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Alabama Court of Civil Appeals


Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

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.

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

Election of judges

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

Judge Party First elected Term ends
William Thompson, Presiding Judge Republican 1996 2014
Craig Sorrell Pittman Republican 2000 2018
Scott Donaldson Republican 2014
Terri Willingham Thomas Republican 2006 2018
Terry Moore Republican 2006 2018


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.[3]

Former Judges of Court of Civil Appeals

  • Tommy Bryan
  • Glenn Murdock
  • Sharon G. Yates
  • John Crawley
  • William E. Robertson
  • Roger M. Monroe
  • Charles A. Thigpen
  • L. Charles Wright
  • Kenneth F. Ingram

See also


  1. ^ Alabama Judicial System Online
  2. ^ Williams & Garrett, The Alabama Guide (2009)
  3. ^ About the Alabama appellate courts

External links

  • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
  • History of the Alabama judiciary
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