STATE OF MICHIGAN Distr ict Court - 52nd J udicial Distr ict
IST DIVISION 48150 Grand River Ave.
(24 8) 305-6460 Criminal Novi, MI 48374-1222
(24 8) 305-6511 Traffic
(248) 305-6080 Civ il MICHELLE L. BILGER
(248) 305-6144 Probat ion COURT ADMINISTRATOR
HONORABLE MICHAEL BATCHIK
HONORABLE BRIAN W. MacKENZIE
HONORABLE DENNIS N. POWERS
We, like all Americans, were deeply saddened by the events of September 11, 2001. The staff of the 1st Division
of the 52nd District Court like everyone had to struggle with the consequences of that date. The tragedy of
September 11th has only strengthened our desire to keep the commitment made as a result of the Town Hall
Meetings. We are continuing to develop new programs. These Community Court Programs attempt to address
issues that are relevant in our society. In 2001, two new programs were developed. The Sobriety Court Program
helps to identify high risk repeat drunk drivers. In addition, the TRY Program was established to address domes-
tic violence offenders who have a substance abuse problem. Both of these programs are explained in more detail.
The judges and staff of the 52nd 1st Division District Court are proud to present our annual report for 2001. Our
court continues to receive state and national awards for its proactive and innovative programs. We are extreme-
ly pleased to tell you about our programs and staff.
More information regarding the 1st Division of the 52nd District Court can be obtained by accessing our web
site at www.52-1districtcourt.com.
It is our hope that through continuous change and meeting issues in a proactive manner, the 1st Division of the
52nd District Court will continue to provide superior service to the community.
Brian W. MacKenzie
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Judicial Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
History & Overview of Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Administration & Magistrates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Probation Officers & Investigators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Department Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Importance Of Jurors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Community Court Programs:
Introduction to Community Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Town Hall Meetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Sobriety Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Alliance to End Domestic Violence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Taking Responsibilty for Yourself (T.R.Y.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Tobacco Alcohol Prevention Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Teen Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Courts Holiday Enforcement for the Community (C.H.E.C.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Impact Weekend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Day-By-Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Alternative Service Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Virtual Courthouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Mediation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
Volunteers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
JUDGES OF THE DISTRICT COURT
JUDGE MICHAEL BATCHIK
Judge Michael Batchik was appointed to the 52nd District Court, 1st Division, on March 1, 1979. He has served
as a District Judge in the 52nd District Court from that date, and served as Chief Judge from 1982-1986.
Judge Batchik attended DeLaSalle High School in Detroit and subsequently attended the University of Detroit,
graduating as a Chemical Engineer in 1957. After completing law school with the Detroit College of Law, Judge
Batchik was admitted to the practice of law in June 1966.
In 1956, Judge Batchik married Constance Jean Jesion. Five children were born of this marriage: Michael
Gregory, Robert Gerald, Christopher Alan, Patrice Tompkins, and Michele Batchik. Judge and Mrs. Batchik
have six grandchildren.
Judge Batchik is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, serving as Chairperson of the Judicial Conference
Committee in 1995, and as a member of the Representative Assembly from 1996 to 1998. He is also a member
of the American Judges' Association and Michigan District Judges' Association. He has served as President of
the Michigan District Judges' Association in 1992; President of the Walled Lake Rotary in 1990; and as a past
President of the Oakland County District Judges' Association.
Beginning in 1966 and until his appointment as a Judge for the 52nd District Court in 1979, Judge Batchik prac-
ticed law with the law firm of Powell, Peres, Carr, Jacques, Batchik, and Schmidt.
Among his many accomplishments while serving on the bench, in 1986 Judge Batchik created the Alternative
Service Program, which is designed to have the defendant return a benefit to the community. This program
allows non-violent offenders the opportunity to complete community service instead of jail time. Jail costs for
the communities are significantly reduced. In addition, offenders plant and grow a yearly garden that enables
the distribution of food to local non-profit agencies and charities.
JUDGES OF THE DISTRICT COURT
JUDGE BRIAN W. MACKENZIE
Judge MacKenzie is Chief Judge Pro Tem for the four divisions of the 52nd District Court, as well as being the
Presiding Judge of the 1st Division. In 2001, he was honored by the Foundation for the Improvement of Justice
with its annual award for significant contributions to the American criminal justice system. He has also received
several other awards for his domestic violence and drunk driving prevention programs. In addition to these
award-winning programs, he started a program designed to reduce adolescent alcohol and tobacco use. He
planned the 52-1 District Court's new Sobriety Court. The Judge originated a program designed to educate stu-
dents about the courts by conducting sessions of court in the high school and directed the creation of the Court's
web site. He inaugurated the first Judicial Town Hall meetings in the State of Michigan. In 2000, Judge
MacKenzie was appointed by The Michigan Supreme Court as coordinating judge for a pilot project involving
community outreach and trial court performance standards.
Judge MacKenzie received his Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University Law School in 1974. He began serv-
ing the public as a Law Clerk at the Michigan Attorney General's Office, Organized Crime Division. Upon
graduation and admittance to the practice of law in 1974, he joined the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office as an
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. In 1979, he returned to the Michigan Attorney General's Office as an Assistant
Attorney General were he remained until he was appointed to the 52nd District Court, 1st Division, in March of
During his term at the District Court, Judge MacKenzie has remained active within the community. He has or is
serving as a member of the Novi Library Board, Board of the Novi Land Conservancy, Novi Chamber of
Commerce, Huron Valley Network, Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce,
Chair of Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club and Chair of Michigan League of Conservation Voters.
Judge MacKenzie is married to Karen MacKenzie. He has three children: Kate, David and Breanna.
JUDGES OF THE DISTRICT COURT
JUDGE DENNIS N. POWERS
Judge Dennis N. Powers was appointed to the 1st Division of the 52nd District Court on May 11, 1998, and then
began a two-year term as Presiding Judge on January 1, 2000.
Judge Powers received his law degree from Detroit College of Law in 1974. He also received AB and MA
degrees from the University of Detroit and completed off-campus courses at both Harvard Business School and
Wharton School of Finance.
Prior to Judge Powers' appointment to the District Court bench he served as a Commissioner for Oakland County
from 1993 through January of 1998. During his term as a Commissioner he served as Vice Chairperson of the
Public Services Committee, Chairperson of Strategic Planning and Personnel Appeal Board, Vice Chairperson
of Oakland International Airport Committee, member of the Planning and Building Committee, General
Government Committee, and Zoning Coordinating Committee, and was also a delegate to the Emergency
Medical Services Council.
On March 30, 1981, Judge Dennis N. Powers was admitted and qualified as an attorney and counselor of the
Supreme Court of the United States of America. In 1992, Judge Powers received the Governor's "Keep Michigan
Judge Powers is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Oakland
County Bar Association, Oakland County District Judges' Association, and is serving as a member of the
Legislative Committee for both the state and county District Judges' associations. Additionally, Judge Powers is
part of a pilot program entitled "Teen Court."
Judge Powers has remained an active member of his community and is a past President of the Huron Valley
Chamber of Commerce.
Judge Powers has been married for 40 years. His youngest of two children is a corporate attorney.
HISTORY & OVERVIEW
The District Court, which was established by the Michigan Legislature in 1968 pursuant to constitutional man-
date, has more citizen contact than any other court in our judicial system. Of the 259 District Judges in the State
of Michigan, 32 are located in Oakland County, with three of those Judges currently sitting in the 1st Division
of the 52nd District Court.
The courthouse is located in Novi and serves a population of approximately 175,000 in the Townships of White
Lake, Rose, Highland, Milford, Lyon, Novi and Commerce; Cities of Novi, South Lyon, Wixom and Walled
Lake; and Villages of Milford and Wolverine Lake.
The first judge to serve on the bench in the 1st Division of the 52nd District Court was the Honorable Martin L.
Boyle who served the community from 1969 until his retirement in 1988. On March 25, 1988 the Honorable
Brian W. MacKenzie was appointed to fill this vacancy.
After recognizing the growing demands being placed on the Court, in 1974 the Michigan State Legislature and
Oakland County Board of Commissioners authorized a second judgeship for the 1st Division, and in 1975, the
Honorable Gene Schnelz was elected to the bench. His term ended in 1978 after being elected to the 6th Circuit
Court in Pontiac. Judge Michael Batchik was then appointed to the bench on March 1, 1979 to replace Judge
Schnelz. At this time, White Lake and Rose Townships were transferred from the 2nd Division to the 1st
In 1980, the State Legislature and County Board again recommended an additional judgeship for the Court to
meet the needs of the growing population within its jurisdiction. A third judgeship was created and filled by the
Honorable Harold M. Bulgarelli, effective January 1, 1981. Judge Bulgarelli retired from office in 1998. On
May 12, 1998, the Honorable Dennis N. Powers was appointed to fill the vacancy created by Judge Bulgarelli's
HISTORY & OVERVIEW
The current Judges of the 52nd District Court, 1st Division, are the Honorable Michael Batchik, the Honorable
Dennis N. Powers, and the Honorable Brian W. MacKenzie. The Court Administrator is Michelle L. Bilger and
the Deputy Court Administrator is Joyce A. Renfrow. Attorney Magistrates are Robert E. McKenney, Andra V.
Richardson and Judith A. Holtz.
The 1st Division of the 52nd District Court is among those courts with the heaviest caseloads. The court's juris-
diction is unique insofar as it is comprised of diverse demographics. Covering the west
side of Oakland County, corporate development can border farmland, while neighbor-
hoods can abut state property filled with woods and lakes. This mixture translates into a
varied caseload that is often not experienced by urban or rural courts.
During the 2001 calendar year there were 57,634 new cases. The Court disposed of
40,538 traffic matters; 2,216 non-traffic misdemeanor offenses; 114 municipal civil
infractions; 958 alcohol or drug related misdemeanor driving offenses; 96 alcohol or drug
related felony driving offenses; and 549 other felony matters assigned for preliminary
examination. It also disposed of 3,077 civil cases where claims exceeded $3,000, and
1,425 small claims involving less than $3,000 in controversy; 5,142 cases relating to land-
lord/tenant contracts were also decided. District Judges and Magistrates are also author-
ized to perform marriages, and in 2001 there were 193 marriages solemnized.
The Court generated revenues in fiscal year ending September 30, 2001 approximating $5,127,900. Revenues
are distributed between Oakland County, municipalities within the court's jurisdiction, and the State of Michigan.
State law governs the way these monies received by the Court are to be divided. The 52-1 District Court, des-
ignated as a second class District Court by statute, must distribute the monies it receives in three ways. Oakland
County, the Court's funding unit, receives a portion, as does the State. The twelve local communities also receive
a portion of those ordinance violations committed within their jurisdiction.
If the defendant is found to be violating a state civil traffic law and fined $90.00, then $34.00 of the monies col-
lected are divided in the following way:
Statutory fee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$9.00
Michigan Justice Training fee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5.00
Highway Safety Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5.00
Secondary Road Patrol fee and training assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$10.00
Jail reimbursement program assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5.00
The balance is distributed between the State's library systems, receiving 40%, or $22.40, and Oakland County
receiving 60%, or $33.60. An exception to the above relates to fines assessed for speeding on limited access free-
ways - 100% of the monies assessed goes to the State of Michigan. If the assessment by the court for a state law
violation is above $134.00, then 100% of the amount above that goes to Oakland County as the funding unit for
HISTORY & OVERVIEW
If the same defendant is charged with committing a moving civil infraction written under local municipal ordi-
nance and fined $90.00, the State will still receive the same $34.00. However, the remaining monies are divid-
ed into thirds with 1/3, or $18.66 going to the municipality and 2/3, or $37.34 to Oakland County.
If an individual is charged and convicted of violating the state criminal law for Operating a Motor Vehicle while
Under the Influence of Liquor and assessed $450.00, then $59.00 is divided in the following way:
Statutory fee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$9.00
Oakland County Crime Victims fee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5.00
State of Michigan Crime Victims fee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$45.00
The remaining monies are distributed in the following manner: 40%, or $156.40, to the State's library systems,
and 60%, or $234.60, to Oakland County. If the assessment by the court for a state law misdemeanor conviction
is above $559.00, then the remaining amount goes to Oakland County.
If an individual is charged with violating a municipal ordinance for Operating a Motor Vehicle while Under the
Influence of Liquor, the $59.00 is assessed in the same manner as above, however, the remaining amount is divid-
ed into thirds with 1/3, or $130.33 going to the municipality and 2/3, or $260.67 going to Oakland County. If
an individual is charged with violating any other state law traffic misdemeanors such as Allowing an Unlicensed
Person to Operate a Motor Vehicle and assessed $150.00, $9.00 is sent to Statutory fees, 40% of the $100.00, or
$40.00, going to the State's library systems, and the remaining $60.00 to Oakland County. The rest above
$109.00 goes to Oakland County.
United States Supreme Court
Administration is responsible for managing the non-judicial functions of the Court. Through the combined
efforts of the Court Administrator, Deputy Administrator, Probation Director, Department Supervisors and
Financial Account Clerk, her team implements the objectives and goals of the bench by introducing new policies
and procedures. It is the team's responsibility to ensure and maintain current compliance with state and local
mandates, as well as legislative changes affecting the court.
During a formal ceremony at the courthouse, Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Elizabeth Weaver on behalf
of Michigan Courts recognized the 1st Division of the 52nd District Court as a model court for testing draft trial
court performance standards in conjunction with community collaborative initiatives.
"This will be the first court in the State of Michigan to test the implementation of trial court performance stan-
dards and the impact of community collaboration initiatives. The Judges of the 52-1 District Court will be striv-
ing to enhance Court services by finding new ways to meet the needs of their community. At the request of the
Supreme Court and State Court Administrative Office, they will measure and document their efforts," said Chief
The 52-1 District Court will start the community outreach efforts using the information obtained from its Town
Hall Meetings. In doing so, the Court will explore innovative solutions to neighborhood problems. The Court
will emulate a "community court."
The 52-1 District court will begin to implement trial court performance standards in conjunction with its com-
munity outreach initiatives. These standards express a new framework for defining and understanding the effec-
tiveness of trial courts by focusing attention on performance, self-assessment and self-improvement. The 22
standards in the system establish goals for effective court performance in five areas: access to justice; expedition
and timeliness; equality, fairness and integrity; independence and accountability; and public trust and confidence.
The 52-1 District Court will look for ways to apply these standards in the most productive and cost effective ways
so that other courts may learn from their efforts. The standards were developed initially by a national task force
of judges, judicial administrators and other policy-makers, and were reviewed and modified for the Michigan
environment a few years ago.
The 52-1 District Court will coordinate the development of all programs with the Michigan State Court
Administrators Office, and administrative agency of the Michigan Supreme Court. This will be done to docu-
ment the implementation and outcomes of the programs so other trial courts can learn from the 52-1 district
The 52-1 District Court will start with the following projects:
1. Victim Restitution Project. This project is in the development stages. The intent is to make sure restitution is
paid to victims even from defendants who are unable to provide monetary restitution.
2. Internal Review of Staff View of Court. In accordance with the State Court Performance Standards, a survey
is being developed in order for staff to provide feedback of the court.
3. Worked on refining collection procedures utilizing the computer system.
4. Access to the court facilities by individuals with disabilities. Members of the Paralyzed Veterans of America
(PVA) will perform the disability accessibility survey set forth in the trial court performance standards: Access
to Justice, Measure 1.3.5, Participation with Persons with Physical Disabilities.
The community is encouraged to visit and observe the operation of the court. We welcome group visits, which
will give the court an opportunity to explain its function, provide a tour of the facility, and extend an invitation
to observe courtroom proceedings. Please call (248) 305-6080 for more information.
• Taking Responsibility for Yourself (T.R.Y.).
• Expanded parking lot.
• The volunteer desk.
• Commenced the first training phase of the new computer system that will be installed in the court in
• Expanded the Website.
Pictured are cashiers Pati Bartlett, Kerry Zielinski, Barbara Tabb and
Administrative Assistant Debby Bigger.
Michelle L. Bilger
Michelle Bilger began her career with the 1st Division in March of 1971. In
1988, she was appointed as Court Administrator/Clerk of the Court.
Responsibilities oversee all administrative functions to include personnel,
facility and budgetary/fiscal management, jury and case processing manage-
ment, as well as acting as managerial liaison with governmental, legislative
and other public and private groups having an interest in the administration
Ms. Bilger is an active or past member in the Southeastern Michigan Court
Administrators Association, Michigan Court Administrators Association,
State Bar of Michigan, National Association of Court Management,
Michigan Court Forms Committee, Open Justice Commission Access to
Justice Committee, and voting member of the Oakland County CLEMIS
Joyce A. Renfrow
Deputy Court Administrator
Joyce Renfrow became an employee with the 1st Division of the 52nd
District Court in January of 1973. In 1988, she was promoted to the position
of Deputy Court Administrator.
Responsibilities include overseeing all administrative functions of the court
in the absence of the Court Administrator and the day-to-day coordination of
personnel issues. She also performs as jury clerk, in-house computer sys-
tems analyst, coordinator of certain community outreach projects for the
court, and assists with new staff development.
Mrs. Renfrow has had diverse training through the Michigan Judicial
Institute and the Criminal Justice Management Institute. Currently, she is
working on her Fellow through the National Center for State Courts within
the Court Executive Development Program. She completes Phase II of this
four-phase program at the end of June 2002.
In 1975, Mrs. Renfrow married Melvin Renfrow, Jr. They are the parents to
one son, Melvin Alexander Renfrow.
Andra Richardson graduated from Wayne State University Law School in
1987. Upon becoming a member of the bar, she obtained the position of
Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor. In 1990, she became a Magistrate of
the 52nd District Court, 1st Division. In addition to her duties as a
Magistrate, Ms. Richardson is a practicing criminal attorney and is an
adjunct professor at Eastern Michigan University. She was a member of Top
Ladies of Distinction, 1993-1995, Jack & Jill of America, Inc, executive
board, parliamentarian from 1993-1995, and Legislative Liaison from 1998
to present. She is also a member of the Wolverine Bar Association and the
Association of Black Judges of Michigan. Ms. Richardson is the mother of
Andra V. Richardson two daughters, Brittney and Chelsea.
Robert McKenney became a Magistrate of the 52nd District Court, 1st
Division, in 1989. That same year, he retired from his private practice in
which he specialized in real estate and probate matters. Mr. McKenney was
a Sergeant serving in the Army during World War II during which time he
earned his Purple Heart. After the war in 1948, Mr. McKenney graduated
from Syracuse University with honors. He is a member of both the New
York State Bar and the Michigan State Bar. He is also a member of VFW
Post 5587 and American Legion Post 149. This year, Mr. McKenney cele-
brates his 55th wedding anniversary. Mr. and Mrs. McKenney had six chil-
Robert A. McKenney dren, and the family has grown to 11 grandchildren and two great-grand chil-
Judith Holtz graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 1969.
She practiced general law from 1970-88, with emphasis on appellate prac-
tice and research and writing. In 1992, Ms. Holtz became a Magistrate of
the 52nd District Court, 1st Division. She is a member of the American
Judges Association, Women Lawyers Association, Oakland Area League of
Women Voters and the State Bar Grievance Board as an investigator. Ms.
Holtz is the mother of three, Meredith, Jason and Ethan.
Judith A. Holtz
PROBATION DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW
Probation Officers and Investigators
Pictured from left rear: Mark Mathur, Dale Gray, Jennifer Huettner, Julie Josselyn,
Forrest Ware, Jeffrie Cape, Alexandra Black, Suzanne Garrett, David Campbell, Sue
Doyle, Patricia Crane, Leanne Keller, Rachel Ward and Maria Caruso.
Probation is an alternative sentence which allows the offender to remain in the community under the supervision
of a probation officer rather than be incarcerated. Since the primary mission of the Probation Department is the
protection of the community, this decision is made after careful study of the offender's history, behavior and
potential for rehabilitation. Consequently, the role of the Probation Department is twofold: the investigation of
offenders to determine suitability for community supervision, and the supervision of those offenders who are
placed on probation.
Under the supervision of Patricia Crane, Director of Probation Services, the Probation Department consists of
six probation officers, an investigative staff and two community service coordinators. A clerical unit consisting
of five clerks supervised by Jennifer Moore supports the probation officers.
The Probation Department supervises approximately 2,700 offenders. Each probation officer supervises a case-
load of 400-500 people. The Probation Officer acts as a community resource referral agent whose purpose is to
direct offenders to counselors who are most able to handle the problems which brought them to the court.
A defendant is initially referred to the Probation Department for the purpose of a presentence investigation or an
Alcohol Assessment and Evaluation. The investigator conducts an in-depth interview that focuses on the offend-
er's family life, substance abuse issues, mental health problems, education, employment and prior criminal his-
tory. The investigation is reviewed by the sentencing judge to help individualize the sentence and focus on the
presenting problem. Once the defendant is placed on probation, the Probation Officer monitors compliance with
the sentencing order. The Probation Officer will refer the defendant to rehabilitation services such as vocation-
al services, substance abuse and mental health counseling and support groups. Should a defendant fail to com-
ply with the order of the Court or commit a new crime, the sentencing judge will consider more severe sanctions
culminating in incarceration of the offender.
PROBATION DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW
The Probation Department, at the direction of the bench, assists in the management of special projects. The
1st Division of the 52nd District Court tends to be proactive in response to crime and community issues.
Some of the following accomplishments demonstrate the direction of community outreach.
•Implemented Sobriety Court on March 5, 2001 through a grant awarded from the State Court
• Attended Federal Planning Initiative for Drug Courts.
• Discussed the role of probation at law-related classes at local high schools.
• Creation of Sobriety Court Advisory Board on August 10, 2001.
• Submitted application for three year Federal Drug Court Grant in December 2001.
• Specifically trained probation officer in domestic violence monitors defendants referred to court's
"Taking Responsibility for Yourself" (T.R.Y.) Program.
• Create and develop the Annual Report.
• Trained newly hired part-time probation investigators.
PROBATION DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW
Probation Clerical Staff
The probation clerical unit consists of six clerks supervised by Jennifer Moore. The probation clerical depart-
ment is a high-paced environment that is continuously changing. New programs concentrating on issues such as
underage drinking and domestic violence bring about changes in the department that the staff must adapt to. In
addition to the changing tasks, the clerks must be able to work well with the public, attorneys, counselors, police
officers and probation officers.
The clerical unit processes over 2,000 new cases a year. They create probation files when a defendant is referred
for a presentence investigation and update the file when they are placed on probation. Over 2,200 investigations
are referred to the probation department annually. The clerical division is responsible for the management of
files, scheduling of investigations and providing direct support to the public and probation officers. The clerical
unit is also responsible for the scheduling of community service orientation groups and the Victim Impact Panel,
along with the collection and preparation of departmental statistical data.
• Maintained databases for T.R.Y. (Taking Responsibility for Yourself), T.A.P.P. and Sobriety Court
• Expanded the CHEC database that monitors drinking and driving offenders on St. Patrick's Day,
Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.
• Computerized the Alternative Service Program so that the probation officers have up-to-the-minute
access of probationers' status.
CRIMINAL DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW
Criminal Clerical Staff
Under the supervision of Missy Neff, nine clerical positions support the Criminal Division. The complexities of
case processing require each clerk to be detail-oriented, multi-tasked, and possess the ability to work as a team
in a high-paced environment. While accuracy and attention to detail is critical, communication skills with the
public, attorneys, and police officers are as equally important.
Throughout the year, in addition to normal daily activity, staff has been preparing for the introduction of the new
ACS computer system. This project involves converting millions of data records and requires an enormous
amount of time strategizing for an effective and efficient transition plan. Department projects have included the
review of all cases that have not been purged from the current system. By performing this task, thousands of
data records could potentially be removed from the old system thereby reducing the number of records convert-
ing to the new system. This activity not only translates into better overall records management, it also reduces
storage space and attendant costs associated with obsolete data.
In 2001, steps were taken by the Criminal Division to improve the collection of monies owed by defendants. An
accounts receivable report is printed out monthly which reflects overdue money. If the person can demonstrate
an inability to pay these overdue monies, they are placed on a payment plan. If the payment plan is not met,
clerks send out late payment letters and if the payments are still not made, a showcause is scheduled. The clerk’s
efforts have improved the court's collection of money owed.
CRIMINAL DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW
• Introduced a new procedure within the department that expedites the return of bonds to the bond
• Successfully integrated the Sobriety Court requirements into the master calendar system.
• With the continued assistance of Missy Neff , the ACS computer project team completed numerous
modifications specifically tailored to District Court.
• Updated computer templates used for week-end arraignments.
• Attended training sponsored by the State Court Administrative Office, which addressed the new case
load reporting requirements and case type changes effective January 1, 2002.
CIVIL DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW
Civil Clerical Staff
During calendar year 2001, the Civil Division experienced its highest new filings caseload ever. There were over
10,200 new cases initiated, which included landlord tenant matters and lawsuits with claims up to $25,000 in dis-
pute. In addition to accepting cases for filing, the Division processed the highest volume of daily incoming mail.
The Civil Division staff is responsible for opening new cases, ensuring all paperwork is processed in accordance
with Michigan Court Rules, scheduling court dates within established time guidelines, preparing Orders as pro-
nounced in the courtroom by the Judges and Magistrates, and processing post-judgment paperwork, such as gar-
nishments and landlord tenant executions.
With the assistance of five full time clerks and a student co-op, Supervisor Lorna Skipworth not only oversaw
the operation of the department, she was also required to spend at least 70 per cent of her time to the develop-
ment process of the new computer system which will be introduced in late 2003. By being part of the develop-
ment team, the end product will be custom designed to meet the specific needs of the court.
• Introduction of the Oakland Mediation Center's Alternative Dispute Resolution Program.
• In continuous preparation for the new computer system, focused on updating Accounts Payable files.
• Totally revamped the filing system for closed civil files. This project involved merging at least three
different filing systems introduced at various times over the last thirty years. Thousands of files were
rearranged and placed in one orderly system.
CIVIL DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW
General Civil: A lawsuit in which one party is suing another for an amount not to exceed $25,000.
Small Claims: A lawsuit in which one party is suing another for an amount less than $3,000. Attorneys
are not allowed to represent either party.
Landlord Tenant and Land Contract Forfeiture: A dispute between a landlord and tenant for:
•Non-payment of rent: Landlord gives the tenant an option of paying their delinquent rent and continue
to live on the premises or vacate the premises.
•Termination of tenancy: Landlord wants to regain possession of the premises.
TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW
Traffic Clerical Staff
Under the supervision of Ann Groth, six clerks make up the Traffic Division. The volume of new tickets filed
with the department in the year 2001 numbered 40,521. The citations can range from speeding tickets to hunt-
ing and boating violations. The clerks record each citation by extracting key information and typing it into the
court's computer system. It is their responsibility to ensure all follow-up activity is accurately performed.
In addition to the high volume of caseload, clerks interact with a large number of court users both at the count-
er and on the telephone. They are available to assist the public in procedural matters of the court, and take pride
in contributing to a user-friendly environment.
The clerks in this division assist the public in the payment of tickets, schedule hearings on contested tickets and
provide supporting documentation for license reinstatement.
Information regarding traffic fines and points can be obtained by calling the court or utilizing the court's website
The clerks of the Traffic Division also need to be aware of changes in the law. In 2001, new laws were intro-
duced with the intent of protecting emergency personnel, construction workers and police officers. The new
• Failed to Yield to Stationary Authorized Emergency Responder.
• Failed to Yield to Emergency Vehicle.
• Failure to Use Due Caution for Stationary Authorized Emergency Responder.
• Failure to Use Due Care and Caution Causing Injury to a Construction Worker.
TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW
• Developed two part-time positions from a full-time position to better accommodate
• Performed annual inventory, which involved manually reviewing each ticket that did not list a
disposition on a computer-generated report.
Importance of Jurors
The 52-1 District Court, comprised of thirteen municipalities, strives to
improve public justice and welcomes you, our jurors of southwestern
Oakland County, past, present, and future. More than 200 years ago, the
brilliant minds that shaped the federal Constitution gave it a guarantee in
the form of the sixth amendment: the right to trial by jury. Why?
The short answer is our nation's founding on a persistent questioning of
governmental authority and the institution of "checks and balances" in
governing. Through jury trials and other institutional safety measures, the
Judge Batchik, MacKenzie and Powers People have a direct say about who has violated the law--civil and crimi-
discuss courtroom procedures with jurors. nal--and it's not one person deciding the facts, it's six. The deliberative
process of a jury trial is about the only place where all people are equal in
how they influence the process and its conclusion, no matter where they live, what they do for a living, or their
Yes, jury service can be a sacrifice. Jurors who are employed sometimes lose their regular pay, and juror pay is
very little. Just about everyone who serves is inconvenienced, at least a little. But the importance of service and
giving time to the community in this manner cannot be overstated.
Thousands of criminal and civil cases require a jury to decide the question of guilt or fault. When people do not
respond to jury questionnaires, it reduces the pool of people who should be involved in shaping justice and may
even cause a delay in getting cases tried. In most instances, it takes 30 to 40 people to begin to impanel a jury.
As jury selection (voir dire) proceeds, jurors are excused until six (and a few alternates) are picked who are not
objectionable to either side. Multiply that by the courtrooms around the country that are involved in trying cases,
and it adds up quickly.
When there is a shortage of available jurors, criminal cases receive
priority. In the past, this has caused a delay in taking civil actions to
trial because all available jurors were assigned to the criminal courts
until it was clear there would be an adequate supply. Delays in civil
dispositions can cost parties millions of dollars cumulatively,
because the civil courts resolve millions of dollars in disputes annu-
ally. That keeps commerce flowing. If businesses and neighbors can-
not resolve a dispute because the available jurors are sitting on crim-
inal cases, its impact is felt by many, not simply the parties to the
action. The uncertainty of a dispute unresolved creates its own prob-
lems, and by ensuring enough people step forward to serve as jurors, Jurors listen to courtroom activity.
52-1 District Court attempts to facilitate a public justice system that
works with relative speed and fairness.
There are many improvements the courts and legislature are striving to implement so that service to the com-
munity is less difficult and participation is that much greater, a true cross-section of the community. We are aim-
ing to reduce "downtime" and increase efficiency in the service each juror provides. Thank you for participating
and keeping the system strong.
YEAR IN REVIEW
Court officers and law students Jason Kucmierz, Dawn King and
Donna Rusher helps out at the counter. Jeff Campbell take time out for a picture.
Pretrial Services worker Glenda Coudret works at her desk. Volunteer Teretha Gibson is a student
Pati Bartlett oversees the civil department.
YEAR IN REVIEW
Criminal Clerk, Paul Ward, works on some paperwork.
Linda Gorman and Debbie Pawlowski smile for the camera.
Pictured are court recorders Rosie Coleman, Colleen Molnar,
Jim Perrizo and Karen Rocheleau.
Joan Bishop has worked at the court since 1992.
INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNITY COURT
52-1 Community Court
Courts and the buildings that housed them were once an essential part of the community. Often the Courthouse
was the only public building in the region large enough for a town meeting. Many Courts shared their space
with other important agencies, such as schools, libraries, and of course, the police. As villages grew to become
cities, and the Courts grew as a consequence, this relationship slowly disappeared.
Michigan's legislature, recognizing the need for a local judicial presence within the community, created a new
type of Court: the District Court. Unfortunately, District Courts, due in part to jurisdictional restrictions that lim-
ited their ability to cope with larger community problems and their ever-increasing caseload, were never able to
restore the idea of the Court as a local institution. Many now believe this lack of a community connection is at
least a contributing factor in the decline in public trust in the criminal justice system.
In 1998, while trying to discover what the people we serve thought of their Court, the Judges of the 52-1 District
Court, in three town hall meetings, learned a larger lesson. Those meetings convinced the Judges and staff of
the Court of the need for a new partnership with the community. We were told at those meetings that the Court
needed to focus upon the larger needs of the community and not simply upon how well we were managing our
dockets. In response, we asked the Michigan Supreme Court to assist us in creating such a new partnership. The
Supreme Court responded by designating the 1st Division of the 52nd District Court as a pilot court in the areas
of trial court performance standards and community outreach. In effect they gave us a mission to recreate the
52-1 District Court as a Community Court. And that is just what we are committed to do. We hope to reach into
the neighborhoods we serve and restore the Court to its rightful place as a focal point of community life.
We will do this in some old ways by creating advisory committees that will allow citizens to tell us what they
think about the issues facing the court. In fact, we have already created two such committees, one to help advise
us about the problems of domestic violence and another to help with teen alcohol and drug use. We are using the
courthouse for these meetings and also for education programs about alcohol and drugs. We will also do this in
some new ways. The Court's new website and our annual report to the community, one of which you are read-
ing right now, are just two examples. These programs and others are more completely described in the following
pages. Please read them and learn more about what your Community Court is doing.
We are looking for volunteers to help us. If you are interested, please contact the court by writing. Our address
is 48150 Grand River Ave., Novi MI. 48374. Whether you are able to help or not, remember the 52-1 District
Court is a part of the community, serving you.
Town Hall Meetings
In 1998, the Judges of the 1st Division of the 52nd District Court conducted the
first Town Hall Meetings to be held by a district court in the State of Michigan.
The goal of the meetings was to open communication between the public and the
district court along with offering information about the court. The response to
the meetings was positive. Most respondents indicated the court was doing a
good job. However, a sizeable percentage of those answering were not familiar
with our court. From the meeting, we learned that our court needs to change and
grow in a way that makes it more visible, more accessible and more proactive.
Since that time, we have worked to keep our promises to the people we serve.
We have introduced new programs and expanded and improved existing pro-
grams in that effort.
Following is a composition of programs, many of which are more fully described
in other sections, that have been created in order to establish links between mem-
bers of our community to develop new ways to slow, prevent, or even stop different categories of criminal activ-
In 2000, the 1st Division of the 52nd District Court published its first Annual Report. The report covered the
year 1999 and helped to introduce the court. The 2000 Annual Report is a further refinement of that process.
Within the report, a history and overview of the court was provided along with profiles of the judges currently
serving on the bench. The administration and magistrates were also introduced and each department was listed
giving details about their respective duties. Finally, each program within the court was listed in detail in order
for the public to understand the efforts made by the court. The Court's website was also improved and expand-
ed in 2000.
In an effort to provide better service, an information center was established in 2000. Volunteers staff a desk near
the entrance of the court and are available for questions from the public. They direct them to the correct depart-
ment or courtroom along with providing information on court schedules. The hours of operation of this infor-
mation center were expanded in 2001.
In 2000, in keeping with our promise to be more proactive, the Court started one of the first Sobriety Courts in
the State of Michigan. We improved the Court's award winning domestic violence program with the creation of
a new treatment program entitled T.R.Y. (Taking Responsibility for Yourself). The C.H.E.C. program was
expanded to cover additional holidays. We created a mediation program to offer individuals suing in small
claims who choose not to be represented by an attorney.
In 1999, the Supreme Court designated the 1st Division of the 52nd District Court as a pilot court in the areas of
collaborative partnerships and trial court performance standards. As part of this ongoing commitment, a Sobriety
Court Community Advisory Committee was created. Working with the Paralyzed Veterans of America the Court
did an objective evaluation of its building's accessibility. The Court continued its Day of Court and Teen pro-
grams. Tours of the Courthouse were a regular ongoing activity. The Judges and staff of the 1st Division of the
52nd District Court in 1998 asked the community what it thought of us. The answer the people gave continued
to shape us in 2001.
Sobriety Court Officer Alexandra Black talks with a participant.
Research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTA) for the year 1997 indicates
that 46% of car crashes involved alcohol and 39% of those were fatal crashes. Fatally injured drivers in this cat-
egory were seven times more likely to have a prior conviction for drunk driving. NHTA projected that drivers
with a blood alcohol content over .15% increase the risk of involvement in fatal crashes by 200 times and, if the
blood alcohol level is greater than .20%, they are 460 times more likely to be involved in a fatality crash. Drivers
with very high blood alcohol levels account for only one per cent of drivers, yet they are implicated in half of all
the fatal crashes in the United States, specifically those that occur at night and on the weekends. The same group
of drivers is responsible for serious injury, high medical expenses, insurance costs, property damage and increas-
ing costs to the courts.
Approximately 1200 drunk driving cases are filed in the 52-1 District Court each year. About thirty-six percent
of those case are repeat offenders. Initiated on March 5, 2001, Sobriety Court is a specialized docket designed
to address the problem posed by repeat drunk drivers. It is based on an adult drug court model with the objec-
tive of reducing recidivistic-drunk driving. It is characterized by the use of an expedited docket or 'fast track' case
processing system, early identification of the offender and immediate placement in treatment. The community
has been involved from the beginning through the members of the Sobriety Court Advisory Board. The Board
is composed of individual citizens and community groups, representatives from such organizations as Mothers
Against Drunk Driving, Parents of Murdered Children and The Traffic Improvement Association. The role of
the Sobriety Court Advisory Board is to advise the court, offer feedback from a community perspective and pro-
vide a monitor for continuous improvement.
Each defendant who enters the 72-week program does so voluntarily. Because these individuals give up certain
constitutional and privacy rights, the agreement to enter Sobriety Court is based upon a signed contract and a
knowing waiver on the record.
The first 36 weeks are rigorous. It is run on a point-based system that measures performance in seven categories.
The offender is intensively monitored through weekly probation reporting and daily alcohol/drug testing. All
defendants must also attend AA and a weekend treatment program. Since Sobriety Court mandates twice week-
ly substance abuse counseling, the offender is further monitored through comprehensive treatment progress
reports and direct contact of the intensive probation officer with the treatment provider. Not only is probation
supervision intense, there is also judicial supervision of the offender at intervals of one to two times a month.
The judicial review focuses on the progress of the defendant in treatment, the difficulties faced at home, at work
and in the community.
The review session starts with a Sobriety Court team meeting. There the judge, a representative of the office of
the prosecutor, a defense advisor, the two intensive probation officers, along with those community volunteers,
law enforcement officials and treatment providers who wish to attend, meet and discuss the progress of each
defendant. After the team meeting, the judge presides over a Sobriety Court session. Rewards for progress and
sanctions for lapses are handed out at these sessions.
Upon successful completion of the first 36 weeks of sobriety, in a formal ceremony, each defendant graduates to
the less regimented form of supervision for an additional 36 weeks. They continue to report to probation, but do
not see the judge. They also continue to go to AA and see their alcohol counselor.
The ultimate goal of Sobriety Court is to end a defendant's recidivistic drunk driving by ending their dependence
upon drugs and alcohol. To achieve that goal, all individuals within the program are held to a standard of
absolute responsibility. As offenders progress in the program and as the judge responds to their behavior
through a phased system of sanctions and rewards, the offenders become increasingly responsible for their own
During the first nine months of the program seventy-five individuals were accepted. Seven defendants were ter-
minated due to non-compliance. Nine graduated from the intensive phase at the first Sobriety Court graduation
ceremony held on December 12, 2001. No individual who has graduated from or who is currently in the Sobriety
Court program has committed a new drunk driving offense.
Pictured is Sobriety Court Officer
Preventing Domestic Violence:
An Alliance Approach
Beginning in 1993, an alliance of governmental and private groups have worked together to address the issue of
domestic assault. Together, the 52-1 District Court, HAVEN (a domestic violence prevention organization),
Catholic Social Services men's program, police, prosecutors, and Oakland County Pre-trial Services agreed to a
coordinated response to the problem of domestic violence.
From the start, members of the alliance agreed that domestic assault is a public crime, not a private family mat-
ter. Because of this approach the victim, who becomes simply a witness in a criminal case, is no longer able to
request that the case be dismissed. As a result, the defendant's opportunity to control the outcome by threats or
intimidation is sharply reduced. This decision is the foundation of all of our subsequent decisions and actions.
As part of the new approach, HAVEN agreed to train all local police officers and probation officers about the
dynamics of domestic violence. HAVEN also agreed to have an advocate contact the victim immediately after
the arrest, and if requested, appear with the victim in court. HAVEN and Catholic Social Services additionally
agreed to provide long term domestic violence treatment for convicted defendants. Since 1993 seven more
domestic violence treatment agencies have joined the Alliance.
The police agreed to arrest individuals when there is probable cause to believe an assault has occurred, to hold
the defendant until they are arraigned by the Court, to give the victim information about HAVEN, and to fax the
police report to HAVEN and to the Court.
Oakland Pre-trial Services agreed to prepare a pre-bond report prior to the arraignment.
The court agreed to conduct the arraignment within twenty hours of the defendant's arrest and then to schedule
the new case on a special fast-track docket. The court and prosecutors agreed not to dismiss any cases even if
requested to do so by the victim, but to resolve these matters either through plea or trial. The Court also agreed
to tighten probation supervision of these offenders. Regular reports are issued to the media and presented to com-
munity groups to raise awareness of the Alliance's goals and progress.
In 2000, Parents of Murdered Children (PMC) and Sequoia Recovery Services joined the Alliance and working
with HAVEN created the T.R.Y. (Taking Responsibility for Yourself) program. T.R.Y. is a forty-week combined
domestic violence and alcohol/drug treatment program. It starts with a concentrated weekend retreat where a
member of PMC describes the domestic murder of their child. The remainder of the weekend involves intense
alcohol and domestic violence counseling.
The results of the last nine years exceeded our best hopes. The fast track approach sped the 3,131 cases through-
out the criminal justice system. The time between arraignment and pretrial fell from 40 days on average to 6.
The time between arraignment and trial fell from 113 days on average to 21. The goal of ending dismissals at
the victim's request, which occurred in approximately 30% of the cases in 1992, was achieved. Instead, 91% of
those charged with domestic assault over that last nine years have been convicted. This conviction rate is simi-
lar to other misdemeanor offenses. And in only 7% of these cases have the officers had to return to the same
household to make a new domestic assault arrest.
In 1992, felony assaults by a spouse comprised 52% of all assault cases bound over from the 52-1 District Court
to 6th Circuit Court. (Felony assaults include such crimes in Michigan as: Assault with a weapon, Assault with
Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less than Murder, Assault with Intent to Murder, and Murder). In 2001, only
two spousal felony assault cases were bound over. In 1992, four people were killed by their spouse. None were
The decline in the number of felonies bound over to Circuit Court is echoed by the overall decline in the num-
ber of domestic violence misdemeanors charged in the 52-1 District Court. In 1995, the first full year in which
all of the communities served by the 52-1 District Court were part of the Alliance, there were 411 cases; in 1996,
454 cases; and in 1997, 420 cases; in 1998, 410 cases; in 1999, 386 cases and in 2000, 350 cases. In 2001, there
were 350 cases, or 23% below the peak year of 1996.
These numbers establish that a community-based alliance approach can effectively address the crime of domes-
tic assault without increased spending or staffing.
Taking Responsibility for Yourself
For the past several years an alliance of governmental and private groups have worked together to address the
issue of domestic assault in our area. Together, the 52-1 District Court, HAVEN (a domestic violence prevention
organization), Catholic Social Services men's program, police, prosecutors, and Oakland County Pre-trial
Services agreed to a coordinated response to the problem of domestic violence. From inception, members of the
alliance agreed that domestic assault is a crime, not a private family matter. This decision is the foundation of
all of our actions.
The results of the new approach exceeded our best hopes. The current conviction rate of 90% is consistent with
other misdemeanor offenses. This occurred without an increase in the number of trials. The recidivism rate for
domestic violence offenders in the first four years of the program is 5%.
In 1999, the number of domestic felony assaults bound over to circuit court (felony assaults include such crimes
in Michigan as: Assault with a Weapon, Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less than Murder, Assault
with Intent to Murder, and Murder) decreased 90% below 1992 (the year before the Alliance). In that same time
period the Court's total caseload of non-domestic felony assaults increased by 10%. In 1992, four persons were
killed by their spouse while none were in 1999. The decline in the number of felonies bound over to Circuit
Court is echoed by the overall decline in the number of domestic violence misdemeanors charged in the 52-1
District Court. In 1995, the first full year in which all of the communities served by the 52-1 District Court were
part of the Alliance, there were 411 cases; in 1996, 454 cases; and in 1997, 420 cases; in 1998, 410. In 1999,
there were 386 cases, a 14.5% decline from the peak year of 1996.
In studying the recidivism rate, the members of the alliance learned that those most likely to commit a repeat
offense are those who have an alcohol or drug addiction. It was this information that was the genesis of a new
sentencing approach named T.R.Y. - Taking Responsibility for Yourself. The idea behind T.R.Y. is simple.
Combine a batterers' intervention program and a substance abuse program. Start with an intense three-day week-
end including victim statements from individuals from the Parents of Murdered Children along with intense
counseling. Then continue the combined counseling for a 40-week period.
This combined approach should reduce the recidivism rate at less cost to the defendant.
Average Defendant in the TRY Program
Education: HS Diploma
Marital Status: Not Married
The Tobacco Alcohol Prevention Project
Adolescent alcohol abuse is a growing problem. Studies tell us that every month, more than four million minors
drink alcohol. Nationally, 90% of high school seniors use alcohol. Juvenile tobacco use is also at unacceptable
levels. Nationally, 62% of all high school seniors have smoked. Smoking among eighth graders rose by 30%
from 1991 to 1994.
In Oakland County, Michigan:
• 85.1% of high school seniors have used alcohol.
• 54.8% began drinking before they entered high school.
• 39% of them drink to intoxication on a regular basis.
• 29.1% have either driven while drunk or ridden with a driver who was drunk,
on at least one occasion during the last year.
• 68.8% of high school seniors have smoked cigarettes.
• 50.8% started smoking before they entered high school.
• 44.3% of those smoke a minimum of one-half a pack a day.
An adolescent addicted to alcohol is more likely to be the victim of violent crime. They are more likely to have
problems with employment and they are more likely to fail in school. Alcohol-related car crashes are the fore-
most cause of death for individuals under the age of twenty-one. Intoxication is also highly correlated with homi-
cide, suicide, and drowning, the next three leading causes of death for minors.
Smokers risk developing lung cancer at a rate that is thirteen times greater than that of nonsmokers. The younger
a child starts using tobacco and/or alcohol, the more likely they are to develop problems associated with such
In 1997, the 52-1 District Court, working with a number of private and public organizations, came together to
start a program intended to address the twin problems of adolescent alcohol and tobacco use. These groups
included the Walled Lake Consolidated School System, South Lyon School System, Novi Public Schools,
Oakland Schools, the police departments of each community the court serves, Oakland County Sheriff's
Department, Oakland County Prosecutors Office, Oakland Community Corrections, the American Lung
Association of Michigan, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Sequoia Center, a drug and alcohol treatment agency,
Turning Point, Farmington Counseling Centers, Providence Park of the Providence Hospital System, the
Oakland County Family Court, a division of the Oakland County Circuit Court, and the 52-1 District Court.
Each group made a commitment to change or heighten services to address these problems.
Local ordinances were passed in most of the communities that allowed their police officers to issue tickets to any
juvenile found in possession of alcohol or tobacco. The police agreed to ticket all minors possessing tobacco or
alcohol. They also agreed to notify the area School System about each ticketed adolescent currently enrolled.
Local prosecutors agreed that juveniles 17 and older would be charged in the 52-1 District Court. They also
agreed not to dismiss a case before pre-trial, and to take all cases not resolved at pre-trial to trial.
The 52-1 District Court committed to send all convicted defendants for alcohol assessment prior to sentencing
and to order appropriate alcohol and tobacco treatment. The Court further agreed to notify the local School
System about each enrolled adolescent ticketed. The 52-1 District Court also agreed to order these defendants
to submit to routine drug and alcohol testing.
Each School System agreed to actively promote educational programs for all forms of chemical abuse, and to
provide counseling and information to their students convicted of possessing or using alcohol or tobacco. They
also agreed to cooperate with Probate and District Court personnel in the supervision of these minors. Turning
Point, Oakland Community Corrections, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving agreed to expand their award-win-
ning program known as the Impact Weekend for those adolescents convicted of minor in possession of alcohol
in the 52-1 District Court. Farmington Counseling Centers agreed to start alcohol and tobacco treatment pro-
grams targeted at juveniles. All parties agreed to meet quarterly to evaluate the progress of the program.
In the past five years 2,444 minors were arrested and required to appear in the 52-1 District Court, charged with
possessing alcohol or tobacco. It is important to note that 2,122, or 87% of these adolescents committed no sub-
sequent offense in the five years of the project. Still, the concern about minors' use of alcohol and tobacco was
highlighted by the fact that 85% of those rearrested were arrested on new alcohol or drug charges.
The new strategy does appear to reduce serious crime. In the year 2001:
• Only two of the recidivators were charged with a felony.
• Only seven of the recidivators were arrested for assaultive crimes.
• Only six of the recidivators were arrested for economic crimes.
Finally, there was an overall reduction in the recidivism arrest rate. In 1997, the first year of the project 98 indi-
viduals were rearrested; there were 67 rearrested in 1998, there were 62 rearrested in 1999, and there were 56
rearrested in 2000. In 2001, there were 28 rearrested, a 71% decline from 1997.
These preliminary results suggest the following:
• The high level of alcohol and tobacco use reported by juveniles in the Michigan Alcohol and other Drug
School Survey appears to be accurate.
• Regular alcohol use is perceived by minors as acceptable, perhaps even necessary.
• Many adolescents do not believe society is earnest about preventing them from using tobacco and
• A coordinated community-based approach with significant consequences appears to reduce or prevent
ongoing adolescent alcohol or tobacco use.
• A coordinated community-based approach with significant consequences also appears to reduce the
more serious crimes that can result from alcohol use.
The Oakland County Prosecutor's Office has introduced Teen Court to Oakland County. The 1st Division of the
52nd District Court is proud to have been selected as one of the three participating courts for this pilot program.
The first nationally known Teen Court program began in Odessa, Texas in 1983. The program was successful
and is viewed as the model. Since then, Teen Court has been developed in courts throughout the nation.
Teen Court is a juvenile diversion program. Only those juveniles who commit misdemeanor crimes, admit guilt
and have no previous record are eligible. It is a program designed around the philosophy that a jury of peers is
more influential in dealing with behavioral problems than any other method. More simply put, Teen Court is a
program run by teens for teens. It is felt that peer pressure can be used to create positive as well as negative
actions. Teen Court relies upon the positive nature of peer pressure to deter defendants from becoming repeat
Those offenses that may be resolved in Teen Court include:
Alcohol/Drug offenses Vandalism Retail Fraud
Disorderly Conduct Minor Assault Traffic
Severe Curfew Violations Criminal Mischief Illegal Entry
Fraudulent Identification Domestic Assault Truancy
The juvenile appears before the teen jury, and is represented by a teen "defense attorney." The prosecutor is also
a teen "attorney," and both attorneys are assisted by adult attorney mentors. Each teen attorney makes an open-
ing statement; the defendant tells what they did and is cross-examined. Judge Powers serves as the judge. The
jury deliberates and determines the sanctions to be imposed. The judge reviews the sanctions and if appropriate
orders the defendant to comply. The prosecuting attorney serves as the probation officer to ensure compliance.
Teen Court sentencing options include:
Jury duty (in Teen Court) Community service Essays
Oral/Written apologies Educational workshops Restitution
Written formal apologies Chores at home Counseling
Curfews, limited home restrictions Random drug screening
Ideally, these young people come to understand that living within the law or violating it, getting a good educa-
tion or not, having a successful future or failing to find employment, all depends on the decisions that they alone
The purpose is to also educate and motivate both offenders and teen volunteers. Teen volunteers will be able to
participate in an actual court setting and gain valuable experience for their futures and careers. Juvenile offend-
ers take responsibility for their mistakes and gain important respect for their futures. The program also propos-
es to promote communication between schools, defendants, law enforcement, and the community.
The benefits from Teen Court are numerous. Statistics have shown that communities using Teen Court as a part
of their youth crime prevention program consistently report that 90% or more of the defendants who complete
the sentence are never re-arrested. Teen Court can cut down the crime rate of teenagers as they learn to assume
responsibility and be accountable for their actions because of early intervention. The process also allows young
people to get involved within the community while interacting with their parents and guardians who must be
involved in the process. The legal benefit of the program is that the juvenile's record is wiped clean for first time
offenders. Finally, the program gives teens an opportunity to learn about the judicial system while helping them
develop a healthy attitude toward authority.
Kathy Pawczuk and Paula Hummel discuss a criminal case.
Courts Holiday Enforcement for the Community
On September 1, 2000, the 52-1 District Court leading a coalition of Oakland County District Courts with
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Oakland County Community Corrections, Jail Alternatives for Michigan, and
Michigan House Arrest started a program now entitled C.H.E.C. Initially, the program name was CATCH, how-
ever, that name had a special significance for Sparky Anderson's charitable organization. Consequently, we
changed the name of our program to Courts Holiday Enforcement for the Community, C.H.E.C.
There is general agreement that individuals who suffer from serious alcohol problems are more likely to get
drunk and drive during major holiday periods. Five major holiday periods, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, New Years,
Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July, appear to have the largest number of drunk driving related deaths. During
these five holiday periods, in 1998 nationally, 1,044 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes. The
purpose of C.H.E.C. is to increase the level of scrutiny during these holidays upon those individuals who have
been convicted of drunk driving and are under the supervision of either the 52-1 District Court or one of the other
participating District Courts.
C.H.E.C. is based upon the very successful Y2CARE program. Over the 1999/2000 New Years Eve Holiday
period 1,302 individuals who were convicted of driving drunk were required to participate in the testing program.
Of the 1,302 defendants who were ordered into the Y2CARE program, 1,214 appeared to be tested. Only 9 test-
ed positive for any alcohol and of these only 2 were legally intoxicated. Thus, of these at-risk individuals, nine-
ty-three per cent were confirmed to be sober over the New Years Eve holiday period.
Due to the success of Y2CARE, the 52-1 District Court along with the 43rd, 46th, 50th, 52-3, and 52-4 District
Courts, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Oakland County Community Corrections, Jail Alternatives for
Michigan, and Michigan House Arrest created seven new alcohol testing sites throughout southeastern Michigan.
These sites are staffed by members of each organization and volunteers from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
At these sites defendants appear for alcohol and drug testing in the morning and again in the evening. They are
charged $5.00 per day for the testing; no tax dollars are used.
In 2001, the original District Courts from Oakland County were joined by the 17th, 19th, 21st, and 35th, District
Courts in Wayne County. Three additional testing sites were also created.
The 52-1 District Court alone has now ordered 5,141 individuals to holiday testing. Ninety-one percent or 4,626
individuals have appeared and only 64 tested positive for alcohol, none for illegal drugs. As a result of C.H.E.C.
the roads in Wayne and Oakland County are safer during these holidays.
Did you know:
• Alcohol involvement remains one of the leading factors in motor vehicle deaths. Alcohol-related
crashes in the United States cost the public more than $110 billion in 1998.
• A drunk driving crash costs innocent victims $26,000. Comparable crime costs per victim: assault-
$19,000; robbery-$13,000; motor vehicle theft-$4,000.
• In 1999, 15,786 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes---an average of one every 33
• More than one-fourth of college students age 18 - 24 have driven in the past year while under the
influence of alcohol.
• Alcohol kills 6.5 times more youth than all other illicit drugs combined.
• Traffic crashes are the major cause of death for children in the age group 0-14. Almost one quarter
(21.4%) of these deaths is alcohol related.
* Statistics courtesy of www.madd.org
The cost to society from drunk drivers is high. Recently released statistics are alarming. In 2000, 16,653 people
died in alcohol-related traffic crashes, which averages one death every 32 minutes (Statistics compiled from the
National Highway Safety Association). Persons who drive while under the influence are operating outside of the
boundaries of what society deems appropriate and acceptable. As a result, innocent lives are taken during vehi-
cle crashes, insurance premiums are higher and jail costs are high. In response to these concerns, the Impact
Weekend was founded. The purpose of the program is to reduce recidivism and jail costs.
Sequoia Recovery Services offers two weekend inpatient programs. LINKS to Recovery is for offenders over
the age of 20, and Communities Against Minors in Possession (CAMP) is for offenders 20 years of age or
younger. The Impact Weekend approaches drunk drivers in a direct, cognitive and confrontational method.
What has evolved over the last three years is an intensive, three-day intervention/learning experience that begins
on a Friday and ends Sunday evening. The cost of the program is $200.00, which the offenders pay. Each week-
end includes group sessions which concentrate on alcohol and illegal drugs. The offender is forced to look at
their use and its effects on others. Also included in the weekend is Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, which pro-
vides trained volunteers from their organization to present their Victims Impact Panel.
In analyzing the data to measure the success of Impact Weekend, it is also important to examine the demo-
graphics of the population served. Therefore, general demographic information such as gender and age of the
490 participants was collected. Remarkably, these statistics gathered coincide with that of state and national sta-
tistics for drunk driving offenders. Of all participants during 2001, 384 were males, which accounts for 77% of
the total. The number of female offenders who attended Impact Weekend is 106, or 23%. Comparatively, nation-
al gender statistics for drinking and driving offenders is approximately 78% male to 22% female.
In addition to gender statistics, the age of each participant was documented. The average age of the CAMP pro-
gram was 19 for both males and females. The adult program, Links to Recovery, showed an average age of 34
for males and 33 for females. According to the data collected on Impact Weekend participants, the majority of
offenders fall into the age groups ranging from 17 to 38. Again, this is consistent, as national statistics report
63% of drunk driving offenders are 38 years of age or below.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 3 in every 10 Americans will be
involved in an alcohol-related accident at some time in their lives. It is believed that because of proactive pro-
grams such as the Weekend Inpatient Program, these numbers will improve.
The Oakland County Jail is overcrowded. Yet, certain individuals require the close supervision that currently can
only be provided by a jail. These individuals ignore the risk they pose to others by taking to the highways of our
communities and operating their motor vehicles while intoxicated. It is estimated that on each holiday and week-
end night, one in seven drivers will be driving drunk.
In the United States, a person is injured in an alcohol-related collision approximately every thirty seconds. A per-
son is killed in an alcohol-related collision approximately every half-hour. Between 1982 through 1995, 300,274
people lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes. In 1996, 17,126 people were killed by drunk drivers, 555 in
Michigan alone. Obviously, there is a need for a new, tough proactive approach to this problem.
The 52-1 District Court, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Oakland County Community Corrections,
and Justice Alternatives for Michigan (J.A.M.S) came together to launch a community punishment program
named Day-by-Day. This program is designed to increase supervision for those who have been convicted of driv-
ing drunk on Michigan's highways, and at the same time, to ensure that these individuals obtain the help they so
A defendant in the Day-by-Day Program is required to report every day for a period ranging from one day to two
years at a location run by Justice Alternatives for Michigan. The defendant must submit to daily alcohol and/or
drug testing. The defendant must also provide proof of employment and will be supervised to ensure that they
are at work and home when they are supposed to be. Each defendant is subject to monitoring to ensure they are
attending the Court-ordered educational and/or drug counseling programs. The J.A.M.S. Center also provides
Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on site.
As part of this operation, Mothers Against Drunk Driving will provide volunteer support to help monitor the indi-
vidual defendants, and provide victim impact sessions at the J.A.M.S. Center.
Oakland County Community Corrections will provide follow-up contact with each defendant after thirty days,
ninety days, six months, and twelve months. These contacts will be designed to assist individual defendants by
providing support services such as job referrals and counseling support.
At the same time, the Probation Department of the 52nd District Court, 1st Division, will monitor each defen-
dant to ensure all the conditions of the Court sentence are followed and that all defendants are complying with
the requirements of the Day-by-Day Program.
The cost for this program will be borne by the defendant at a rate of $10.00 per day. The organizations that join
together to create the Day-by-Day Program believe that this increased supervision of those who have been con-
victed of alcohol-related offenses can substantially reduce the risk posed by them on the highways of our area.
Alternative Service Program
Shown above: Judge Michael Batchik and Alternative Service
Coordinator Bill Chatfield (not shown is Bill Brown).
The 1st Division of the 52nd District Court initiated the Alternative Service Program in 1986, under the direc-
tion of Judge Michael Batchik. The purpose of the program is to give the judges a sentencing alternative to jail.
Alternative sentencing involves assigning misdemeanor offenders to community service work at a charge of $15
per five-hour day. Judge Batchik described the program as a "positive form of punishment. Rather than sitting
around in jail, we get production from that person." Shoplifters, drunken drivers and probation violators are
among the two hundred and fifty people per year who trade five hours in the program for each day they would
have served in jail. Workers, whose sentence range from 25 to 200 hours, must be non-violent offenders with no
histories of mental illness.
Throughout the entire year, work crews are sent to participating
municipalities, townships, schools, and parks to do mainte-
nance such as landscaping projects, painting buildings and jan-
itorial services. The participating governmental units are those
that fall under the jurisdiction of the district court. Alternative
Service Officer Bill Brown supervises this portion of the pro-
gram. Many construction projects for schools and playgrounds
have been completed utilizing the work skills of the defendants.
In addition, work crews assist charitable organizations which
include the Walled Lake "Fish" Program. FISH distributes food
throughout the year for needy families.
The garden is pictured above.
The Community Service Garden is also included in the
Alternative Service Program. Commerce Township has
allowed the court to use township property to plant the
garden. Early each spring, the garden is planted under the
supervision of Alternative Service Officer Bill Chatfield.
Throughout the garden season, work crews are required to
plant, cultivate the garden and then harvest the produce.
The fruits and vegetables are distributed to local charities.
Low-income families, seniors and shut-ins in Oakland
County receive in excess of 700 bushels of fresh vegeta-
bles such as tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, beets, eggplants
and mustard greens. The value of produce distributed was
over $12,175.00. Besides freeing up jail space for serious
Bill Brown and Bill Chatfield offenders, the probationers maintain regular jobs while
Alternative Service Coordinators raising hundreds of bushels of produce for the needy and
senior citizens. The produce is distributed to Senior
Citizen's Villa, Oakland County Food Bank, Pontiac Lighthouse,
and nursing homes. The Community Service Garden runs from
May until the pumpkin harvest which ends the season on
The judges of the 1st Division of the 52nd District Court refer
defendants to the Alternative Service Program whereby defendants
render services and goods to the community. It is a sentencing tool
that allows defendants to remain in the community, live with their
families and keep their jobs while completing their obligation to
the Court. The taxpayer benefits by the number of jail days not
utilized. Currently, the estimated cost of one jail day is $78. The
Produce harvested from garden.
Court has found that those offenders who were sentenced to com-
munity service feel a sense of pride in what they have accom-
plished. Many defendants return at harvest time to see the results of their work. Based on the success of this pro-
gram, the positive feedback from defendants and the savings it offers to the taxpayer, the 1st Division of the 52nd
District Court will continue its effort to develop and implement alternative programs.
Pictured are defendants working in the
Virtual Courthouse Website
Beginning December 2, 1999, the 52-1 District Court, the Walled Lake School System, Sequoia Diversified
Products, Inc., and the Department of Information Technology for Oakland County joined together to launch a
new program. On that date, eleven students from the 6th and 8th grades of the Walled Lake School system toured
the 1st Division of the 52nd District Court, observed cases, met with the judges, and looked at the facility so that
they could create a virtual web site version of the 52nd District Court. Now complete, the web site is located at
This project grew out of the 1st Division of the 52nd District Court's Town Hall meetings in November 1998.
During these meetings the court learned that a large number of its constituents were not familiar with the 52nd
District Court. Most had never been to the court and what little they knew came from press coverage of indi-
vidual cases. As a result, the Court began to think about new ways of providing information about its operation
and activities to the public, including the creation of a web site.
The meetings had also convinced the Court that it needed to do more community outreach. It needed to expand
upon and create new coalitions to meet the changing needs of the communities it serves. At the same time, the
Walled Lake Consolidated School District was looking for ways to enhance its innovative 6th grade laptop com-
puter class. So, when one of the Judges contacted William Hamilton, the assistant superintendent of the Walled
Lake Consolidated School System, the project was born.
When William Murray, the President of Sequoia Net.com, a leading computer company, happened to meet one
of the Judges of the 52-1 District Court and was told about the project, as a public service, he offered to provide
the location for the web site. He also suggested that some of his company's experienced programmers would be
happy to assist the students in creating a virtual courtroom.
Finally, the director of the Department of Information Technologies of Oakland County agreed to provide all
additional technical assistance and to create all of the digital images for the project.
This unique project has created a web site that provides useful information about the 1st Division of the 52nd
District Court at no cost to the taxpayer. It provides a pictorial and graphic representation of one of the court-
rooms located at the courthouse with place identifiers for all trial participants, including the judge, clerk, reporter,
witnesses, prosecutors, defense attorney, jury, and audience. A screen describing their individual roles in the
courtroom is available with the click of a mouse.
The web site also supplies a general description of the court along with specific information about the Court's
Civil, Criminal, Probation and Traffic Divisions. Under these locations, one can find traffic fine schedules, learn
how traffic fine monies are used and learn about small claims, landlord tenant, court programs, and criminal mat-
ters. There are detailed maps to assist people in finding the courthouse and a full explanation of the reasons for
In 2001, four new additions were placed in the Website. New content was added to the community court section
and it was combined with the Model Court section. A Virtual Tour on the site was developed in order to better
understand the 1st Division of the 52nd District Court. Another way to understand the court better is to go into
the new Ask the Judge section. Questions can be presented on the Website and answered by one of the judges.
Finally, the creators of the Website portion was changed in order to reflect the new web page team from Sequoia
and the Walled Lake Middle School.
These students had a unique opportunity to learn about District Court operations while using that knowledge to
better develop their computer skills. They succeeded to such an extent that the parties have agreed to make it an
ongoing project. Each semester, students in the sixth grade laptop class will visit the court, then, working with
the court and Sequoia Net.com, will expand and improve the web site.
Thomas Grossman is a member of
the Web Team.
Program Director Judy Hodge assigns a case to
mediator John Berndt.
To assist the resolution of small claims cases, in March, the 52nd District Court introduced the Alternative
Dispute Resolution Program, which is commonly referred to as case mediation and is sponsored by the Oakland
The Michigan Court Rules define "mediation" as a process in which a neutral third party (mediator) facilitates
communication between parties, assists in identifying issues, and helps to explore solutions to promote a mutu-
ally acceptable settlement. Unlike litigation, where one party wins and one loses, mediation helps parties reach
their own mutually satisfactory resolution in a non-adversarial manner.
There is no charge to the parties for mediations conducted by the Center. All mediators used by the court have
completed a 40-hour training program and a 10-hour internship. Mediators assist in negotiations to find a solu-
tion that satisfies the needs of all parties.
Mediations are confidential and mediators can neither be called as witnesses nor have their records subpoenaed
if the case is not resolved at mediation.
Benefits of mediation include:
• The decision-making process belongs to the parties. They decide how to best resolve the dispute;
unlike going to court, no one judges the problem and renders a solution.
• Thousands of cases have been successfully mediated to all parties' satisfaction
• About 80% of all mediations end in agreement. In fact, the likelihood of settling a dispute to both
parties' satisfaction through mediation is much higher than in small claims court.
Between March and December, 85% of cases referred to the mediation program were resolved without requir-
ing a court hearing.
Mediation is a "win/win" rather than a "win/lose" solution. In court, someone wins and someone loses.
Mediation also reduces the likelihood that the problem will occur again.
Ernest and Eva Dawn Aruffo are happy to assist visitors to the courthouse.
District courts can be confusing and difficult to navigate. Everyday, defendants, plaintiffs, attorneys, witnesses,
jurors and visitors enter through the front doors of our building. Those entering the 1st Division of the 52nd
District Court for the first time may not have an understanding of where they should go or what they should do.
Therefore, volunteers have been assisting the public at the 52-1 District Court for a few years.
In 2000, the court established a Volunteer Desk near the
front entrance of the building. The desk is staffed with
volunteers who can answer a wide variety of questions.
Most often, those entering the building need direction
toward the correct department or courtroom. Volunteers
explain the location of each Judge's courtroom, their
respective schedules for the day and the department which
they may need to speak to.
Thanks to these volunteers, people are made more com-
fortable entering the courthouse and there is less confu-
sion. The volunteers are greatly appreciated by the public
and the court staff for their dedication to helping others.
Keith Dunsmore is a volunteer.
Honorable Brian W. MacKenzie, Presiding Judge
James Perrizo, Court Recorder, 4/6/92
Dawn King, Judge's Clerk, 2/20/01
Honorable Michael Batchik Honorable Dennis N. Powers
Colleen Molnar, Court Recorder, 2/22/99 Rosie Coleman, Court Recorder, 1/2/79
Jason Kucmierz, Judge's Clerk, 5/18/00 Jeffrey Campbell, Judge's Clerk, 5/3/99
Magistrates Probation Officers
Honorable Judith Holtz, 2/14/92 Patricia Crane, Chief, 7/30/79
Honorable Robert McKenney, 5/15/89 Alexandra Black, 6/23/95
Honorable Andra Richardson, 1/11/88 David Campbell, 7/1/98
Karen Rocheleau, Court Recorder, 10/1/97 Carol Sue Doyle, 4/6/72
Suzanne Garrett, 12/9/88
Administrative Staff Dale Gray, 3/5/01
Michelle Bilger, Court Administrator, 3/21/71 Jennifer Huettner, 3/13/00
Joyce Renfrow, Dept. Court Admin, 1/28/73 Julie Josselyn, 12/2/96
Alexis Wing, 3/5/01
Administrative Support Staff & Cashier
Deborah Bigger, Account Clerk, 1/11/82 Probation Investigators
Barbara Tabb, Cashier, 6/17/96 Maria Caruso
Criminal Division Leanne Keller
Missy Neff, Supervisor, 7/5/77 Lisa Kulchy
Linda Gorman, Clerk, 12/26/00 Michelle Rowley
Thomas Grossman, Clerk, 7/7/97
Nancy Halmagy, Clerk 1/12/98 Probation Clerical Division
Shannon Henson, Clerk, 1/27/92 Jennifer Moore, Supervisor, 5/18/99
Paula Hummel, Clerk, 1/27/92 Nancy Gliddon, Clerk, 12/18/00
Jennifer Kelbert, Clerk 10/30/98 Joyce McKay, Clerk, 8/8/88
Kathy Pawczuk, Clerk, 10/26/98 Kathy Rexin, Clerk, 1/24/77
Deborah Pawlowski, Clerk, 10/25/99 Amy Tinnion, Clerk 4/28/98
Meribeth Trulu, Clerk, 12/9/99 Tiffany Trotter, Clerk, 7/21/97
Cheryl Vowles, Clerk, 5/22/00 Kelly Bannester, Student
Paul Ward, Clerk, 3/5/01
Candice Shroat, Student Traffic Division
Ann Groth, Supervisor, 11/5/79
Civil Division Joan Bishop, Clerk, 4/6/92
Lorna Skipworth, Supervisor, 6/15/95 Kathleen Bond, Clerk, 12/10/79
Patricia Bartlett, Clerk, 11/28/96 Angela Booth, Clerk, 12/10/79
Becky Peans, Clerk, 3/19/01 Susanne May, Clerk, 10/15/97
Donna Rusher, Clerk, 7/9/85 Jennifer McDonald, Clerk 2/11/99
Wendy Strayer, Clerk, 10/20/97 Phyllis Stafford, Clerk, 12/15/75
Melissa Walter, Clerk, 7/5/88 Paul Moreno, Student
Kerry Ziola, Clerk/Cashier, 6/9/92 Stephanie Poss, Student
Megan Calme, Student, 6/19/00
Alternative Service Program Coordinators
SPECIAL THANKS TO SUZANNE GARRETT AND MICHELLE BILGER FOR THEIR
EXTRAORDINARY EFFORT IN THE CREATION OF OUR 3rd ANNUAL REPORT.
THE PRIMARY REASON THE 52ND DISTRICT COURT EXISTS IS TO:
Provide quality judicial services to all people in a manner consistent with the principles
of justice as set forth by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of
Michigan and the laws therein.
TO ACHIEVE THIS FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE, THE 52ND DISTRICT COURT
SHOULD EXCEL IN:
• Case management and dispute resolution
• Development of new approaches to judicial administration
• Staff, information, and fiscal management
• Public education
• Probation services
• Records management and preservation
THE CORE VALUES AND PRINCIPLES WHICH WILL GUIDE THE 52ND DISTRICT
COURT IN THE FULFILLMENT OF THIS MISSION ARE:
• Commitment to equal justice under the law
• Commitment to integrity and fairness
• Commitment to constituent-entered services (courtesy, openness and
• Commitment to innovation and flexibility
• Timeliness and accuracy
• Promotion of a positive work environment
• Commitment to fiscal management of court services.