Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

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The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals is one of two appellate courts in the Alabama judicial system. The court was established in 1969 when what had been one unitary state Court of Appeals was broken into a criminal appeals court and a civil appeals court. The unified Court of Appeals had been operative since 1911. The court is currently housed in the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, Alabama. Judges on the court are elected in partisan elections on staggard six year terms.

The Court of Civil Appeals hears civil matters, including those related to domestic situations such as divorce, adoptions, child custody, etc. They will rule on cases appealed from certain state administrative agencies, such as worker's compensation. The Court of Civil Appeals also has jurisdiction in civil appeals where the amount in controversy does not exceed $50,000.

The Court of Civil Appeals has jurisdiction of all appeals from administrative agencies in which a judgment was rendered in the circuit court. The court also exercises jurisdiction over appeals in workmen's compensation cases and domestic relations cases, including annulment, divorce, alimony, child support, adoption, and child custody cases.[1]

The Clerk of the Court is Rebecca C. Oates.[2]

Judges of the court[edit]

Election of judges[edit]

Judges are elected to the court in statewide partisan elections for six-year terms on the court. However, the Governor may fill vacancies should they occur during a term of office. On November 6, 2012, Judge Tommy Bryan was elected to the Alabama Supreme Court and upon his resignation, Governor Bentley appointed Tuscaloosa Circuit Judge, Scott Donaldson to the seat on January 15, 2013. The other four judges came to their positions through election. By statute, the senior judge of the Civil Appeals Court serves as its Presiding Judge. William Thompson, is the Presiding Judge. He was first elected in 1996, when he was only 34 years old. Judge Thompson is today the longest serving of any statewide judge in Alabama.

Current judges[edit]

Judge Party First elected Term ends
William C. Thompson, Presiding Judge Republican 1996 2021
Craig Sorrell Pittman Republican 2000 2019
Scott Donaldson Republican 2013 2021
Terri Willingham Thomas Republican 2006 2019
Terry A. Moore Republican 2006 2019

Judge Pittman is retiring at the end of his current term and will not be seeking re-nomination in the June, 2018 primary. As of September 18, 2017, there are two announced candidates for his seat, Michelle Thomason, the presiding District Judge of Baldwin County and Christy Edwards, a judge on the Alabama Tax Court. Both women will be seeking the office as Republicans.[3]


To serve on the court, a person must:

  • Be licensed to practice law in the state of Alabama and have 10 years practice experience as a lawyer.
  • Have resided in the state for a minimum of one year.
  • Be no more than 70 years of age at time of appointment or election.[4]

Former Judges of Court of Civil Appeals[edit]

  • Tommy Bryan (R)
  • Glenn Murdock (R)
  • Sharon G. Yates (D)-p
  • John Crawley (R)-p
  • William E. Robertson (D)-p
  • Roger M. Monroe (D)
  • Charles A. Thigpen (D)
  • Robert J. Russell (R)
  • Kenneth F. Ingram (D)-p
  • Richard L. Holmes (D)-p
  • Robert P. Bradley (D)-p
  • L. Charles Wright (D)-p
  • T. Werth Thagard (D)-p

p = served as Presiding Judge

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alabama Judicial System Online Archived 2008-12-16 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Williams & Garrett, The Alabama Guide (2009)
  3. ^, Sept. 18, 2017
  4. ^ About the Alabama appellate courts

External links[edit]