Video features court volunteers

A husband-and-wife volunteer team that welcomes, guides and reassures visitors to Novi’s 52-1 District Court is among those featured in the newest episode in Court Stories, the Michigan Supreme Court’s online video series.

“Novi District Court: Volunteers Are Priceless” explains how the court staffed a customer service desk with volunteers, including retirees, who help visitors navigate the court.

Volunteers also assist court staff, freeing employees for other duties. Student volunteers in the probation department get practical experience in the criminal justice system as a basis for future careers.

Judge Brian W. MacKenzie of the 52nd District Court said that part of the volunteer program is aimed at making the court experience less intimidating.

“Much of the time, visitors don’t know what to expect and aren’t sure where to go,” MacKenzie said. “Our volunteers provide a friendly face, and they’re also well trained so that they can make the experience easier.”

The story features MacKenzie, Court Administrator Joyce A. Renfrow and district court staff and volunteers. Editing and design was provided by Brian Town of Michigan Creative in East Lansing.

Court Stories tells the everyday stories of Michigan courts and the people they serve.

The series is on the “Michigan Courts” YouTube channel ( and on the court’s web site and the Michigan Courts “One Court of Justice” web site.