Family Court

Our Family Court office, often referred to as Juvenile Court, handles matters in which children are alleged to be delinquent, dependent, or need supervision.

A delinquent is a child under the age of 18 who has committed an offense that would be considered a crime if the individual were an adult. A dependent is a child who is orphaned, neglected, or abused and needs care. A Child in Need of Supervision (CHINS) has committed an act that, if that child were an adult, would not be considered a crime but needs care or rehabilitation, such as one who is habitually truant, disobedient parents, or is a runaway.

Proceedings in juvenile court, along with juvenile court records, are confidential (not open to the public). Any trials in juvenile court are held in front of a judge. There are no jury trials in juvenile court.

Family Court of Choctaw, Clarke and Washington Counties exercise jurisdiction in matters involving children. These matters might include cases in which a child is alleged to be delinquent, dependent, or in need of supervision. The Court also exercises jurisdiction over other proceedings including establishment of paternity and child support enforcement, as well as protection from abuse. In accordance with the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, Family Court staff members are assigned to one of the following areas:

  • Judicial
  • Administration
  • Bessemer Division

For information about:

  • Programs Department
  • Training and Volunteer Services
  • Child Support
  • Clerk and Register

DHR clients: To verify payments of child support, please call (251) 275-7001. The DHR case manager can provide copies of pay histories.