Alabama State Bar COVID-19 Updates

LAST UPDATED 08.24.2021 at 3:52 PM

We continue to add county-specific orders and information below. If you have an update that you don’t see below, please send to Melissa.Warnke@alabar.org.

The Alabama Circuit and District Judges compiled a Pandemic Practices Guidebook. You can access that here.

You can access further guidelines for safely resuming jury trials here.

Local Court Information Regarding COVID-19

Autauga County

No current Orders in place

Baldwin County

No current Orders in place

Barbour County

Administrative Order

Bibb County

NEW! As of 8-13-21: 4th Circuit (Bibb, Dallas, Hale, Perry & Wilcox): masks are mandatory in all courtrooms.

Blount County

No current Orders in place

Bullock County

Administrative Order

Butler County

Mask Order from the 2nd Judicial Circuit

Calhoun County

No current Orders in place

Chambers County

No current Orders in place

Cherokee County

Administrative Order Pertaining to Masks

Chilton County

No current Orders in place

Choctaw County

No current Orders in place

Clarke County

  • No current Orders in place

Clay County

No current Orders in place

Cleburne County

No current Orders in place

Coffee County

No current Orders in place

Colbert County

Pursuant to the recent rise in various strains of Covid-19 and per recommendations from the CDC that all persons wear a mask indoors in public, masks will be REQUIRED in Judge Brown’s courtroom effective AUGUST 9, 2021 until further notice.

Office of Kyle W. Brown, Circuit Judge
201 N. Main St., Tuscumbia, AL 35674
Phone:  256-386-8526
Fax:  256-389-9047

Conecuh County

No current Orders in place

Coosa County

No current Orders in place

Covington County

Administrative Order regarding masks

Crenshaw County

Mask Order from the 2nd Judicial Circuit

Cullman County

No current Orders in place

Dale County

NEW! 8-13-2021: 33rd Circuit (Dale & Geneva): masks are mandatory in public areas, including courtrooms.

Dallas County

NEW! As of 8-13-21: 4th Circuit (Bibb, Dallas, Hale, Perry & Wilcox): masks are mandatory in all courtrooms.

DeKalb County

Administrative Order Pertaining to Masks

Elmore County

No current Orders in place

Escambia County

Escambia County Administrative Order concerning Covid 19 restrictions.

Amended Order

Etowah County

Presiding Judge’s Administrative Order reinstating masks at the William H. Rhea III Judicial Building (16th Judicial Circuit, Etowah County), including continued compliance with applicable ADPH and CDC guidelines associated therewith.

Fayette County

Administrative Order on Masks

Franklin County

No current Orders in place

Geneva County

New! 8-13-2021: 33rd Circuit (Dale & Geneva): masks are mandatory in public areas, including courtrooms.

Greene County

New! 8-13-2021: 17th Circuit (Greene, Marengo & Sumter): masks are mandatory in the courthouse.

Hale County

NEW! As of 8-13-21: 4th Circuit (Bibb, Dallas, Hale, Perry & Wilcox): masks are mandatory in all courtrooms.

Henry County

No current Orders in place

Houston County

No current Orders in place

Jackson County

Administrative Order Pertaining to Masks

Jefferson County

Administrative Order regarding facial coverings ( July 29, 2021)

Lamar County

Administrative Order on Masks

Lauderdale County

NEW! 8-13-2021: 11th Circuit (Lauderdale): masks are mandatory in all courtrooms.

Lawrence County

No current Orders in place

Lee County

New! 8-13-2021: 37th Circuit (Lee): masks are mandatory in the Justice Center.

Limestone County

No current Orders in place

Lowndes County

Mask Order from the 2nd Judicial Circuit

Macon County

No current Orders in place

Madison County

New! 8-13-2021: 23rd Circuit (Madison): masks are mandatory in the courthouse.

Marengo County

New! 8-13-2021: 17th Circuit (Greene, Marengo & Sumter): masks are mandatory in the courthouse.

Marion County

No current Orders in place

Marshall County

No current Orders in place

Mobile County

 

8-16-2021: New Administrative Order for jury trials

8-13-2021: 13th Circuit (Mobile): masks are mandatory in the courthouse (with the exception of attorney and court personnel who are vaccinated).

Monroe County

No current Orders in place

Montgomery County

NEW! (July 30,2021) – The 15th Judicial Circuit has canceled the Jury terms for August 16th and August 30

COVID-19 (Delta Variant) Safety Protocols: Administrative Order

 

 

MONTGOMERY CIRCUIT CLERK CONTACT INFORMATION

Main Office: (334) 832-1260

Fax: (334) 832-7787

Email: montgomerycircuitclerk@alacourt.gov

Website: Montgomery.alacourt.gov

Absentee Office: (334) 832-1281

EMERGENCY CONTACT

Circuit Clerk, Gina Ishman
Email: gina.ishman@alacourt.gov
Office: (334) 832-1384
Cell: (334) 328-0886

Civil/Criminal Deputy Clerk, Shirley Grant
Email: shirley.grant@alacourt.gov
Office: (334) 832-1261
Cell: (334) 414-2672

Juvenile/Domestic Relations Deputy Clerk, Angela Starr
Email: angela.starr@alacourt.gov
Office: (334) 832-2101
Cell: (334) 233-9942

Morgan County

NEW! As of 8-13-21: 8th Circuit (Morgan): masks are mandatory in all courtrooms.

Perry County

NEW! As of 8-13-21: 4th Circuit (Bibb, Dallas, Hale, Perry & Wilcox): masks are mandatory in all courtrooms.

Pickens County

Administrative Order on Masks

Pike County

No current Orders in place

Randolph County

No current Orders in place

Russell County

NEW! 8-13-2021: 26th Circuit (Russell): masks are mandatory in all courtrooms, circuit clerk’s office, JPO office, and Drug Court.

St. Clair County

No current Orders in place

Shelby County

No current Orders in place

Sumter County

New! 8-13-2021: 17th Circuit (Greene, Marengo & Sumter): masks are mandatory in the courthouse.

Talladega County

All non-employees will be required to wear a mask to enter the Judicial Building unless they present a valid “vaccine card.”

Masks will be required for all common areas unless you have a valid “vaccine card.”

Effective Aug. 23, the following protocols are hereby in place for entry:

  1. Mandatory masks for all members of the public for entry.
  2. Mandatory masks must be worn in all common areas throughout the Judicial Building.
  3. Mandatory digital temperature for all members of the public for entry.
  4. Security will request all entrants use hand sanitizing station for entry.
  5. Proof of vaccination does NOT exclude anyone from this policy.

COURTROOM POLICY (EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY:

Per the email you received last night or earlier today, ALL courtrooms at the Judicial Building in Talladega and Judge Rumsey’s courtroom in Sylacauga will require masks for entry.

Judges Woodruff, Hollingsworth, Rumsey and Fannin have the discretion to allow masks be removed on an individual case-by-case basis as appropriate.

Masks are required for ALL “dockets” without discretion at this time.

Judges Rumsey and Fannin will limit the number of people in their courtroom at a given time and will utilize the courtrooms downstairs for overflow to manage their larger dockets.  Please be patient and expect some delay in cases that appear on a “docket” as we manage and utilize courtroom overflow.

Thank you for your cooperation.  If you need special accommodations for you and/or your client, please contact the individual judge AHEAD of the court proceeding to make such a request.

Tallapoosa County

No current Orders in place

Tuscaloosa County

No current Orders in place

Walker County

No current Orders in place

Washington County

No current Orders in place

Wilcox County

NEW! As of 8-13-21: 4th Circuit (Bibb, Dallas, Hale, Perry & Wilcox): masks are mandatory in all courtrooms.

Winston County

No current Orders in place

COVID-19 Resources

The Alabama State has compiled resources to help members navigate the current COVID-19 situation. SCROLL DOWN for court orders, announcements, webinars and other current information relevant for attorneys.

If you have a question about the Courts that is not addressed below, click on the button below to submit your question. We will compile those questions to send to the Courts for answers.

Staff Contact Information and Impact on Bar Services

The Alabama State Bar has been working diligently to develop a plan for the bar’s operation that considers guidance received from federal and state authorities and also our duty and obligation to serve you, our members.

The ASB building will be closed to the public until further notice, starting Mar. 17, 2020. The situation is fluid and changing at a rapid pace, so we will continue to monitor developments, and make changes as necessary. If you had arranged to hold a meeting, mediation, deposition or other event at the bar building in the next few weeks, you will be (if you have not already been) contacted by a member of our staff to arrange rescheduling.

Should you have questions, please contact the appropriate staff member below:

Department/Function Telephone Direct Dial Email
Administration 334-269-1515 terri.lovell@alabar.org
Finance 334-517-2160 financedept@alabar.org
Communications 334-517-2218 melissa.warnke@alabar.org
Publications (The Alabama Lawyer magazine) 334-517-2124 margaret.murphy@alabar.org
Information Technology (IT) 334-517-2192 hunter.harris@alabar.org
Admissions 334-517-2228 admit@alabar.org
Licensing 334-517-2144 ms@alabar.org
CLE 334-517-2128 cle@alabar.org
OGC – Discipline 334-517-2188 ogc@alabar.org
OGC – Ethics 334-517-2196 ethics@alabar.org
Programs/Meetings 334-517-2150 annualmeeting@alabar.org
Alabama Lawyers Assistance Program (ALAP) 334-224-6920 alap@alabar.og
Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) 334-517-2246 linda.lund@alabar.org
Lawyer Referral Service 800-392-5660 lrs@alabar.org

If you have an emergency and cannot get in touch with anyone, please call the main office at 334-269-1515.

We stand ready to continue to carry out the essential functions of the Bar and will continue to keep you updated and provide guidance about how to move forward. Please heed the recommendations of local and federal health officials to protect yourselves, your families, your friends and your colleagues from this virus.

We understand that this situation will likely cause significant hardships to many of your. Please let us know how we might provide resources to help you withstand the changes created by the pandemic.

Supreme Court of Alabama Orders and Memos

The Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building is now open to the public.

You can find a listing of all orders relating to COVID-19 here.

 

Court Information

Follow this link, and click on your county for information on how to access the court and for contact information, https://www.alabar.org/alabama-state-bar-coronavirus-covid-19-safety-measures/

Get Legal Help

The Alabama State Bar is committed to promoting public access to high quality legal services regardless of financial or other circumstances. The Alabama State has compiled resources to help members of the public seeking legal assistance during this time of uncertainty.

Legal Services Alabama (LSA)

LSA has opened a COVID-19 Crisis Disaster Hotline that is available in English and Spanish at 1-877-393-2333.

Legal Services Alabama is a statewide law firm providing free legal services to people who are low income (including those who recently became low income). LSA normally focuses on providing help with housing, consumer issues, domestic violence issues, public benefits and education but has increased our services during this time of need. In addition to many other COVID19 related issues, LSA is currently helping clients with unemployment compensation, food stamps and problems with landlords.

Alabama Free Legal Answers

The newly launched Alabama Free Legal Answers program provides free qualified legal advice through the website https://alabama.freelegalanswers.org/. The website gives eligible users the ability to pose civil legal questions to volunteer attorneys and receive answers on the site.  The users of the service must meet income eligibility guidelines that are available on the site. The current COVID-19 pandemic impacts under-served people with unemployment, loss of income and housing issues that may present legal questions that could be answered on the website.

Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral Service (“LRS”)

The Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral Service (“LRS”) is a program offered by the Alabama State Bar Association designed to assist the public in locating an attorney who can be retained to assist with their general legal need. Attorneys who participate in the ASB Lawyer Referral Service agree to charge not more than $50 for an initial 30 minute consultation. Following the initial consultation, the potential client and referred attorney will negotiate a fee for the services required.

The Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral Service line is temporarily closed but you can still receive a referral online at https://www.alabar.org/lrs-form/

Montgomery Volunteer Lawyer’s Program

The Montgomery Volunteer Lawyer’s Program’s in-person clinics are cancelled until further notice. They are still offering screening over the phone at 334-265-0222 ext.2. A group of local volunteer lawyers are available to answer civil legal questions by phone. Montgomery Volunteer Lawyers Program provides services in Montgomery County.

Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program

The Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program has cancelled all legal clinics until further notice.  We are still offering screening over the phone at (256) 539-2275 or through our online application via our website, www.vlpmadisoncounty.com .  Please leave a message and a staff member will return your call as soon as possible. The Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program provides services in Madison County.

South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program

The South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program has canceled all clinics and in-person screening for the time being. We are still offering limited screening over the phone at 251-438-1102 for non-emergency issues. South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program providers services in Baldwin, Clarke, Mobile and Washington Counties.

Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham

Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham has suspended their in-person Help Desks, we will be having remote Help Desks by phone during the following times:

Civil – Tuesday 9am-12pm

Domestic – Wednesday 9am-12pm

Civil – Thursday 9am-12pm

Please call 205.250.5198, ext. 3 during these times, and we will direct you to an attorney volunteer who can offer advice and counsel by phone. Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham provides services in Jefferson County

Clients may also call during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon.-Fri., and our staff attorneys will be available to speak with callers who meet our residency and income requirements. We will prioritize calls for those seeking help in domestic-violence situations or threat of eviction. However, if you are in immediate danger from domestic violence, please call 911.

Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program

The Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program has canceled all clinics and in-person screening.  Current clients can reach the program by email at vlp2@alabar.org or by calling your case worker.  We hope to open limited client intake soon, please check back for updates.  The Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program provides services in all counties except, Baldwin, Clarke, Jefferson, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery and Washington.

YWCA Advocacy and Family Law Center

YWCA Advocacy and Family Law Center services are available on a limited basis.  These services are dependent on the cities’, counties’, and courts’ ability to provide a space that complies with the CDC and other health officials’ recommendations. Supervised Visitation and Exchange Services have been suspended until further notice. We are working to employ technology-assisted options that do not put clients, staff, and or public health at risk. We are serving clients in both shelters (Jefferson and St. Clair counties). We may make referrals to other DV shelters in the state or provide hotel vouchers when necessary.  During calls, our advocates may help clients with counseling, safety planning, and protective orders. YWCA Crisis line 1-205-322-4878, www.ywcabham.org, state hotline:1-800-650-6522, by chat or call to the national hotline:  1-800-799-SAFE (7233) / chat at thehotline.org.

Legal Information and Self-Help Forms

Alabama Legal Help https://www.alabamalegalhelp.org/ (operated by Legal Services Alabama) and the website of the Alabama Access to Justice Commission https://www.alabamaatj.org/ contain information and self-help forms regarding a wide variety of legal issues, including family law, public benefits, housing, consumer issues, health law, elder law, immigration and guardianships.  You can get basic information about your legal rights, learn where to go for legal aid and assistance, and find out about other community resources.  Another website, Alabama Legal Answers, allows you to ask a lawyer a question online at no charge.

Also see the SVLP Blog on the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers website http://www.savlp.org/ for information on a variety of COVID-19 related legal issues including Estate Planning, Family Law and employment issues including sick leave and unemployment

U.S. District Court Information

United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama:

General Order – Use of Face Coverings.

For more information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here.

 

Bankruptcy Courts Information

The United States Bankruptcy Court Orders:

Office of General Counsel Information

All Alabama State Bar Office of General Counsel disciplinary hearings and other discipline-related matters will follow Supreme Court Orders.

The Office of General Counsel sent a memo to members. Lawyers can use this language to send to clients about the court closures, statute of limitations, and delay in cases as a result of the crisis.  You can find that >>>here<<<.

CLE Accomodations in Light of COVID-19

WHAT ACCOMMODATIONS, IF ANY, WILL BE MADE FOR SATISFACTION OF 2021 CLE REQUIREMENTS?

Attorneys who hold an occupational license are required to complete 12 CLE hours, including 1 ethics hour, by December 31, 2021. The MCLE Commission has extended its suspension of MCLE Regulation 3.1 through Dec. 31, 2021. This accommodation allows Alabama attorneys the flexibility of satisfying their full annual CLE requirement (12 hours, including 1 ethics hour) with approved on-demand and/or virtual courses.

The Alabama State Bar’s free CLE platform called ProLearn currently has more than 30 courses that have been reset for 2021, and we will be adding several new courses soon. Watch the Scoop for announcements of new courses! You can access this important member benefit at https://alabar.prolearn.io. Find step-by-step instructions for the platform here.

Orders and Proclamations from Governor Ivey

On March 13, 2020, on recommendation from the State Health Officer, Gov. Ivey declared a state public health emergency existed in the state of Alabama and has since issued twenty-seven supplemental state of emergency proclamations.

The Safer Apart order expired on May 31, 2021.

The State of Public Health Emergency issued August 13, 2021.