Alabama Court Records

What is Included in Alabama Public Court Records

Criminal Court Cases

Assault & Battery, Domestic Violence, Parole Violation, Probation Violation, Sexual Assault, Robbery, Manslaughter, Murder, Drug Offenses, And More...

Civil Court Cases

Bankruptcies, Legal Judgments, Lawsuits, Tax & Property Liens, Contract Disputes, Probates, Family Law, Small Claims, Evictions, And More...

Traffic Court Cases

Driving Under Influence, Driving While Intoxicated, Speeding Tickets, Traffic Citations, Reckless Driving, Driving Without a License, License Suspensions, Criminal Driving Violations, Accidents, And More...

Alabama Court Record Lookup

Performing Alabama court records search is easier since the state created its unified court system, which streamlined administration and reporting. Alabama AL Court records from child support status to Alabama criminal records are most often considered public documents that can be accessed by any member of the public, with some exceptions. 

Alabama Lower Courts

There are 273 municipal courts throughout the state, handling matters from traffic violations to permit violations, as well as misdemeanor crimes like petty theft. Magistrates are often the authorities in the nearly 500,000 cases heard annually across the state in these courts. Also at the bottom of the state court structure are Alabama’s probate courts, where individuals can review public records regarding land transfers, adoptions, and estates.

Alabama District Court Records

Alabama district courts are where one might look for public records on small claims cases valued up to $3,000, civil lawsuits valued under $10,000, state divorce filings, and other misdemeanors. These 67 Alabama courthouses do not conduct trials. Some district courts have specialized divisions to deal with family cases, juveniles, and to divert first-time nonviolent offenders from the traditional justice system. Juvenile court records are shielded from the public due to the age of individuals involved.

Trial Courts in AL

Circuit courts in Alabama conduct jury trials on criminal matters, juvenile cases, civil lawsuits above $10,000 value, and hear appeals of lower court decisions. The state’s 41 circuit courts see about 50,000 cases per year. Above Alabama courthouses are separate civil and criminal appeals courts, to which the state supreme court assigns cases. 

Alabama Circuit Courts

Circuit court judges exercise supervision over the limited jurisdiction courts, including municipal, juvenile, probate, and small claims courts under them. There are 41 circuit courts in Alabama. These courthouses handle felony criminal charges, disputes exceeding $10,000, and may hear appeals from those courts of limited jurisdiction under them. Alabama court records online can be viewed via performing Alabama court case lookup.

In the years 2010-2014 state circuit courts handled about 50,000 cases per year, with about 40,000 of them felony-level charges and about 19,000 concerning juveniles. About 20,000 cases concerned child support in this state with 18 percent of the population in poverty.

Federal Court Records

Each state has at least one federal district court that handles bankruptcies, violations of federal law, and cases that involve more than one state. Alabama has two such federal courts, a northern district court, and a southern district court. Records of federal court proceedings are public and searchable online by conducting Alabama court record lookup.

The State Supreme Court

The Alabama state Supreme Court consists of nine elected judges (currently all Republican) and is the court of last resort in the state. It has jurisdiction over matters exceeding $50,000 as well as supervision of the state Public Service Commission, which oversees public utilities. The Supreme Court also makes rules and regulations to ensure the efficient and timely running of state courts.

The state Supreme Court's cases may be received by petition from lower courts (those cases already decided and appealed in state courts). Supreme Court justices also offer ongoing guidance on matters of law to lower courts as well as to federal courts seeking clarification of Alabama laws. About 1,500 cases are processed by the Alabama Supreme Court each year.

Alabama Notable Court Cases

In 2013 the state Criminal Court of Appeals overturned a 2009 murder conviction and death penalty sentence of a drug addict who was found guilty of throwing four small children off a bridge to their deaths. The judges decided that the criminal court had erred in not allowing lawyers to question jurors about their knowledge of the court, that the defendant could not get a fair trial in Mobile due to media saturation about the case, and that the jury should not have seen a video simulation of a police officer dropping sandbags off the same bridge to dramatize the event. Yet in 2014 the state Supreme Court upheld the lower court's decision, saying the death sentence was appropriate and merited, that the lower Alabama courthouse had not erred and that jurors were able to decide for themselves despite the presence of media coverage.

Alabama Civil Case Statistics

Civil Caseload
Civil Caseload 159,328
Caseloads per 100.000 Population
Caseloads per 100.000 Population 3,276
Clearance Rate
Clearance Rate 97%
Small Claims Caseload
Small Claims Caseload 31,291

Civil Caseloads for Alabama, the sum of all civil cases reported by the state, account for 506,879 total cases at the year end of 2016, which makes it 3,276 cases per 100.000 population.

The clearance rate for the state is about 97% which makes up by dividing the outgoing to incoming civil cases and expressing the result in a percentage.

Civil Court Incoming & Outgoing Cases 2012-2016

The number of civil court caseloads in 2016 has decreased since 2012, being 159,328 vs. 179,395, which is by 11.2 % lower than 5 years ago. The same picture is seen with clearance rates, it’s lower compared to 2012, by 16.5% being 155,170 compared to 185,911.

State Small Claims & Rates Timeline

Year: Small Claims Max. Limit Small Claims Caseload per 100.000 Population Percent of Total Civil Caseload

The caseload for small claims has decreased since 2012, going from 38,644 cases a year to 31,291 of 2016. The maximum limit of small claim charges has also seen a change and has reached $6,000 in 2016 compared to the $3,000 that was registered 5 years ago.

Accordingly the small claims rate has decreased- 643 cases per 100 000 population compared to the 801 of 2012. The total percentage of civil caseloads accounts 20.5% for the state of Alabama for 2016.

Criminal Caseloads by Type

Criminal Caseloads for Alabama sum in 235,607 cases at the year end of 2016 which has a share of 39% of misdemeanor and 58% of felony charges. Total criminal cases have increased in Alabama compared to the criminal caseload of 2012 - 230,620 cases. Felonies and misdemeanors have changed since 2012 by -4% and -3% accordingly.

The Proportion of Felony and Misdemeanor Caseloads

Criminal Incoming Court Cases by type 2012-2016

Criminal Caseloads Timeline

Domestic Relations Caseloads & Clearance Rates

The state’s domestic relations caseload has counted 82,891 cases which is 1,704 court cases per 100.000 population. It has decreased since 2012, the difference in caseloads is 11,243 for the last 5 years, being 94,134 in 2012.

State Court Holidays

Holiday: Date:
New Year's DayMonday, January 1, 2018
Robert E. Lee/Martin Luther King, Jr.'s BirthdayMonday, Jan 15, 2018
Mardi Gras (Mardi Gras is observed only in Baldwin and Mobile Counties. All other State employees are granted one personal leave day each year if in employment status on January 1)Tuesday, February 13, 2018
George Washington/Thomas Jefferson's BirthdayMonday, February 19, 2018
Confederate Memorial DayMonday, April 23, 2018
National Memorial DayMonday, May 28, 2018
Jefferson Davis' BirthdayMonday, June 4, 2018
Independence DayWednesday, July 4, 2018
Labor DayMonday, September 3, 2018
Columbus Day/Fraternal Day/American Indian Heritage DayMonday, October 8, 2018
Veterans' Day (Observed)Monday, November 12, 2018
Thanksgiving (Upon designation by the Governor)Thursday, November 22, 2018
Christmas DayTuesday, December 25, 2018

Supreme Court Caseloads & Clearance Rates

Court of Criminal Appeals Caseloads