The Court is authorized to hear misdemeanor criminal and traffic cases which involve offenses committed within its police jurisdiction. The Court operates in accordance with the Alabama State Code Title 12 Chapter 14 and the Birmingham General City Code Chapter 8.
The Municipal Court is required by law to perform the following:
- issue arrest and search warrants
- set bail and approve bonds
- provide trials and hearings, and
- operate the Citations Bureau to process less serious traffic and some non-traffic cases without a formal court appearance
The Municipal Court has its main office on 801 - 17th Street North, Birmingham, Al. 35203. South Court and the Magistrates Office are located on 425 - 6th Avenue South, Birmingham, Al. 35205.
The Birmingham Municipal Court is the vehicle through which most citizens come into contact with the judicial system, either as a defendant, complaining party, witness or victim.
The Municipal Court is comprised of four courts: Misdemeanor Court, Presiding Court, Traffic Court, and South Court. See the Courts page for more information on all the courts.
Functionally, the Municipal Court consists of six divisions: Judges Division, Administration, Court Operations, Magistrates, Collections, and Records Division.
The Judges Division consists of four full-time and several special judges who serve in the absence of the full-time judges. Judges adjudicate traffic and motor vehicle violations, municipal violations, and misdemeanor cases. There are no jury trials at this level. Judges hear these cases and make decisions based on the law, evidence, rules, and procedures of the courts. Mediation Services (BIDSS), Research and Development, as well as community-based programs come under this division. The primary duty and goal for the judges is to provide equal justice to all citizens.
The Administrative Division provides administrative assistance to the Presiding Judge in the areas of personnel, budget, court management, training, and development programs that benefit the Court and staff.
The Court Operations Division ensures that the Court processes all matters in an efficient and professional manner. It consists of Misdemeanor Court, Traffic Court, Presiding Court, and South Court. Four full-time judges preside over these courts.
The Magistrate Division receives complaints from the Police Department, other City departments, law enforcement agencies, and citizens concerning public offenses. They make decisions as to the issuance of complaints and arrest warrants, preside over arraignments and other hearings, set initial bail and approve bond amounts. The Principal Magistrate, who supervises all staff at the South Court location, screens and verifies warrants prior to issuance and coordinates training.
The Collections Division accounts for all fees, costs, fines, and penalties charged and collected in the court. This includes processing all criminal, traffic, parking, and other fines as well as collecting court-ordered fines, fees, and restitution. The Collections Division also processes cash bonds.
The Records Division is responsible for filing and entering dates into the Court's computer system for all court cases, including traffic citations, parking violations, curfews, environmental, and criminal cases. This division also distributes and retains all court files used by the Court.
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