| The Circuit Clerk is the chief administrative and fiscal officer for the court system at the district and circuit level. This elected position was established in the Alabama Constitution and has a six-year term. There are 68 Circuit Clerks, one for each county plus one Circuit Clerk who serves the Bessemer Division of Jefferson County. The former office of Register has been abolished and all of the duties of Registers have been fully assumed by this official. Numerous Inferior Court Clerk and District Court Clerk positions have been abolished and their duties have also been assumed by the Circuit Clerks.
The duties of the Circuit Clerk are broad and are enumerated in the Code of Alabama and the Alabama Rules of Court. Magistrate duties require that Circuit Clerks be available to law enforcement for the issuance of warrants around the clock. Circuit Clerks must be available to perform their duties for the filing of court documents 24 hours a day. Fiscal responsibilities include the management of all court monies requiring banking and fiscal knowledge. Accounts are routinely audited by the Examiners of Public Accounts.
Administrative responsibilities include personnel management, court planning, and purchasing and inventory control. The Circuit Clerk issues writs and all summonses including jury summons and witness subpoenas. The Circuit Clerk is responsible for jury management. This officer of the court serves as custodian of all court records, and is responsible for providing access to those records by court personnel, the legal community and the public. While most records are public, confidentiality is maintained for those records protected by law.
Statewide, nearly one million cases are processed each year, all of which are initiated in the office of the Circuit Clerk. Hundreds of millions of dollars of court monies pass through the Clerks’ offices annually. Court monies include filing fees, court costs, fines, restitution, child support and civil judgments. The accounting and payment of these monies is solely the responsibility of the Circuit Clerk. Numerous local and state agencies and the state general fund are recipients of the disbursement of these funds. Additionally, the Circuit Clerk serves as the fiduciary manager for many court-ordered investment accounts.
||Courts of Jurisdiction include:
- Juvenile, domestic relations and child support
- Small Claims, District Civil and Circuit Civil
- Traffic, District Criminal and Circuit Criminal
Administrative Roles include:
- Business Manager at Trial Court level
- Custodian of Records (file storage, electronic imaging and document retrieval)
- Fiscal Officer
- Chief Magistrate (issues warrants, sets bail, accepts guilty pleas)
- Election Official – Appoints Board (poll workers), acts as Absentee Election Manager, and canvasses Board (counts and certifies votes)
- Passport Acceptance Agent
- Case Manager for all courts
- Purchasing Agent
- Personnel and Human Resource Manager
Administrative Duties include:
- Overseeing all aspects of Jury Management
- Issuing summons, writs and process
- Preparing appeal transcripts
- Conducting Judicial Sales
- Pre-qualifying and monitoring Bonding Companies
- Approving Bonds
- Attending sessions of court
- Setting dockets
- Generating reports and statistics
- Maintaining inventory control
- Managing and monitoring the SJIS information flow at the local level (including hardware, software and computer access and security)
- Evaluating all areas of need and coordinating efficient solutions