Judge Pauline H. Tarver

Judge Pauline H. Tarver
Courtroom:  13-C
Bailiff:  Michael B. Howell
Phone:  (216) 664-4995
Fax:  (216) 420-8859


At an early age, Judge Pauline H. Tarver aspired to become either a doctor or a lawyer.  Being squeamish at the sight of blood at the age of eight, she decided she would be a lawyer and help people in a different way. She went on to graduate from John Adams High School and John Carroll University.  She later received her law degree from Cleveland Marshall Law School.

Immediately after graduation, she worked as a community organizer and then went on to work with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, where as the Justice Systems Coordinator, she counseled victims, trained the Grand Jury, the Cleveland Police Department, the Ohio Patrolmen’s Association and also served briefly as Acting Executive Director during.

As Executive Director of the NAACP Cleveland Branch, Judge Tarver became the organization’s liaison between the NAACP and community organizations, corporations, local and state government.  At the NAACP, she developed monitoring programs ensuring minority participation in major corporations, researched charges of discrimination in hiring and other civil rights violations. Under Judge Tarver’s leadership, the Cleveland Branch NAACP built a diverse coalition of racial, religious and community organizations resulting in a peaceful protest against the KKK in Cleveland, Ohio.  She spearheaded a voter registration campaign and registered 10,000 new voters for the 2000 Presidential campaign.  An accomplished grant writer Judge Tarver created partnerships between the NAACP and various organizations resulting in education, and job training programs for more than 1000 individuals. She designed an HIV/AIDS educational program expanding public awareness of the devastation of HIV/AIDS in the African American community.

Judge Tarver’s law practice included criminal misdemeanor, personal injury, domestic relations, bankruptcy and probate.  She also served as an Acting Magistrate in East Cleveland Municipal Court.

In the winter of 2002, Pauline Tarver realized, despite some very strong opposition, it was time to get serious about politics.  In her first attempt and after a lot of hard work and long hours campaigning, she was elected to the Cleveland Municipal Court in November, 2003 and was privileged to be sworn in by The Honorable Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones.

Judge Tarver’s community affiliations have included the YWCA, Harambee: Services to Black Families, Hitchcock Center for Women, Professional Housing Services, The Empowerment Center of Cleveland, The Job Corps Advisory Board, John Carroll Alumni Advisory Board and MADD.  Currently she serves on the Ohio Supreme Court Specialized Docket Committee and Mentoring Program, the Executive Committee of the NBA Judicial Council, Co-Chair of NBA Newsletter, Immediate Past President, Northern Ohio Municipal Judges Association. 

Her awards and honors include: YWCA Greater Cleveland Woman of Achievement, NAACP Symbol of Excellence Award,  NAACP Freedom Fund Award, W.O. Walker Salute to Community Excellence, NCNW Speakers Appreciation Award, Citizens League of Cleveland Award for Civic Service, NAACP Midwest Region III for Fundraising Achievement, John Carroll University Alumni Medal,  NAACP President’s Award, Community Excellence Award Recognition Resolution from Senator George Voinovich, Southern Poverty Law Center Wall of Tolerance Certificate, NCNW Service Award, Mt. Zion of Oakwood Black History Award, Willson Middle School Appreciation Award, Kaleidoscope Magazine Women Of Diversity Award, CSU Outstanding Woman of Achievement, Affinity Missionary Church Outstanding Community Leader, Leadership Cleveland Graduate, Ohio Beautician’s Community Activist Award.

Judge Tarver’s peers agree that she is tough when she needs to be.  She is fair, compassionate and uses commonsense in her decision making.

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Click the video on the left to view Judge Tarver's court in action, excerpted from a Cleveland Justice episode.

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