Despite some Courthouse closures, courts remain open for business

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – While many courthouses throughout the state are shuttering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Courts in Alabama remain open for business. Leaders of the Alabama State Bar are working in close coordination with the Supreme Court of Alabama, the Administrative Office of Courts, and the Circuit and District Judges Associations. Access to justice and the court system in Alabama has not changed as a result of the closure of courthouse facilities. Although the public has been prohibited from coming to the courtrooms, the business of the judicial branch continues in a variety of innovative ways.

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker has assembled appropriate staff members to implement systems that keep the public safe while also allowing judges continue to keep the legal process working for the people of Alabama.

“Judges, court personnel and lawyers continue to work on behalf of the public we serve to move cases in an efficient and safe manner by phone and videoconferencing technology,” Parker said.

Alabama State Bar President Christy Crow, in partnership with judicial leaders in Alabama, sent a letter to Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday, writing in part, “The ability of the courts to continue to provide justice during these uncertain and trying times is essential to public safety and the welfare of Alabama citizens and businesses.”

“We are working diligently to ensure lawyers in Alabama can continue to provide necessary legal services to Alabamians,” added Crow. 

Judge Teresa T. Pulliam, President of the Alabama Circuit Judges Association, and Judge Carole Medley, President of the Alabama District Judges Association wrote in a joint statement, “Please know that providing access to justice and the protection of the legal profession will continue to be our priority. We will continue to discharge our duty to the public we serve by being accessible by phone, email, teleconference and video conference. In the criminal courts, judges, district attorneys and lawyers are working together to ensure the safety of victims and the public while guaranteeing and protecting the constitutional rights of the accused. Emergency hearings are being handled on a case by case basis and in person when needed, as set out by the Supreme Court.”

For continuing and updated information about the courts please visit the Alabama State Bar’s COVID-19 webpage at  www.alabar.org/covid19 or the Unified Judicial System’s website, www.alacourt.gov.