Monique enjoys working with people. She has been out of the office world for several years, but plans on making a career out of her time here at the Third Circuit Court. She is married and has 5 children. Monique’s hobbies include spending quality time with her family and friends. She also enjoys cooking.

Gena Ellison is in the Document Processing Department. Gena enjoys making bead bracelets and necklaces. She loves taking long rides on her bike and meeting new people, doing new things, and going on new adventures such as historic sightseeing. Gena’s dream vacation is to go to the Maldives.


Shanita Johnson is in the Document Processing Department. Shanita has 3 sons, 1 grandson and another on the way! She has worked in customer service for over 10 years. She believes that helping people is always rewarding. She enjoys spending time with her family outdoors. She also enjoys bike riding and her ultimate vacation is a safari in South Africa.


Javier Valentine is in the Information Services Department Review and Modification Unit. Javier is a tattoo artist and describes himself as a “super nerd”. He claims to be “the greatest uncle ever” and loves to work (he considers himself a workaholic). Javier is looking forward to having a great tenure with the Court.


Kayla Linley is in the Case Establishment Department. Kayla was born on November 7th and is a proud Scorpio! She thinks of herself as a very outgoing individual. She loves to cook for her family and friends, and is a mother of a beautiful baby girl, who is now 4 years old. She also loves anything to do with beauty and fashion.

Pictured left to right: Monique Hannah, Gena Ellison, Shanita Johnson, Javier Valentine, Kayla Linley

Pictured left to right: Domonique Harden, Abida Khanom, Beth Garfield, Azuree Reynolds, Christian McCord, Ayanna Lawson, Sallie Wilson, Alesia Howard, Carmon Williams, Amanda Johnson, Neiazia Thomason

Domonique Harden is in the Case Establishment Department. She is

happy to be working for the Court and looks forward to working with you all.

Abida Khanom is in the Scheduling Office. Abida and her family moved to the United States in 2009 in search of a better lifestyle. She has an associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Wayne County Community College. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at Wayne State University. Some fun facts about Abida are that she likes spending time with her family and friends, cooking, and traveling. Her dream is to travel the world. In 2019, she was selected to study abroad in Singapore with Wayne County Community College which inspired her to want to travel the world.

Beth Garfield is in the Scheduling Office. Beth is a foodie and longtime vegetarian. She loves animals, particularly her two Cornish Rex cats. For fun, she enjoys Zumba and shopping of all kinds, with the exception of grocery shopping. Beth’s education is as varied as her work history. She earned a B.A. in Film and Video Studies from Wayne State University, a M.A. in Communication from Wayne State University, and a M.S.I.S. in Management Information Systems from Lawrence Technological University. Beth’s most recent position was as an IT Project Manager at Beaumont Health, however her longest jobs were managing the hit music department at a radio trade publication and managing the visual resources department at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Beth looks forward to getting to know all of you and helping families through the Friend of the Court.


Azuree Reynolds is in the Case Establishment Department. She is the mother of three beautiful children. Azuree comes from a huge background of customer service.


Christian-Micheal McCord is in the Case Establishment Department. Christian has a background in banking, IT, leasing, property management, and project management. He is a graphic, concept, and commercial artist. He is also a computer tech, practices Tai Chi, and plays chess. Christian is a writer and loves the theater. He also loves people and helping the community.


Ayanna Lawson is in the Case Establishment Department. She is a proud recent college graduate from the illustrious Delaware State University where she majored in Political Science and Law Studies. Ayanna has dreamed of working in the judicial system since she was a child. She is inspired to become an attorney with a full ride to a host of law schools in the nation while pursuing her career.


Sallie Wilson is in the Case Establishment Department. Sallie has multiple years of Streamlining CRM Processes and her passion is Market Placement Branding. She served as Ambassador to the City of Novi.

Alesia Howard is in the Order Entry Department. Before coming to the FOC, Alesia worked for the City of Detroit for 23 years in various areas, including DWSD, DPW, and Central Accounting as Clerk & Customer Service. In her spare time, she loves traveling and she adores Chihuahua puppies. On her Instagram page she follows short haired, long haired, domestic, international Chihuahuas, Chihuahuas that smile or frown, and Chihuahuas that dance. Her favorite movie, yes, you guessed right: Beverly Hills Chihuahuas!

Carmon Williams is in the Order Entry Department. Carmon has worked in various industries, from Mortgage companies, Financing, State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, Information Technology (IT) Support, as well as, Human Resources Assistant. She has learned a lot from her varied work experience. She has discovered that she enjoys working in a position where she is able to assist the client/customer to achieve whatever it is they are trying to accomplish in their lives (i.e., assistance with mortgages, computer help or anything relating to their position/employment, etc.). She is the youngest of four siblings and likes to go to the movies, play racquetball, and learning new technology. In addition, she finds happiness in being positive and always moving forward to attain new goals in life (whatever it may be), whether it is a small or huge achievement.

Amanda Johnson is in the Information Services Department Enforcment Unit. She has spent the last 20 years working as a community liaison and advocate for underrepresented and disenfranchised families in Detroit. Amanda lives in Detroit and loves the beautiful, picturesque historic homes with manicured yards, that make her walkable neighborhood delightful. Amanda has 5 daughters and 8 grandchildren. She enjoys writing, swimming, roller skating, ballroom dancing, shopping, decorating, and spending time with her family. Amanda is also a voracious reader.


Neiazia Thomason is in the Case Establishment Department. Neiazia is an author and mother of two toddlers. She loves the outdoors, spending a lot of time planting and soaking up the sun. When she is not planting, she likes to spend her spare time traveling near and far, creating new adventures for herself. She loves to share the light of the world with coworkers and people she comes into contact with. She believes “life is beautiful and it takes one person at a time to make it that way.”

Lynette Brinson is in the Legal Department. Lynette has been employed with Third Circuit Court for a combined 20+ years serving at LHJ – Juvenile Division. In her spare time, she enjoys music, concerts, shopping, listening/watching videos that empower, uplift, and add value to her life. Most importantly, she enjoys spending time with her family. She is a mother of four, has one granddaughter and another on the way! Lynette gets enjoyment out of putting a smile on someone’s face. She often says, “It costs you nothing to be kind.” Lynette is excited for this new chapter in her work career and looks forward to expanding her knowledge of the Court at the FOC.

Pictured: Lynette Brinson


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.

MARCH 2024

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