Veterans: The focus of new county court


– Photo by John Meiu

The Macomb County Bar Association recently conducted a seminar to educate attorneys about the new Veteran’s Treatment Court. The mission of the court, according to Switalski, is to serve county veterans through a specialized docket focusing on substance abuse and mental health treatment. Under the plan, he said, each participating court will retain its own cases but the courts will share resources county-wide including procedures and protocols, a mentor support system and defense attorney lists. Switalski has been involved in planning for the court along with fellow Circuit Court Judge Tracey Yokich, 41B District Court Judge Carrie Fuca and 41A District Court Judge Stephen Sierawski. John Walus, a Detroit-area area attorney and a veteran, was named to coordinate the county-wide mentor program. Pamukov-Miller said veterans, in some cases because of their service, “have sustained injury both mental and physical and at some point get involved with criminal activity. The court is designed to address the issues underneath that cause criminal behavior, which might be service-related, and try to get these people on the right track.”