The Honorable Colleen Toy White

Ventura County Superior Court, Department retired


The Hon. Colleen Toy White (Ret.) was a judge for the Ventura County Superior Court in California. She was originally elected to the bench in June 1994 and then appointed to the bench by former governor Pete Wilson in November of that year. The appointment allowed White to immediately assume her judicial position. She retired on October 28, 2017, after serving 23 years on the bench. The Hon. Benjamin F. Coats filled the vacancy created by her retirement.

White, who grew up in rural Oklahoma, was married by the time she turned 16 and was a mother of three soon after (one child would later be tragically killed in an automobile accident), forcing her to drop out of school. Determined to continue her education, she obtained her G.E.D. at the age of 24, followed by her associate's degree. Four years later, White graduated with her J.D. from Ventura College of Law.

White began her legal career as a clerk at the Ventura County District Attorney's Office. Her clerkship would ultimately lead to a full-time position at the D.A.'s Office. White, who would remain there for 18 years, reached the level of chief assistant district attorney, the agency's second highest position. She remained in that capacity for ten years prior to her election to the bench in 1994.

During her time on the Superior Court, she served as a presiding judge in 2007 and 2008 and as an assistant presiding judge prior to that. She also served as a supervising judge for the Family Law Division.

White was instrumental in establishing the Veterans Court, which she also presided over. Her other contributions included the Community Intervention Court, the Dependency Drug Court, the Elder Law Court, and the Mental Health Court.

Her many memberships have included the board of trustees of the Ventura College of Law, the board of directors for the Interface Children Family Services of Ventura County, and the past-president of the Child Abuse and Neglect organization.

She also served as Chairperson of President Ronald Reagan's Council on the Peace Corps, a position that she would hold during George H.W. Bush's presidency.

She was recognized by the Gold Coast Veterans Foundation, the Ventura County Mental Health Board, the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association, the California Judicial Council, and the Women Lawyers of Ventura County.

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