The Honorable Rodney Thompson, P.J.F.P.
Board Director, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Judge Thompson sits in the Mercer County Superior Court – Family Part, where he serves as Presiding Judge and hears juvenile delinquency, domestic violence, contempt of restraining order, weapons forfeiture, family crisis and other matters, as needed. He has presided over and served as the Lead Judge for the Children in Court docket, hearing child abuse, neglect and termination of parental rights matters. He is a member of the Conference of Family Presiding Judges, including past or present participation on the family presiding judges mentorship, juvenile, and law clerk recruitment committees. He will serve as chair of the Family Presiding Judges Conference beginning in September 2023. He also chairs the Mercer County Domestic Violence Working Group and co-chairs its Youth Services Commission and Council on Juvenile Justice System Improvement.
Prior to appointment to Superior Court, Judge Thompson was a municipal court judge for more than four years. He served a complete term as a full-time judge in Trenton and was reappointed Chief Judge. Additionally, he presided over the shared services Municipal Court for Westampton, Eastampton and Hainesport townships in Burlington County. He was the first African-American municipal court judge to serve in the Westampton Municipal Court.
Judge Thompson worked for over a decade in his own general private law practice. Simultaneous to private practice, he also served as a municipal public defender for 12 years in Trenton. He has also worked for the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, Office of Parental Representation, representing parents in child abuse, neglect and termination of parental rights cases.
Judge Thompson graduated from Mercer County Community College with honors, earning an Associate in Applied Science degree in 1988. In the same year, he was selected as a Harry S. Truman Scholar from New Jersey. Endowed by the United States Congress in 1975 as a living memorial to the 33rd President, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship is the premier graduate fellowship in the United States and is awarded to undergraduates with demonstrated leadership potential, commitment to public service and academic excellence. In 1990, he graduated cum laude from Trenton State College, now The College of New Jersey. While at Trenton State College, he was selected for, and participated in, the Washington Center’s Minority Leaders Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 1989.
Judge Thompson then earned Juris Doctor and Master of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University, both in 1993. While at Syracuse University, he was named an Andrews Scholar by the College of Law, and a Graduate Scholar by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. These scholarships covered full tuition for both degrees. He received the 2021 Syracuse University College of Law Black Law Student Association William Herbert Johnson, Esq., Legacy Award and 2023 Law Honors Award.