San Antonio and Bexar County First Responders Associations Endorse Judge Antonia Arteaga

FEBRUARY 2016, San Antonio, TX – San Antonio Professional Fire Fighters Association (SAPFFA), San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA) and the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County (DSABC) have announced their endorsements of Judge Antonia Arteaga, Bexar County 57th District Court.

All three groups take great care when making their endorsements, requiring thorough interviews as well as a hard look at the history and role each candidate has played in the community. After these extensive evaluations and interviews, the SAPFFA, SAPOA and DSABC have announced Judge Arteaga as their pick for 57th Civil District Court Judge.

“I am humbled,” said Judge Arteaga, “by the trust these first responders have put in me through their endorsements. They are all extremely important to upholding the justice and public safety of our community.”

National Campaign to Stop Violence Nominates Judge Arteaga as San Antonio Chairperson

JUNE 2015, San Antonio, TX – Judge Antonia “Toni” Arteaga has been named the Bexar County Chairperson for the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV).

NCSV is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with the mission to reduce violence and the impact it has in the lives of youth. The organization focuses on bringing the community together to foster conversations and awareness about violence.

“I am honored to be named the Bexar County Chair for the National Campaign to Stop Violence,” said Judge Arteaga. “This is an amazing program which has a continuing positive impact on the youth in our communities through its mission for violence prevention.”

NCSV’s primary initiative is the “Do the Write Thing Challenge” (DtWT) – a program designed to engage middle school students in verbal and written discussions about the impact and causes for violence.

“We ask students to evaluate the violence they have encountered and how they have coped,” said Arteaga. “If they were the adult, how would they prevent violence or solve the existing violence in their lives?”

Each paper is read by community volunteers who select the writers of the most thought provoking essays from each school to attend the DtWT Recognition Ceremony. Every student who submits a completed essay is recognized with a Certificate of Recognition.

The top two finalists, one boy and one girl, will become Bexar County’s National Ambassadors. They will represent Bexar County during the NCSV’s Recognition Week in Washington, D.C., where they will have the opportunity to visit the U.S. Supreme Court and read excerpts of their essays in the presence of representatives of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Education. Their essays will be included in a book along with all other national finalists from all over the country. This book will also be submitted into The Library of Congress.
The Challenge teaches children to deal with conflicts in a constructive way and helps them think through possible real life solutions to the violence that may surround them.

Winners will be announced at the recognition ceremony in April 2016.

Visit: Do the Write Thing San Antonio

FEBRUARY 2016 – Update

“Today, we have over 4400 students who have chosen to participate in the DtWT Challenge. It is very exciting to have narrowed our finalist to 24 students,” said Judge Arteaga. “In April, two well-deserving students from Bexar County will earn the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Washington, D.C and represent our community.

“That moment will be so fulfilling for my DtWT team and me. We have worked for the better part of the year to provide this amazing opportunity to two well-deserving students. It will be wonderful when the fruits of our labor become reality. We look forward to having Bexar County represented in Washington, D.C.”

Judge Helps Bring Kidnapped Kids Home

[Originally Published on September 30, 2009]

San Antonio, Texas, September 2009 – Fast action on the part of presiding Judge Antonia Arteaga helped bring four kidnapped children home.

Mr. Alphonse Harris of Pontiac, Michigan abducted his 13-year-old daughter and three grandchildren (ages 5, 6 and 9) from their San Antonio home this past August after the untimely death of his ex-wife, Alice Harris. Mr. Harris allegedly used the late woman’s van to transport himself and the four children back to Pontiac without notifying authorities or Ms. Harris’s relatives in the San Antonio area.

Briana Harris, the Harris’ 13-year-old daughter, was quick to realize what was happening and took the first opportunity to send a text to her aunt, Denise Thomas. Briana’s fast thinking had authorities registering an Amber Alert for the missing children.

However, despite Mr. Harris’s arrest a mere two days after arriving in Pontiac, the children remained states away. Rather than contact relatives in San Antonio, Michigan CPS had handed them over to Alphonse’s sister, with whom he was residing. Stuck in a web of red tape, the children remained in Michigan awaiting a resolution, hopeful for a return to San Antonio.

Denise Thomas was worried for the safety of the children. Fortunately, she found Attorney Ben Wallis who recognized the urgency of the situation and took the case immediately. Mr. Wallis brought the issue to court where Judge Antonia Arteaga was presiding.

After hearing the details of the case, Judge Arteaga not only signed the orders for the children’s return but contacted the presiding judge in Michigan herself to begin coordinating the children’s safe return. “One judge speaking to another judge got the ball rolling,” said Judge Arteaga.

The children are now safely back in San Antonio.

“The situation could have been a disaster,” commented Mr. Wallis. “I thought it was unusual for a judge to go to those lengths. Too often judges just do their jobs and nothing more.”

Denise Thomas seems to agree, “If it wasn’t for Judge Arteaga we wouldn’t have the kids back.”

For her part, Judge Arteaga just seems happy to have been able to help. “They came to see me, actually,” she said. “When the children returned I was so excited to meet them and see that they were back and safe.” When asked how she felt about the day she made the important call to Michigan she simply said, “It was a good day to be a judge.”

Judge Antonia Arteaga Recognized as a “Gold Medal Judge”

Houston, TX, September 10, 2012 – Judge Antonia Arteaga was recognized as a “Gold Medal Judge” by presenter Mark Lanier in the session “The Gold Medal Judge” at the 2012 Judicial Conference. The session was designed to illustrate what makes a great judge, not from the viewpoint of a plaintiff’s or defense attorney, but from a purely fair, effective and judicial aspect. Mr. Lanier, in particular, sought to highlight those judges that had taught him something about the practice of law or the role of a judge.

Upon trying a case in Judge Arteaga’s court, Mr. Lanier found that “Judge Arteaga was always kind. Not just to the lawyers. Not just to our clients…but went out of her way to be kind to the jury.” Mr. Lanier was impressed with a judge “…who, young on the bench, knows when to be firm and knows when to be polite.” He steadfastly announced her a “Gold Medal Judge”.

The Annual Judicial Conference, held this year in Houston from September 9-12, had an estimated 540 judges in attendance. While Judge Arteaga could not attend this year’s conference, her recognition was applauded by many of her colleagues. “It is an honor to be among the judges recognized,” she said.

San Antonio Police Officers’ Association Endorses Judge Antonia Arteaga

San Antonio, Texas – The San Antonio Police Officer’s Association  announced their endorsement of Judge Antonia Arteaga for 57th District Court Judge. The Association does not make endorsements lightly, vetting candidates seeking support through a in-depth interview and selection process.

“We look for candidates with a history of carrying out sentences, making fair judgements, treating officers with respect and exhibiting the honesty and integrity expected of a servant of the community,” said Frank Garibay, Political Chairman for the San Antonio Police Officers’ Association.

“I am proud to have the endorsement of our finest at the San Antonio Police Officer’s Association,” Judge Arteaga stated. “It is important for law enforcement to have a judiciary that they can depend on to uphold the commitment to justice and public safety for the community.”

Judge Arteaga’s Profile by the State Bar of Texas

from the Texas Bar Blog

The part of my job I do best is: Care. I take the situation at hand seriously and never lose sight of the lives affected, both positively and negatively, by my decisions.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: Three things you need to be successful in court … (1) preparation (2) preparation and (3) preparation … by the Honorable Larry Noll.

Back to School with Senator Uresti and Judge Antonia Arteaga

San Antonio, Texas, Saturday, August 18, 2012 – Judge Antonia Arteaga and her daughter rolled up their shirt sleeves today to assist Senator Uresti in his big back-to-school event at Palo Alto College. The Senator and his staff expected up to 4,000 parents and children at the event which provided food, information booths on community resources and programs, entertainment, a backpack giveaway and other special treats for the students and their families.

This Back-to-School event and its smaller counterparts throughout the community are designed to give working families important information regarding local community services as well as get kids excited about the new school year.

“Thanks to Senator Uresti, his amazing staff and all other community leaders who came out to this HUGE back-to-school event,” said Judge Arteaga. “Most importantly, a special thanks to all the incredibly hard-working volunteers, especially from Bank of America, AND the incredibly patient families who participated. It’s going to be a great year for education!”