Governor appoints Jessica Heinen to fill vacancy in 3rd Judicial District Court

TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly appointed Jessica Heinen, Topeka, to fill the vacancy in the 3rd Judicial District Court created by the retirement of Chief Judge Richard Anderson.

“I am confident Jessica will be an impartial and courteous judge to anyone who appears before her due to her strong reputation of showing empathy and respect,” Governor Kelly said. “That reputation, along with her trial experience, prove she will be a great asset to our judicial system from the bench.”

Heinen is a deputy district attorney with the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office. In that role, Heinen prosecutes misdemeanor and felony cases while supervising the entire juvenile division. She previously worked as a staff attorney for the Kansas Securities Commissioner and was an assistant city attorney for the City of Topeka. Heinen is active in the legal community as a member of the Topeka Bar Association, the Kansas County & District Attorneys Association, the Women Attorneys Association of Topeka, and the Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board, where she has served as co-vice chair since 2021. She was born and raised in Seneca, Kan., and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law.

“It is vital that a judge serves the community with integrity and fairness,” Heinen said. “I have spent my legal career in public service, and I am honored to continue that service as a judge for the 3rd Judicial District.”

District court judges in the 3rd Judicial District are appointed by the governor and selected from nominees chosen by a district nominating commission. Judges in nominating commission districts are subject to retention elections every four years.

The other nominees selected by the district nominating commission were Jessica Domme and Todd M. Thornburg.