Meet Judge Mavel Ruiz
Re-Elect Judge Mavel Ruiz
Mavel Ruiz was born in Santa Clara, Las Villas, Cuba on January 28th. She won “La Canastilla Cubana” for being one of the first children born on the same day as Cuban Patriot Jose Marti. The Cuba that Marti had so bravely died for was giving way to oppression and executions. Her uncle, Andres Sanchez, took to the ocean to avoid arrest for his counter-revolutionary activity. Once in the United States, Mr. Sanchez joined the army and continued to fight for a democratic Cuba. He filed a petition to bring his family, including Mavel, to the United States.
On the night of March 3rd, 1966, communist soldiers evicted Judge Ruiz and her parents from the home and land they had occupied for generations. The next day, they boarded a flight to Miami with only the clothes on their backs. Mavel would never see her grandparents again. The refugees were taken to the Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami where they were greeted by those who came before.
Within a few weeks, the family moved to Belle Glades, Florida where her mother worked at a vegetable packing plant 12 hours a day and her father, a mechanic at The Big B Ranch in Pahoke, Florida. A year later, they returned to Miami-Dade County where Judge Ruiz attended Mae Walters Elementary, Broadmore Elementary, and St. Mary’s Catholic School. In 1971, the family relocated to Hialeah, Florida, where her mother still lives.
Judge Ruiz graduated from Hialeah High in 1978, received her Associates Degree from Miami Dade Community College in 1982, and in 1983, moved to New Jersey to attend Rutgers University in Newark. After many struggles, she received her Bachelors Degree in 1991. In 1994 she graduated from Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey. She was the first in her family to graduate from college and to receive a professional degree. Today, there are 3 attorneys.
Judge Ruiz has dedicated her career to public service. From 1997 until 2004, she was an Assistant Public Defender in Miami, Florida. She then began her private practice, representing indigent people charged with criminal offenses. In July 2008, she returned to public service at the Office of Regional Conflict Counsel in Miami, Florida. As an attorney, Judge Ruiz appeared before more than 100 judges and tried more than 50 cases.
The American Dream
Judge Ruiz was elected to the bench in 2014. Judge Ruiz was assigned to the Juvenile Delinquency Division where she spent one year and tried many cases. She continued to serve the children and families of our community in the Dependency Division for 2 additional years.
Judge Ruiz was assigned to the Civil Division located in the Dade County Courthouse in January, 2018. Since then, Judge Ruiz worked tirelessly and to date has tried 24 jury trials, including a tobacco case.
Becoming a judge has been a lifelong dream for Judge Ruiz. Judge Ruiz considers it a privilege and an honor to serve our community as a circuit court judge.