Alabama Appellate Courts

Qualification of Judges

All justices and judges, with the exception of judges of the probate courts, must be licensed to practice law in the state of Alabama. Candidates for the office of district and circuit judge must have resided in the district or circuit for at least 12 months preceding election or appointment to the respective office, and must continue to reside in the district or circuit during continuance in office. Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the other two appellate courts are elected statewide and may reside anywhere in the state. Justices and judges are elected in partisan elections.

Persons elected or appointed to a judgeship must have been licensed by the Alabama State Bar Association of the bar association of another state for a combined total of 10 years or more for the Supreme Court or an appellate court, 5 years or more for a circuit court, or 3 years or more for a district court.

Election and Appointment

All justices and judges, with the exception of municipal court judges, are elected by the qualified voters of a respective court's jurisdiction for six-year terms. Judges of the municipal courts are not elected to office but are appointed by the governing body of the municipality. Full-time municipal court judges are appointed for four-year terms, while part-time municipal judges are appointed for two-year terms.

A vacancy in a judicial position occurs when a judge dies, resigns, retires, or is removed from office. Vacancies in state judicial positions are filled by appointments made by the governor. Vacancies in municipal court positions are filled by appointments made by the municipal governing bodies.

Contact Information


Supreme Court of Alabama
334.229.0700
Court of Civil Appeals
334.229.0733
Court of Criminal Appeals
334.229.0751
State Law Library
334.229.0578