The United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan is pleased to announce the appointment of the Honorable Hala Y. Jarbou as its newest United States District Judge for the Western District of Michigan. Judge Jarbou will succeed to the seat previously occupied by the Honorable Robert Holmes Bell. Nominated by President Donald J. Trump on March 18, 2020, Judge Jarbou was confirmed by the Senate on September 10, 2020 and she received her judicial commission on September 23, 2020. Her appointment is effective September 25, 2020 following her swearing in by Chief United States District Judge Robert J. Jonker.
Judge Jarbou was born in Telkaif, Iraq, and emigrated to the United States as a child with her family. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1994, earning her bachelor’s degree with High Distinction.
Judge Jarbou received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 1997. She began her legal career as an assistant prosecuting attorney in the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office where she prosecuted general felony offenses, homicides, child sexual assault and high-profile felony cases. In 2010, Judge Jarbou went on to become an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan where she prosecuted federal felonies including firearms cases, child pornography and high-level drug trafficking cases. Judge Jarbou most recently served as a Judge on Michigan’s Sixth Judicial Circuit (Oakland County) following her appointment by Governor Rick Snyder in October 2015.
Judge Jarbou has demonstrated a dedicated record of service to the legal profession and her community with years of membership and active participation in several community, legal and bar associations.
Judge Jarbou will hear cases arising throughout the entire Western District, but she will sit in Lansing. The Court is eager to have a full-time District Judge once again take up residence in the Capital City of our State. She will serve as the 22nd U.S. District Judge in the Western District of Michigan since its establishment in 1863 under President Abraham Lincoln. Judge Jarbou has the distinction of being the first Chaldean American to be appointed to the federal bench.
In reflecting on the long anticipated appointment, Chief Judge Jonker commented: “We are thankful to the President and the Senate for sending us such an outstanding person and jurist to join the Court. Her inspiring personal story of immigration from Iraq, and her history of thoughtful work and collegial engagement make her a welcome addition to our bench.”