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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: June 30, 2022

Mayor Brown Appoints New Buffalo City Court Chief Judge

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Buffalo, NY - Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced the appointment of new Buffalo City Court Chief Judge JaHarr S. Pridgen who will fill the vacancy created by Judge Craig D. Hannah. Back in January of 2015, Judge Pridgen became the youngest jurist on the Buffalo City Court bench when Mayor Byron W. Brown appointed her to the position at the age of 34. Later that same year, after receiving endorsements from the Democratic, Republican, Conservative, and Working Families Parties, Judge Pridgen was elected unopposed to serve a ten-year term to the Buffalo City Court bench. As a Buffalo City Court Judge, Judge Pridgen handled criminal and civil cases.

Mayor Brown stated, “Since 2015, Judge JaHarr Pridgen has demonstrated her commitment and sharpness on the Buffalo City Court bench and made significant contributions to our community. It is my great pleasure to appoint her as Chief Judge of Buffalo City Court. She has fought for fairness and equity at every step of her career, and I have no doubt that she will continue to do what she has always done to make Buffalo even more fair, equitable and just.”

Prior to her appointment and election, Judge Pridgen served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. As an Assistant District Attorney, Judge Pridgen prosecuted misdemeanor and felony cases. She also served as a Legislative Assistant to former University District Common Councilmember Bonnie E. Russell.

Judge Pridgen attended Buffalo Public School #68 and after attending and graduating from ‘Buffalo Prep’, Judge Pridgen received a four-year scholarship and attended Holy Angels Academy. Judge Pridgen earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo and earned her Juris Doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2007.

 Judge Pridgen is a member of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York, Bar Association of Erie County, Western New York Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, New York State Bar Association, National Association of Women Judges, and New York State Association of City Court Judges.

 Judge Pridgen is the recipient of several awards and acknowledgments. She attributes her success and accomplishments to her family and strong faith in God. Judge Pridgen is also honored to carry the title of ‘First Lady’ as she is the wife of Elder Craig D. Pridgen, Pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church of Niagara Falls. Judge Pridgen is the proud mother of two daughters, Jordin and Journey.

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