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Alabama Public Records
Court Dockets Search

Alabama Court Docket Search

An Alabama court docket search refers to the process of obtaining court case information by searching a docket. This case information is disseminated according to the provisions of the Alabama Open Records Act, which guarantees public access to Alabama court records unless otherwise specified by a judicial order or state statute.

Alabama court dockets provide basic case information such as the judge, case parties, attorney, filing date, case number, a summary of each document filed in the case, and a summary of the documents generated during the court proceedings. Interested members of the public may find Alabama court dockets online or in person at the administrative office of the court where a case was filed but will be required to provide the information needed to facilitate the case search.

What is a Court Docket in Alabama?

A court docket is an official record that contains a rich summary of court proceedings associated with every civil case and criminal case (both pending and decided) filed in the Alabama Courts. Every court case in Alabama is assigned a docket number that individuals (court staff, judge, attorney, case parties, and members of the public) can use to track a case.

Are Court Dockets Public Record in Alabama?

Per Alabama's Public Records Law, court dockets are public records because they are included in court records. Be aware that not all cases or information in a court docket are subject to public disclosure under the Public Records Law. For instance, court dockets containing sensitive personnel records, pending criminal investigations, and documents whose disclosure is detrimental to the best interests of the public are confidential. Per Ala. Code § 36-12-41, record custodians may charge reasonable fees for court docket requests.

Additionally, some court dockets records are not open to the public without a court order. For instance, adoption, juvenile delinquency, and guardianship terminating parental rights. Conversely, there are some court docket records that individuals can file a motion to seal or expunge from public records. This is typically common with criminal records. For instance, a person charged with a misdemeanor or non-violent felony can file a Petition for Expungement of Records with the circuit court in the location where the charge was filed to have their criminal records expunged. If the $300 administrative filing fees are paid, and the petition is granted, all records in the court's custody and those held by any other law enforcement agencies will be removed from public records. Review Alabama Code § 15-27 for more information on how to expunge court dockets records from public records.

Where to Find a Court Docket in Alabama

A requester can find a court docket online and in person at the Alabama courts. Online requesters can use the Just One Look tool on the Alabama Judicial System and Judicial Circuit Court websites to search for docket information in Alabama. Alternatively, inquirers can visit the courts with jurisdiction over a case to request court docket information. Typically, requesters may not have to pay to view a court docket record, but copies of such records usually come at a cost. To find a court docket in person, the requester must provide certain basic information about the case to facilitate the search.

How to Conduct an Alabama Court Docket Search

An Alabama court docket search can be done at the Alabama Judicial System office. Users can search for a court docket in a particular case online by using the Just One Look tool. Online requesters can conduct a search for cases by name or case number for a fee of $9.99 per case. Here is how to conduct an Alabama court docket search by name:

  • Provide the case party's first/last/middle name, or business name in the appropriate search boxes.
  • Select the county where the case was filed.
  • Select if it is a civil or criminal record or both that is required.
  • Then click Continue to go to the Order Summary.
  • Check the Terms and Condition box and click the CONFIRM THE PURCHASE link
  • Fill in the billing information and payment details to get a copy of a court docket.

Alternatively, requesters can visit the court where the case was filed to request court docket information. In-person applicants must be willing to pay the required document and search fee. They must also provide basic information about the case, like a case number, case parties' names, case attorney's name, or case year, to facilitate the search.

Using Third-Party Sites for an Alabama Court Docket Search

Certain private aggregate websites also disseminate court dockets, e.g., for cases of public interest. When using third-party sites for an Alabama court docket search, care should be taken to verify case information or documents obtained against the official dockets maintained by the applicable court clerk's office (where the case was filed). This way, a researcher can guarantee the accuracy and completeness of case information retrieved from third-party sites.

What is the Purpose of a Court Docket in Alabama

Alabama Courts use dockets to record information about cases filed by residents. This help individuals find brief entries of court proceedings (both pending and decided) filed with a court. A court docket can be used to identify court filings filed in a case.

Clerks of courts use court dockets for record purposes. With court dockets, clerks can briefly note all the proceedings and filings in a court case. Case parties can use court dockets to know the status of their case and the hearing dates of their case electronically or in person at the courthouse. Members of the public can also inspect or obtain copies of court records from the court docket search tools available on Alabama Courts' websites. Alternatively, they can visit the court where a case is filed to retrieve docket information. Attorneys use court dockets to track a case they are involved in, to know when to appear in court, and access every piece of information about the case. An Alabama judge can use a court to view the list of cases scheduled for hearings. They will be able to determine the hearing date and the nature of the case. Employers can run background checks on prospective employees by retrieving their court docket information.

What Do Court Dockets Contain in Alabama?

Alabama court dockets typically contain the following information:

  • Party information, including names of the plaintiff and defendant
  • The name of the attorney representing the case parties
  • Case number (which depicts county code, case year, and a sequence number)
  • Case type (criminal, civil, small claims, domestic relations, child support, and traffic)
  • Case filing date
  • Case status (active, closed, or dismissed)
  • Setting date
  • Court action
  • financial history
  • Images of documents filed in a court case
  • A detailed case action summary (including charges, fines, court appearance and hearing details)
  • The court location where a hearing will take place
  • The name of the presiding judge
  • The dates and times of scheduled court proceedings, as well as the type of proceeding
  • The next scheduled court proceeding
  • The court location where the hearing will take place
  • The name of the presiding judicial officer (the magistrate or judge)
  • Results of court proceedings, including rulings entered by the court

Note that the details of a court docket may vary depending on the court and the case. Contact the court where the case is filed online or in person for more information on what a court docket in Alabama contains.

What is a Court Docket Number in Alabama?

A court docket number is a series of unique characters comprising letters and numbers assigned to a case. It usually appears on all documents filed in any court in Alabama. A court docket number is usually located at the top of every form filed in the court. A docket number makes it easy for court staff, attorneys, and members of the public to track a case. It reveals basic information about a case, like the year the case was filed, the court the case was filed in, the type of case, and the sequence number. For instance, this docket number 41-DV-2020-000419.00 can be read as:

41 is the county code for Lauderdale County
DV represents the case type
2020 represents the year the case was filed
000419.00 represents the sequence number

The aforementioned case number can be read as the 419th District Court case filed in 2020 in Lauderdale County.

How to Conduct a Court Docket Number Lookup in Alabama

A court docket number lookup can be done via the Just One Look tool on the Alabama Judicial System website. On the website, click on the home menu and click the Trial Courts - Just One Look link, which leads to the online platform for the search. Requesters must sign up to be able to log into the platform with their emails and passwords. After logging in, go to the "Searches" at the top of the screen and select "Name Search" from the dropdown. Then input the case party's last name/ business, first name, middle name, or county. Then click on Continue. A case number lookup typically costs $9.99. Requesters can purchase a case record with or without images. When the payment is completed, the inquirer can retrieve a docket record containing a docket number.

Another way to conduct a court docket number lookup in Alabama is to visit the court where a case is filed during business hours. Provide the court clerk with basic information about the case and pay the required document and search fees. The requester should be able to find the document number on the case records. For instance, a requester who wants to conduct an in-person court docket number lookup in Montgomery County must visit the Circuit Clerk's Office during business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m), which is located at:

Montgomery County Circuit Clerk's Office
100 S. Lawrence Street
Courthouse Annex 1 - 3rd Floor
Phone: (334) 832-1260



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