The article below first appeared in the September 2021 issue of The Journal
MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGE LINDY L. SWEENEY
DISTRICT COURT 19-3-04
Since taking office January 1, 2018, Judge Lindy L. Sweeney has enjoyed redirecting and expanding her community service activities. Active in the Rotary Club of Southern York County, the New Freedom Lions Club, and New Freedom Heritage prior to her election as a Magisterial District Judge, her focus has shifted from activities that previously included fundraising to those of service only. Lions Club activities include the scholarship selection committee, spearheading the bi-annual Adopt-A-Highway roadway trash clean-up events, and organizing annual community awareness/education events.
Past topics include the opioid epidemic and human trafficking. Community education on the subject of vaping is the next topic on the radar when the pandemic guidelines allow.
Rotary Club activities include the scholarship committee and the historic Road to Remembrance/Trees for the Trail project with the planting of over 200 trees along the Susquehanna Trail from Jacobus Borough to the Maryland-Pennsylvania line.
Replacing those trees brings the total back to the original 400 sycamore trees planted by the War Mothers Club honoring WWI veterans. This stretch of the Susquehanna Trail in Southern York County has been re-dedicated to all veterans. In addition to serving in various capacities on the general committee for this 3-year project, she chaired the Dedication Ceremony Committee, planning and overseeing the ceremony held on November 10, 2019, marking the 100th anniversary of the planting of the original trees.
Judge Sweeney and her Rotary Club are currently part of the I-83 beautification project working with several other municipalities and local service clubs to erect and maintain a “Welcome to Southern York County” sign, American flag/flagpole, and landscaped area adjacent to the Shrewsbury (exit 4) new diverging diamond being constructed by PennDOT in Southern York County.
Working with her Rotary Club and the local Paul Smith Library of Southern York County, Judge Sweeney also works annually on a Human Rights Day project. The January 2020 event focused on civil discourse.
Judge Sweeney is part of a county-wide coalition to offer an education-based course for students and parents/guardians for first-time vaping on school property as an alternative resolution to a summary offense charge. She is also spearheading a youth mentorship program (countywide) to connect members of the York County Prison Honor Guard and other prison staff with troubled youth. Others working with Judge Sweeney on this project include CCP Judge Joseph Adams, York County Bar Association Executive Director Victoria Connor, Linda Gorter of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and William Cuffaro, Shift Commander and Clair Doll, Warden, York County Prison.
In 2018 and 2019, Judge Sweeney visited all of the 5th grade classes in the Southern York County School District for a “Judge in the Classroom” presentation. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the school district asked her to prepare a video presentation instead. The presentation was used as part of the hybrid in-person learning as well as in the district’s digital academy.
Anyone who would like to view the Google Slides presentation for the 2019 in-person presentation or the 2020 video presentation (available via a Google link) should contact Judge Sweeney at email@example.com or call her District Court office at 717.227.0688.
The article below first appeared in The Journal
LINDY L. SWEENEY
MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGE
DISTRICT COURT 19-3-04
Magisterial District Judge Lindy L. Sweeney presides over the townships of Shrewsbury and Springfield and the boroughs of Jacobus, Loganville, Shrewsbury, New Freedom, Glen Rock, and Railroad in the county of York. She was elected to office in November of 2017, filling the position previously occupied by Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Joy.
Prior to being elected a judge, Sweeney worked in a private law firm in York, PA as a Senior Litigation Paralegal for 34 years. Before that, the Judge worked for a Baltimore County Maryland law firm, where she spent the first seven years of her career as a paralegal, handling tax, estate, and trust work, as well as real estate. She retired from full-time work in 2013 and from part-time work in 2015.
Judge Sweeney attended the York campus of Penn State and York College of Pennsylvania. She resides with her husband, Steven, who retired from his own tool and die business in 2001. They have a son, Joshua, who is a Class A, PGA Golf Professional and teaches golf full time at Reston National, Reston Virginia.
The Judge served on the Appeals Committee for Credentials with Keystone Alliance of Parelegal Association. She achieved Certified Paralegal credentials in Pennsylvania. She is accredited by the State of Georgia to lecture for continuing education for liability claims personnel. In her prior employment, she frequently lectured for law firms’ self-insured clients, insurance carriers, and paralegal associations. Judge Sweeney has received various scouting leadership awards from the Boy Scouts of America. She is a member of the New Freedom Lions Club, SYC Rotary Club, New Freedom Heritage, and works with Hospice. Her outside interests are golf and reading.
She is most rewarded in her MDJ role by learning that she has made a positive difference in someone’s life and finds the most interesting facet of her position to be seeking creative solutions where circumstances warrant and the law permits. The most difficult thing for her is seeing the same people again and again being helpless to get them on the right track and making better choices.
Judge Sweeney shares that “trusting myself in knowing I’m treating people fairly and equally; taking my duties and role seriously, but not myself. A sense of humor is the best stress reliever.”
The Judge traveled on the Queen Elizabeth 2, but says her best trip so far was ten days in Ireland with the return trip on a transatlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2. In the future she wants a LONG trip on the Queen Victoria, so she can say “I’ve sailed on all three of the QUEENS.”
There are two favorite quotes that come to the Judge’s mind when asked. They were by Eleanor Roosevelt. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people,” and, the second, “A woman is like a teabag - you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”
Judge Sweeney comments, “I am truly grateful and thankful for a most accomplished and professional administrative staff of team players. They have made my transition to the MDJ position smooth and I learn something from them every day.”
The article below first appeared in The Journal
ITEMS OF INTEREST:
PATHWAY TO THE BENCH
Magisterial District Judge Lindy Sweeney, in addition to being highlighted in this issue of The Journal, has submitted her pathway to the bench in York County.
She began her career in the law as part of a two person litigation team in the position of a Senior Litigation Paralegal. In 2004, after working 22 years with Attorney Robert Lerman, she decided that she would like to change direction and become an MDJ. She attended certification school in Chambersburg in February, 2004. She passed the certification examination with the intention of running for the position held by MDJ Vera Heilman in District Court 19-3-04 for 18 years upon her retirement. Attorney Lerman approached her and asked her to delay her plans until he retired.
In August of 2012, she decided she could no longer wait for Attorney Lerman’s retirement and she gave him notice of her retirement effective March, 2013. Again, she was persuaded to work an additional 2 years on a part-time basis. During this period Attorney Lerman was diagnosed with a terminal illness and passed away on December 31, 2016. She planned on staying retired and traveling and feeding her golf addiction.
A vacancy was created in District Court 19-3-04 and she was approached by a number of individuals about running for the position. After much thought and the realization that playing golf everyday does not ensure becoming a better golfer, she decided to seek the position. She recertified in 2016 and was nominated by both parties in the 2017 primary. She spent the remainder of 2017 observing other MDJs in their courts, attending York County Specialty Treatment Courts, and meeting with key personnel within the criminal justice system.
In more ways than one, her path to becoming an MDJ has come full circle. The tract of land where York County built the court facility for District Court 19-3-04 was once part of her family’s farm. So now she sits as a judge in the building where, in her childhood, she rode tractors across the farm’s fields with her grandfather.