The 38th District Court provides programs and services which are indicative of its active and responsible role in the administration of justice.
Community Dispute Resolution: The Community Dispute Resolution Act was passed in 1988 and provides for the implementation of community-based programs to voluntarily resolve disputes as an alternative to the judicial process. The representatives from the Macomb Mediation Center used mediation and conciliation as a means of solving problems and focuses on resolutions that are satisfactory to both parties.
Educational Group Visits/ Tours: The 38th District Court encourages the community to learn more about its operation and jurisdiction through special educational tours/ visits offered by administration. Visiting groups tour the facility, receive an orientation on local operations, observe courtroom proceedings, and meet with the judge, if time allows. For more information, call Judicial Secretary Heidi Terenzi at (586) 776-5611.
Law Day Program: Each year, May 1 is proclaimed "Law Day" to encourage citizens to learn about their rights and our legal system. The 38th District Court Judge will speak at schools and community organizations and participate in a variety of programs including "Lawfair," Bar Association events and educational programs for attorneys and the general public.
U of D Law Clinic: In 2009 Judge Gerds contacted U of D Law School to see if they would be interested in implementing a law clinic at the court. This law clinic allows third year law students to practice under a licensed attorney. Since then the law clinic has handled over 1,700 cases.
Warrant Detail Program: In 2014 the court initiated a Warrant Detail Program to collect outstanding moneys owed to the court. In working with the City of Eastpointe the city converted a city vehicle into the 38th District Court Warrant Detail vehicle. A Collections Officer then reviews outstanding cases and tickets and tacks “Warrant Notices” at their last known address. This “Warrant Notice” notifies them that there is a outstanding warrant for their arrest. The program has yielded over $100,000 since April 2014.
Garnishment Program: In 2013 the court began the task of garnishing defendant’s income tax returns from the State of Michigan. These particular cases involve intensive work in obtaining Social Security Numbers. The court relies on other entities to assist in obtaining Social Security Numbers so that they can be entered in the collections program. Since implementing this program the court has been able to collect over $68,000.
Felony Plea Pilot Program: 16th Circuit Court contacted our court at the end of 2012 to ask if we would be willing to pilot a program for accepting felony pleas here. After several meetings between the 16th Circuit Court and the 38th District Court the felony plea program was developed. Since implementing the pilot program 75 defendants took part in felony pleas being taken at the 38th District Court.