Hon. Jeannine Turgeon
Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas, Harrisburg
Judge Turgeon served as a law clerk to the Honorable Genevieve Blatt of Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania (1977-1979), and then worked as an associate lawyer with the Harrisburg firm of Nauman, Smith, Shissler & Hall (1979-1981). In 1991, she formed her own law firm, Campbell, Spitzer, Davis & Turgeon, later Davis & Turgeon. In November 1991, she was elected as the first woman judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County and only the third Democrat since its inception over 200 years ago. She served as a member and was Chair of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Domestic Relations Rules Committee (1997-2003), which drafts new statewide rules on unified family court reform, custody, divorce, child support guidelines, mediation, protection from abuse and related issues. She chaired the Pennsylvania Trial Judges Family Law Section from 1996 to 2000. Judge Turgeon is Co-Chair of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Civil Jury Instructions Committee, which recently revised over 300 standard suggested jury instructions. She also has been re-appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to serve on the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guideline Commission (2003-2009). Judge Turgeon has taught as an Associate Professor of Criminal Law at Penn State University, Capital Campus and family law at Widener Law School. During her current tenure as Domestic Relations Judge, she has instituted many new programs to expedite conferences and increase child support enforcement. As administrative judge of domestic violence cases, Judge Turgeon instituted a holistic courtroom approach referring both plaintiffs and defendants to various human service providers including housing, Drug & Alcohol, Mental Health/Mental Retardation, Children & Youth Services and batterers’ intervention programs. She is Co-Chair of the Central Pennsylvania Judges and Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and Judges (LCL). Judge Turgeon was instrumental in the creation of the Seminar for Separating Parents Program in Dauphin County. During her term as Juvenile Court Judge, she founded the Community Alliance for Youth at Risk (CAYR) work group and developed a Truancy Task Force; she was a delegate to the Presidents’ Summit on Youth at Risk and was a founding member and Vice-President for the Tri-County Alliance for Youth at Risk. Judge Turgeon’s service during her tenure on the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas, a court of general jurisdiction, involves handling all matters civil, criminal, family and equity, including Criminal/Civil bench and jury trials (1992-2008); Support Court (1992-1994; 2000-2005); Emergency Custody Judge (1994-1995); Custody Conciliation Supervisor (1993-1995); Mandatory Seminar for Separating Parents Program Supervisor (1993-1996); Juvenile Court Judge (1996-1997); Mental Health Court Judge (1998-1999); Prison Board Member (1998-1999); Election Board Member (1999); and Protection From Abuse Court Judge (2000-2001). She is Vice-Chair of the Judicial Security Committee and a member of the PPA Parenting Coordination Task Force; Common Pleas Computer Project Committee; Executive Committee Representative–PA Conference of State Trial Judges; the Steering Committee of the Dauphin County Capital Beginnings Early Childhoood Initiative; the Pre K Leadership Council and the Community Action Commission. Judge Turgeon served as a member of the PA Attorney General’s Family Violence Task Force, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) Protection from Abuse Database Project Advisory Committee, The Harrisburg Center for Healthy Child Development (Penn State/Greater Harrisburg Foundation) and Drug Free Pennsylvania Board of Directors. Judge Turgeon is on the Board of Directors for the Community Action Commission (2008-Present), a member of the Pennsylvania Task Force on Parenting Coordination (2007-2008) and a Zone Representative of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges (2008-Present). She has authored A Custody System That Works, which appeared in Jurispondence (Pennsylvania Trial Judges) Dec., 1995; and in The Pennsylvania Lawyer Dec., 1996; How to [Create] A Custody System That Works, which appeared in The County Line (PBA) July 1996; Judges: Should Pharmacological Treatment Be a Condition of Certain Sex Offenders’ Probation or Parole? which appeared in Jurispondence (Pennsylvania Trial Judges) May 1997; PFA Court - A Problem Solving Court, Pennsylvania Family Lawyer, Dec., 2001; and she has also co-authored an article with Mary Cushing Doherty, Esquire, entitled Partnership Means Progress For Family Court Reform for the PBA Family Law Section (May 2003). Judge Turgeon is a frequent lecturer for PBI, the PBA Family Law Section, the PA State Trial Judges Conference, CASSP, Widener University School of Law, bar associations and organizations, community organizations, churches, schools and has also testified before the State House Judiciary Committee. She sits as a volunteer judge for Pennsylvania’s statewide Moot Court at Widener University School of Law, Dickinson School of Law Moot Court and PBA High School Mock Trial competitions and is a judge for the annual James A. Finnegan Foundation Essay Contest. She is also Chair for the Dauphin County biannual Meet the Judges Program. She is active in numerous civic and community groups and has received varied honors and awards. Judge Turgeon earned her B.A. from Chatham College and her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1977. She is enrolled at the National Judicial College for her Master’s Degree in Judicial Studies.