Say you got arrested for Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree and then lost your paperwork. You know court is coming up but don’t know what day or time or even where to go.
This post will give you a rundown on the different courtrooms so that you can figure out who you’re supposed to get in touch with and where you’re supposed to go.
1. Tuscaloosa County Courthouse–
The Tuscaloosa County Courthouse is the busiest courthouse in the county. It’s home to 8 different courtrooms and the Probate Court. If you don’t know where your court is, it’s probably here. Here are some ways to know for sure:
- You got a ticket or got arrested by a Sheriff’s Deputy (usually) or on Campus (usually).
- You’re getting sued or suing somebody.
- You’re getting a divorce or going to court for child support.
- You’re going to court for a protective order.
2. City of Tuscaloosa Municipal Court–
Municipal Court is where you go when you get a ticket or misdemeanor in the city. Here are some of cases that end up in Municipal Court:
- Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree
- Domestic Violence in the Third Degree
- Public Intoxication
- Traffic Tickets
- if one of these things happened outside of city limits or on campus, it will probably end up in the County Courthouse (see number 1).
3. Federal Building and Courthouse for the Northern District of Alabama
This is the big scary looking courthouse between Innisfree and Moe’s Barbeque. Here’s what goes on in there:
- Federal criminal hearings and trials
- Federal Civil suits (if you’re not sure, it’s probably not federal)
- Social Security Hearings.
- Bankruptcy Court.
4. Tuscaloosa County Juvenile Court
Juvenile Court used to be in the County Courthouse and its part of the same court system as number 1. That’s not to say that it’s close by. To get there you go east on 82 and do a U-turn past the Coke building. There are three types of cases that end up in Juvenile Court in Tuscaloosa County:
- Juvenile Delinquencies: simply put, when someone under the age of 18 breaks the law, they end up in Juvenile Court.
- CHINS (child in need of supervision): usually when a child runs away from home.
- Dependency Petitions: Dependency Petitions are what happens when DHR takes your children away or someone is claiming you are an unfit parent.
Sometimes it’s unclear whether a case should be in Juvenile Court or in one of the Domestic Relations courtrooms of the County Courthouse. Here is a good rule of thumb: if one biological parent is trying to get custody from another biological parent, it’s a Domestic Relations case (County Courthouse). If DHR is involved or if an outside party is trying to take custody from a biological parent, it’s probably juvenile court.
If you have court and don’t know where or when to go, you may be tempted to procrastinate on finding out. This is the worst thing you could do! No matter how scary it might be to show up to court unprepared, it’s always better than missing court altogether.
If you have questions about your case and would like to talk to a lawyer, call us at 205 293 5293 for a free consultation.