Circuit Court

Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction over all types of cases, and typically handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. If no other court has jurisdiction over a case, the case will be heard in Circuit Court.

Criminal cases handled by Circuit Courts include most felony cases, some misdemeanors and some lesser-included offenses. Circuit Courts share jurisdiction with District Courts over guilty pleas in felony cases that do not include a death penalty.

Circuit Courts have original jurisdiction to hear all civil cases when the amount in dispute is more than $10,000, excluding interest and costs. Circuit Courts share jurisdiction with District Courts for most civil cases involving amounts between $3000 and $10,000 in dispute, exclusive of interest and costs. Most domestic relations cases are heard in Circuit Courts.

Circuit Courts and District Courts have divisions for Juvenile Court and share jurisdiction over juvenile cases. When Circuit Courts or District Courts handle juvenile cases, these judges sit as a Juvenile Court and a separate docket is maintained. In some counties, Juvenile Court is called Family Court. In some counties, Family Court may hear paternity, child custody, and child support cases as well as Juvenile Court cases.

Circuit Courts may hear claims involving less than $3000 when a District Court lacks jurisdiction over a certain type of claim, including some cases that request certain types of equitable relief and actions for negligence against municipalities. Circuit Courts do not offer a simplified Small Claims court process, and civil cases that are eligible for the simplified Small Claims procedure are within the exclusive jurisdiction of District Court.

Circuit Courts can receive some cases from Probate Courts, including the administration of estates and some involuntary commitment cases, if proper requests for a transfer are made and granted.


Honorable Perry Newton, Presiding Circuit Judge

P.O. Box 914
Grove Hill, AL 36451
(251) 275-8363

Honorable Charles R. Montgomery, Circuit Judge

P.O. Box 1418
Chatom, AL 36518
(251) 847-2304