The New Jersey Supreme Court appointed Superior Court Judge Francis Hodgson Jr. to lead the Ocean Vicinage.
In a Jan. 10 press release, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced Hodgson would take on the position Feb. 1, succeeding Assignment Judge Marlene Lynch Ford, who is retiring after more than 24 years with the judiciary.
Hodgson was appointed to the bench by Gov. Jon Corzine in 2014 and then renominated seven years later by Gov. Chris Christie to the Superior Court. Since 2015, he has served as presiding judge of General Equity. His background also includes time in the family and criminal divisions.
After earning a bachelor’s degree from Stockton State College and a master’s degree from Monmouth University, Hodgson received his law degree from Villanova University. Following graduation, he worked as a law clerk to Ocean Vicinage Civil Presiding Judge Frank Buczynski and was in private practice for a year before joining the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in 1997.
In a statement, Rabner praised Hodgson, describing him as “an exemplary judge with broad experience who is poised to continue the tradition of excellent leadership in the Ocean Vicinage.” He also congratulated Ford “on a remarkable career that encompassed all three branches of government, culminating with her impressive contributions to the judiciary.”
Hodgson said, “I am honored to have this opportunity to lead the hard-working staff and judges of the Ocean Vicinage and am grateful for Chief Justice Rabner’s confidence in my ability to continue to uphold the exceptional reputation of the judiciary.”