In consultation with Acting Chief Administrative Judge Tamiko Amaker, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Norman St. George, and Appellate Division Fourth Department Presiding Justice Gerald J. Whalen, Hon. Kevin M. Carter, Administrative Judge of the Eighth Judicial District, announces the appointment of Chief Judge of Buffalo City Court JaHarr Pridgen as Supervising Judge of the City Courts of the Eighth Judicial District and New York State Court of Claims Judge Betty Calvo-Torres as Supervising Judge of the Town and Village Justice Courts for Wyoming and Genesee Counties, effective January 1, 2023.
As Supervising Judge of the City Courts, Judge Pridgen will oversee the judicial administration of the Eighth Judicial District’s eleven City Courts – Batavia, Buffalo, Dunkirk, Jamestown, Lackawanna, Lockport, Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda, Olean, Salamanca, and Tonawanda. In 2021, the Eighth Judicial District’s City Courts disposed of over 68,000 matters.
Chief Judge Pridgen was first elected to Buffalo City Court in 2014. She was appointed Chief Judge of Buffalo City Court in June 2022. She was designated Acting Erie County Court Judge in 2017. Chief Pridgen presided over the Buffalo City Court Domestic Violence Part from December 2017 through July 2022 and the Buffalo City Court Human Trafficking Part from January 2021 through the present. Prior to her election as a City Court Judge, Chief Judge Pridgen served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. She currently serves on the board as an officer at Buffalo Prep. She is a member of the New York State Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, Statewide Judicial Commission on Human Trafficking, and the Eighth Judicial District Gender Fairness Committee. In addition, she is a member of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York, the Bar Association of Erie County, the Western New York Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, and the New York State Association of City Court Judges.
As Supervising Judge of the Town and Village Justice Court for Wyoming and Genesee Counties, Judge Calvo-Torres will oversee the judicial administration of thirty-five Town and Village Justice Courts.
Judge Calvo-Torres was appointed Judge of the New York State Court of Claims in June 2022. At the time, she was designated Acting New York State Supreme Court Justice. Prior to her appointment to the New York State Court of Claims, Judge Calvo-Torres served on the Buffalo City Court between 2017 and 2022. While at Buffalo City Court Judge Calvo-Torres presided over the Drug Court, Mental Heather Court and Veteran’s Court from June 2021 through June 2022 and the presiding Domestic Violence Court Judge from 2010-2012. Prior to her judicial tenure, Judge Calvo- Torres served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and served in private practice as a criminal defense attorney and family law attorney through Buffalo and Western New York. She also served as a staff attorney for Nation Inner City Youth Opportunities. Judge Calvo-Torres currently serves on the Board of Directors of Read to Succeed. She also serves as Vice-President of the Puerto-Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of WNY and the Co-Director of City Kids @ Summer Camp. She previously served as a past president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York, Inc., and Chair of the Bar Association of Erie County Minority Outreach Committee.
Administrative Judge Carter stated, “We are committed to the continued pursuit of excellence in the Eighth Judicial District. Judge Pridgen, who is African American, will serve as the first female Supervising Judge of the City Courts. Judge Calvo-Torres will serve as the first Hispanic Supervising Judge of the Town and Village Justice Courts. We continue to focus on promoting equal justice in the courts, and I know both Judges Pridgen and Calvo-Torres will remain dedicated to assure justice for all.”