Alabama Court Records
Alabama court records are available for public viewing online and in person at local law libraries. The state boasts one of the oldest law libraries in the country, rich in historical and current decisions from both state courts and federal appellate courts. District court appeals are sent directly to one of the appellate courts located in the state’s capital city of Montgomery, where Alabama court records are also recorded for the public and courts’ use.
History of Alabama Court Records
The Supreme Court and State Law Library was created in 1828 and is the oldest such library in the state. Its original name was the “Library Society of the Bench and Bar of the Supreme Court,” which was created for the sole use of the Alabama Supreme Court. In 1838, the governor wanted to merge the State Law Library and Library of the Society, but much of the state library was destroyed in a fire in 1849. Later, in 1859, the two libraries created the Supreme Court Library. The high court justices decided to make the library available to the Congress of the Confederate States in 1861. In 1940 the library moved to the Judicial Building from the Capitol building, and in 1965 it was opened to the public.
There are approximately 220,000 records maintained in microforms in the library, including all published decisions of the state and federal appellate courts throughout the U.S., as well as the statutes of every state. Designated as such in 1884, it is known to be one of the oldest U.S. Government Depository libraries in the country.
Alabama Court Records Availability
Alabama law libraries offer access to records regarding criminal records, civil records, small claims records, state traffic records, domestic relations and child support at the trial court level. These Alabama court records may be searched by case number or names of involved parties.
Information included in most Alabama court records includes dates of court hearings, information regarding involved parties, case action summary, images and even financial information about monetary settlements.
Main Court Information
Alabama’s judicial system consists of trial courts and appellate courts. Appellate courts include the Court of Civil Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals, as well as the Supreme Court of Alabama. There are 41 judicial circuits in Alabama. Nine Supreme Court justices hear appeals in Montgomery, Alabama.
On January 17, 1977, the state’s Unified Judicial System became effective (as allowed for in the 1901 constitution), and all appellate courts were relocated and established in Montgomery.
In 2010, the Alabama Supreme Court reported over 1,700 cases filed. The Court of Criminal Appeals reported 3,208 cases, though only 1,963 of those were new. This court’s caseload per judge is nearly twice the national average. For that same time period, the Court of Civil Appeals reported 2,027 cases, of which 1,214 were new filings.