Alabama Circuit Courts

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The Alabama Circuit Courts are the state trial courts of general jurisdiction in the State of Alabama. The Circuit Courts have jurisdiction to hear civil and criminal cases. For civil cases, the courts has authority to try cases with an amount in controversy of more than $3,000 and has exclusive original jurisdiction over claims for more than $10,000.[1] The Circuit Courts are the criminal trial courts for most felony charges,[2] and for some misdemeanors and lesser included offenses.[1] The Circuit Courts also have appellate jurisdiction over certain cases arising from the Alabama District Courts (the trial courts of limited jurisdiction in Alabama).

The state has 146 Circuit Court judges divided among 41 judicial circuits[3] with the number of judges to each circuit set by acts of the Alabama Legislature. The legislature distribution is roughly based upon caseloads of the various circuits. The largest circuit in the state is the 10th Judicial Circuit which encompasses Jefferson County (approximately 20 % of the state's population) and is the seat of 27 of the judges. The smallest circuits are the 2nd, 3rd, 24th, 34th, 35th, 36th, 40th, and 41st which each contain just a single judge and represent many of the smallest population counties in the state.

Circuit Judges are elected to six-year terms in partisan elections with no limit on the number of terms excepting that no judge may seek re-election once he/she passes the age of seventy years. The partisan alignment of the Circuit Judges as of August, 2015 is 78 Republicans, 67 Democrats, and 1 Independent.[4] In the event of a vacancy during a term of office, the Governor of Alabama usually has the authority to fill the unexpired terms. However, a limited number of the circuits (i.e., the 10th, 18th, 28th Circuits) have judicial commissions which submit nominess from which the Governor is obligated to choose.

1st Circuit[edit]

Counties Served: Choctaw, Clarke, Washington

Circuit Seats: Choctaw County Courthouse (Butler), Clarke County Courthouse (Grove Hill), Washington County Courthouse (Chatom)

Current Judges[5]
Title Name Seat Duty Station Term Seat Up
Presiding Circuit Judge Gaines C. McCorquodale 1 Grove Hill 2009-present 2022
Circuit Judge Charles R. Montgomery 2 Chatom 2010-present 2022

2nd Circuit[edit]

Counties Served: Butler, Crenshaw, Lowndes

District Seats: Butler County Courthouse (Greenville), Crenshaw County Courthouse (Luverne), Lowndes County Courthouse (Hayneville)

Current Judge[6]
Title Name Duty Station Term Seat Up
Presiding Circuit Judge Terri Bozeman Lovell Greenville 2010-present 2018

3rd Circuit[edit]

Counties Served: Barbour, Bullock

District Seats: Barbour County Courthouse (Clayton), Bullock County Courthouse (Union Springs)

Current Judge[7]
Title Name Duty Station Term Seat Up
Presiding Circuit Judge Leon Bernard Smithart Union Springs 1999-present 2022

4th Circuit[edit]

Counties Served: Bibb, Dallas, Hale, Perry, Wilcox

District Seats: Bibb County Courthouse (Centreville), Dallas County Courthouse (Selma), Hale County Courthouse (Greensboro) Perry County Courthouse (Marion), Wilcox County Courthouse (Camden)

Current Judges[8]
Title Name Seat Duty Station Term Seat Up
Presiding Circuit Judge Marvin W. Wiggins 3 Greensboro 1999-present 2022
Circuit Judge Collins Pettaway, Jr. 1 Selma 2013-present 2018
Circuit Judge Donald McMillan 2

5th Circuit[edit]

6th Circuit[edit]

7th Circuit[edit]

8th Circuit[edit]

9th Circuit[edit]

10th Circuit[edit]

11th Circuit[edit]

12th Circuit[edit]

13th Circuit[edit]

14th Circuit[edit]

15th Circuit[edit]

16th Circuit[edit]

17th Circuit[edit]

18th Circuit[edit]

19th Circuit[edit]

20th Circuit[edit]

21st Circuit[edit]

22nd Circuit[edit]

23rd Circuit[edit]

24th Circuit[edit]

25th Circuit[edit]

26th Circuit[edit]

27th Circuit[edit]

28th Circuit[edit]

29th Circuit[edit]

30th Circuit[edit]

31st Circuit[edit]

32nd Circuit[edit]

33rd Circuit[edit]

34th Circuit[edit]

35th Circuit[edit]

36th Circuit[edit]

37th Circuit[edit]

38th Circuit[edit]

39th Circuit[edit]

40th Circuit[edit]

41st Circuit[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Guide to Alabama Courts
  2. ^ District Courts may hear guilty pleas in felony cases not invoking capital punishment.
  3. ^ Alabama Unified Judicial System Structure.
  4. ^ Williams & Garrett, The Alabama Guide (2009)
  5. ^ "Search: Circuit 1". Alabama State Bar. Accessed 4 Apr. 2017
  6. ^ "Search: Circuit 2". Alabama State Bar. Accessed 4 Apr. 2017.
  7. ^ "Search: Circuit 3". Alabama State Bar. Accessed 4 Apr. 2017.
  8. ^ "Search: Circuit 4". Alabama State Bar. Accessed 4 Apr. 2017.