On Friday, August 12, 2011, Governor Rick Scott appointed Judge Ivan F. Fernandez to the Third District Court of Appeal. Judge Fernandez took office pursuant to a commission issued by the Governor and Secretary of State on September 1, 2011.
Judge Fernandez was initially elected to the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in November, 2002, and took office on January 7, 2003. Judge Fernandez served in the Dependency, Criminal, Civil, and Family Divisions of the Circuit Court.
Prior to taking the bench, Judge Fernandez served as a prosecutor (1999 to 2002), as a civil trial lawyer (1993 to 1999), as a police officer, having retired from the City of Miami Police Department as a police major (1978 to 1995), and as a Military Police Investigator in the United States Army (1971 to 1975). As a prosecutor, Judge Fernandez served in the domestic violence, juvenile, felony, and public corruption divisions. As a civil trial lawyer, Judge Fernandez practiced in the areas of family law, commercial transactions and civil litigation. As a police officer, Judge Fernandez worked street patrol, K-9, S.W.A.T., homicide, narcotics and eventually took command of the South District Substation of the City of Miami Police Department. He is a former member of the Metro Dade Independent Review Panel and a past president of the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce.
Judge Fernandez was born in Santa Clara, Las Villas, Cuba in 1952. He emigrated to the United States of America in May of 1962, at the age of 9, with his parents. Judge Fernandez has lived in Miami, Florida, most of his life and attended Citrus Grove Elementary, Citrus Grove Junior High and Miami Senior High schools in Miami. He is a graduate of Miami Senior High School, Miami Dade Community College, Barry University, and the University of Miami, School of Law. Judge Fernandez was admitted to the Florida Bar on June 24, 1993 and to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on January 19, 1996. Judge Fernandez is a member of the Dade County Bar Association and the Cuban American Bar Association.
Judge Fernandez has served the public for 36 years. He is married to Tricia Fernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Miami Dade County Public Schools, and they have four children, Michael, Meredith, Joseph and Lauren.