Children's Court Division & Programs

Judge Sakai
Judge Peter Sakai
In November 2006, Judge Peter Sakai was elected to the 225th District Court bench, succeeding his friend and mentor, Senior Judge John J. Specia.

Judge Sakai was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. He graduated from McAllen High School in 1972 and attended then named Pan American University. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1976 and graduated with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas Law School in 1979. At the age of 27 years old, he was appointed to be the Chief of the Juvenile Section of the District Attorney’s Office. He left the D.A.’s office for private practice. In 1989, he was appointed to be the Juvenile Master/Referee of the 289th District Court (Juvenile Court).

On January 1, 1995, Associate Judge Peter Sakai was appointed to the Children’s Court bench by the unanimous vote of the Bexar County Civil District Court Judges. He was assigned to hear cases that involve child abuse and neglect cases and the adoption cases that involve foster children.

Through Judge Sakai’s leadership, adoption of foster children in Bexar County has increased nearly 1000% from 1995 to 2005. Bexar County routinely leads the State of Texas for the number of foster children with consummated adoptions and permanent homes. For his efforts, President (then Governor) George W. Bush recognized Judge Sakai and his model court on the Governor’s Committee to Promote Adoption.
Judge Sakai is widely recognized in the community as being a leader who works hard to bring new ideas and solutions to help resolve issues of child abuse and neglect and family violence and to constantly challenge all involved in the child welfare system to more effectively serve the families that come into his courtroom and prevent child abuse and neglect.

Beyond his work with CASA and Child Protective Services Department, Judge Sakai is constantly looking for new and innovative ideas to help keep families together and improve children’s lives. Most recently, he has been involved in the planning and building of a national model Bexar County Children’s Court in the historic Bexar County Courthouse, the implementation of a Family Drug Treatment Court for parents with addiction issues who have children in the foster care system, and the implementation of the Early Intervention Program to bring families together."
Barbara J Schafer, Children’s Court Division & Programs Administrator

Kenneth Lowe, Senior Data Analyst

Deborah Spear, Children’s Court Division & Programs Coordinator

Melissa Mendiola, Children’s Court Division & Programs Manager

Rebecca Snodgrass, Children’s Court Division & Programs Manager

Children's Court Front Desk
Associate Judge Charles Montemayor was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, graduated from Antonian College Prepatory High School in 1984, Southern Methodist University in 1988 received his Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s Law School in 1991.

Upon graduation worked as an Associate Attorney in Commercial Litigation with Karam, Naranjo, & Kruger. In 1993 joined the San Antonio Community Law Center, a private non-profit law office opened by Harvard Law School and the Archdiocese of San Antonio to provide quality legal services to the working poor. Judge Montemayor worked as an attorney for the Community Law Center for 12 years representing underprivileged in a variety of legal matters.

In late 2005, the District Judges of Bexar County unanimously selected Associate Judge Montemayor to replace now District Judge Peter Sakai to serve as one of the two judges in the Children’s Court.

Today Judge Montemayor has served as a Children’s Court Judge for almost eight years. The Bexar County Children’s Court is viewed as a national model for abuse and neglect courts, leading the nation in foster children adoptions.
Court Clerk for Judge Montemayor
Judge Garcia received his Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s University in May of 1979. He was licensed to practice law in Florida in 1980 and in Texas 1981. He is Board Certified in Family Law in Texas since 1984. After graduating from St. Mary’s Law School, Judge Garcia worked for Dade County Legal Aid in Miami, Florida from 1979 to 1980 and Bexar County Legal Aid in San Antonio, Texas from 1980 to 1984. After practicing law in the public sector for several years, he returned to public service as the Assistant District Attorney for Child Protective Services handling Child Abuse and Neglect cases in July, 1988.

In February 1990, Judge Garcia was unanimously appointed by the Bexar County District Judges and appointed as an Associate Judge, to handle Family law matters. In 2005, Judge Garcia was assigned to serve in the Bexar County Children’s Court. A position he considers both a calling and a privilege as he strives to bring justice to the most innocent of victims – the children. 
Court Clerk for Judge Garcia