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- Home | 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama - Covington County
Welcome to the 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama Welcome to the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of Alabama Welcome to the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of Alabama Welcome to the 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama 1/4 Welcome to the 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama - Covington County - Court Announcements Face coverings are required at all times while in the courthouse. Ala Supreme Court Order No. 7 – May 13, 2020 (COVID-19) Circuit Court Order #2020-5 – May 15, 2020 Court Calendar Quick Links
- Contact | 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama - Covington County
Contact ONLINE CONTACT FORM: For any inquiries, please call, email, or complete the online contact form to the right. COURT ADDRESS: 1 N Court Square Andalusia, AL 36420 334.428.2576 or PHONE NUMBERS: Circuit Court: 334.428.2581 334:428.2571 District Court: Map and Directions Send Success! Your message was sent to the court. We will review your message and get back with you as soon as possible.
- Administrative Orders | 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama - Covington County
Administrative Orders An admin order is a court order issued by the presiding judge addressing matters that relate to the operation of the local court system. An admin order is an order of the Court and must be followed like any other court order. The following orders are currently in effect in the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of Alabama: Procedures of In-Person Hearings (During Coronavirus pandemic) The Presiding Circuit Judge issued an order detailing the procedures of in-person hearings on May 15, 2020. The admin order can be found . here Child First Program The Presiding Circuit Judge issued an order detailing the requirement of the Child First Program on May 29, 2019. The admin order can be found . here Dress Code (Attorneys) Dress Code (General Public) The Presiding Circuit Judge issued an order detailing dress code for attorneys on November 28, 2018. The admin order can be found . here The dress code issued by the Circuit Court Judges for other members of the public attending court can be found . here
- Jury Services | 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama - Covington County
Jury Service You have been randomly selected from either Voter Registration records or Motor Vehicle Administration records to serve as a juror in the Circuit Court for Covington County. If you believe you are ineligible to serve as a juror, or unable to serve this term, please call the phone number on the summons you received. A court representative will give you instructions. Most of those selected will serve as Trial Jurors. The term of service for Trial Jurors is usually one week. If a juror reports to the courthouse and is not selected for a trial, that juror will be on call for one week. The length of trials vary, but the current average is two to three days. COVID-19 Information and Instructions: Your health and safety is very important to us! During your time as a juror, please follow these rules: You must wear a face mask at all times while in the Courthouse. We suggest you bring your own, but we have surgical-type disposable masks for your use if you need one. Practice social distancing when possible. We will spread you out in the courtroom for the majority of your time on jury duty. Note the report date and time on your jury summons. Please do not enter the Courthouse until 15 minutes prior to the designated time on the summons. You must use hand-sanitizer and wash your hands with soap and water at every opportunity. DO NOT REPORT FOR JURY DUTY IF YOU HAVE TESTD POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AND ARE REQUIRED TO BE IN QUARANTINE OR HAVE BEEN IN CLOSE-CONTACT WITH A PERSON WHO HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. Do not report for jury duty if you have experienced a recent fever, cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the number on your jury summons. The Importance of Your Service: Trial by jury is the foundation of the American judicial system. In a civil case, it is the duty of a jury to decide issues of fact in disputes over matters such as property rights, contract rights and damages for personal injury. In a criminal case, it is the individuals who serve on juries that the parties rely upon for the protection of life, liberty and property. The performance of jury service is the fulfillment of a civic obligation. Our system of justice will not work without your participation. The most important function of a juror is to listen to all evidence presented at trial, and to decide the facts of the case. The Judge is there to determine the legal aspects of the case and to keep the trial moving forward. The Jury Selection Process: The names of potential jurors are selected at random from driver and voter registration records. Covington County jurors must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of Covington County. Your summons will indicate whether you have been called to serve on or duty. Grand Jury Trial Jury usually serve for one week. Grand Jury cases are criminal in nature, and require jurors to determine if there is enough evidence to charge a defendant and bring him or her to trial. Although rare, grand jurors are subject to being recalled to duty if necessary. That period of recall lasts until the next grand jury is sworn in. Grand Jurors Jurors summoned to serve on duty in Covington County are on call for one week. That does not mean that a juror will be in court every day. Trial Jury The first morning of Jury Duty serves as a brief orientation. The judge will determine eligibility and qualifications of the prospective jurors and excuse those who cannot serve. At this point, Jurors are asked to do one of the most difficult parts of Jury Duty - wait. Many court proceedings cannot be held without jurors, which is why a pool of potential jurors must be assembled and ready before the court starts its day. However, once assembled a variety of things can occur which can mean delays, (i.e. settlement efforts between parties). After the jurors all qualified, the judge will call a specific case to try. All jurors will take an oath to answer all questions truthfully, and the Judge will explain the case. At this point, jurors will be questioned by the Judge and the attorneys during the voir dire process. The purpose of voir dire is for the judge and attorneys to make sure you have no prior knowledge of the case, and that you have no personal interest or feelings that could impact your ability to be impartial. These questions are not intended to embarrass jurors - but are essential when selecting an impartial jury which will be best suited to rendering an unbiased decision. Some jurors may never be called for a case. This is especially true should all cases scheduled for a given day end in settlement. Taking a matter to court is a measure of last resort, and the court encourages parties to settle their own differences. Should all cases for a given day settle, jurors will be excused. Other Useful Information: Jurors should wear comfortable but conservative clothing. Any concerns regarding what clothing is appropriate should be referred to the . Administrative Order detailing Dress Code In the event a potential juror is unable to serve, there are two avenues that should be followed to be excused from jury service. The first option is to call and speak with a Judicial Assistant and explain the conflict or circumstances that prevent the ability to serve. The phone number can be found on your jury summons. The second option is to report to jury duty on the Monday that is designated and explain to the Judge the conflict and/or concerns of fulfilling the service. Thank you in advance for your service. Charles A. Short Circuit Judge, Place 1 Benjamin M. Bowden Circuit Judge, Place 2
- Courthouse History | 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama - Covington County
Covington County Courthouse History The Beginnings The Covington County Courthouse has sat in the center of Covington County both physically and symbolically for as long as anyone can remember. The current courthouse is actually the fifth one built in the county, but the first three courthouses burned down and then the county grew out of the fourth. Ironically, the courthouse almost never came to be because of a lawsuit. After the Board of Revenue, the predecessor to the County Commission, voted to purchase land and request bids for the building in 1914, a local citizen was successful in getting a local judge to issue an injunction against further work on the courthouse. The issue ended up going all the way to the Alabama Supreme Court where the decision was overturned in 1915 and plans were allowed to go forward. Design and Construction The courthouse was designed by a very famous architect, Frank Lockwood. Mr. Lockwood was originally from New Jersey, graduated from Princeton University, and came to Montgomery, Alabama, via Columbus, Georgia. He designed many other important buildings around Montgomery, including the two wings on the State Capital and the United States Post Office, which now houses a portion of the Federal Courthouse in Montgomery. He also designed the Avant house down Sanford Road and the First National Bank Building here on the square. Part of the reason for such a magnificent courthouse is that the county leaders were hoping that Andalusia would be the site for a federal courthouse. It was completed, we believe, in July of 1917, at the cost of approximately $91,000. Surprisingly, we can find no record of a big celebration, open house, or any such event recognizing its completion. It is simply noted in the newspaper that the Board of Revenue held its first meeting in the courthouse in July of 1917. The original courthouse has been added onto twice since 1917. Originally, the building was in an “L” shape. A wing was added on the East side in 1939, leaving a little courtyard in the middle. The courtyard was filled in at some later date. A couple of interesting facts about the courthouse. First, there is area at the top of the courthouse that was used for a bunk room for jurors when they were sequestered (not allowed to go home) or if they simply came from someplace far off, and if court lasted more than one day, it was available as a place to spend the night. Also, we have been unable to locate the cornerstone. We have heard that it was removed during one of the additions, but some people have also speculated that it was simply covered by one of the additions. Description In 1988 when the courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places, the following written description was made: The Covington County Courthouse is located on the north side of Court Square in Andalusia. Designed by architect Frank Lockwood, it is an excellent example of the “Beaux Arts” school of the early years of this century. The Courthouse is a rectangular structure of combed granite with a large number of neoclassical motifs and design elements and the high degree of detail typical of the style. The approach to the Courthouse is by a set of granite and tile steps, flanked at the summit by a pair of cast iron lamp posts with proportions and balance with six fluted Corinthian columns supporting a shallow bracketed pediment, at the center of which is an elaborate medallion. The triple-entry doors are flanked by Corinthian pilasters. Semicircular niches surmounted with fluted fans are outside o f the pilasters. The interior space of the Courthouse is very impressive and well preserved. The main entrance leads one to an octagonal 2-story atrium surmounted by a dome with stained glass at its apex. The floor is white marble tile. The space is defined by a series of grey marble walls alternating with paired smooth grey marble column with gold leaf terminals. The solid wall sections have angled pilasters at the corners. There is a wide “y” – shaped staircase at the rear of the atrium with white marble treads and black wrought iron risers and balustrade. Flanking the staircase are a pair of square columns and pilasters. The staircase leads to a gallery around the second story of the atrium, from which offices open. Continuing Legacy The Covington County Courthouse was originally intended to serve the county’s growing administrative needs. In the century of its use, it has certainly lived up to that challenge. It also stands as a symbol of justice and our county’s history.
- Judges | 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama - Covington County
Judges Honorable Lex Short CIRCUIT JUDGE - PLACE 1 Admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1988, Judge Charles A. “Lex” Short currently serves as the Presiding Circuit Judge of the 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama, a title he has held since 2015. Judge Short has served as a Circuit Judge since originally taking office in January 2001. Judge Short graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Business Administration in 1985. Upon graduating from Auburn, he enrolled in the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, and graduated with honors in 1988. During his time at Jones School of Law, Judge Short was a law clerk to the the former governor - and at that time - Judge John Patterson on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. Throughout his nineteen years on the bench, Judge Short has presided over thousands of matters in criminal – including capital murder cases – civil, probate, and domestic relations court and only had one case reversed on appeal. In 2009, Judge Short established the 22nd Judicial Circuit Drug Court and has served as the Drug Court Judge since its creation. Since its inception, the Drug Court has directly affected the lives of hundreds of drug addicted individuals, and, as a result, reduced recidivism rates and the prison population. Prior to his election onto the bench, Judge Short was in the private practice of law with a general law practice. Judge Short also served as an Assistant District Attorney for ten years as a felony prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office of the 22nd Judicial Circuit. As an Assistant District Attorney, Judge Short prosecuted over 150 felony jury trials to verdict. In private practice, Judge Short handled matters in criminal, civil, domestic relations, juvenile, probate, and municipal courts. While in private practice, Judge Short also served as the City Attorney and Municipal Court Prosecutor for the City of Opp, town of Red Level, and the town of Lockhart. He also served as the Public Defender for the Municipal Court of Andalusia, Alabama. Judge Short has served in various charitable organizations for over twenty years. Judge Short has been a member - and in some instances, chairman - of Kiwanis Club of Andalusia, Andalusia United Fund, Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Foundation, and the Andalusia Football Foundation. Judge Short has served the youth of his community in many ways; he has coached numerous sports teams and actively speaks to young people about the inherent risks that drug use and abuse presents. Judge Short is married to the former Susan Jones of Andalusia. He and Susan have three children. They also have two grandchildren. Contact Judge Short Honorable Julie Moody DISTRICT JUDGE Judge Julie Sorrells Moody currently serves as the District Judge of Covington County, Alabama, an office she has held since her appointment by Governor Robert Bentley in April of 2014. Judge Moody was elected to the district judgeship in 2018. Judge Moody graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations/Journalism with a minor in Speech from Auburn University in 1990. While attending Auburn, Judge Moody was a member of the Auburn Tigerettes, serving as president in 1988-89. She was also a member of Chi Omega sorority. Upon graduation from Auburn University, Judge Moody enrolled in the Cumberland School of Law on the campus of Samford University where she received her Juris Doctor in 1993. During her time in law school, Judge Moody worked as a law clerk for the firm of Norman, Fitzpatrick, Wood, Williams & Parker. She also served an internship with the United States Attorney’s Office in Birmingham. Judge Moody was admitted to the Alabama Bar and began her legal career in 1993 as an associate at Buntin, Cobb & Shealy, P.A. in Dothan, AL. A lifelong resident of Covington County, she returned to work as an associate with Albrittons, Givhan, Clifton & Alverson in 1995. She became a partner in the firm in 1998. She handled numerous cases in the fields of worker’s compensation, insurance defense, municipal law and medical malpractice at the firm until her appointment as the District Judge in 2014. Judge Moody has also served our community in various ways throughout her career. Towards the beginning of her career she served as a Public Defender and Prosecutor for the Town of Lockhart, and then as the Prosecutor for the Town of Red Level. In addition, Judge Moody held the position of Municipal Judge for the City of Opp from 1996 until 2009. Judge Moody began work as the attorney for the Covington County Commission in 1996 and the Covington County Sheriff’s Department in 1999 and served in those positions until the time of her appointment as District Judge. Judge Moody also served as an attorney for the Town of Babbie, the City of Florala, and the Town of Red Level, during her years in private practice. Judge Moody was selected as a member of the 2006 Leadership Forum of the Alabama State Bar and served as the President of the Covington County Bar Association from 1997-98. She served on the Board of Directors of the LBW College Scholarship Foundation from 1998 until 2000, when she was president. Judge Moody is a resident of Opp, where she is a member of the First Baptist Church. She and her husband, Rothel, have two children, Trey and Caroline. Contact Judge Moody Honorable Ben Bowden CIRCUIT JUDGE - PLACE 2 Judge Benjamin M. Bowden holds the position of Circuit Judge of Covington County, Alabama, Place 2, having won that seat in the 2016 election. Prior to assuming his duties as Circuit Judge, Judge Bowden served as Covington County’s Probate Judge from November 8, 2008 until March 17, 2016. Judge Bowden attended the University of Alabama from 1985 to 1989. While at Alabama, he served as the Varsity Tennis Team Manager, was President of the Kappa Sigma Social Fraternity, and received his officer’s commission through the Air Force ROTC program. Judge Bowden received his from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1992. While in law school, he served on the editorial board of the Alabama Law Review and finished in the Top 10% of his graduating class. juris doctor After graduation, Judge Bowden entered on active duty with the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps, serving at Bitburg AB, Germany, and Aviano AB, Italy. He left active duty in 1997 and joined the law firm of Albrittons, Clifton, Alverson, Moody, and Bowden, P.C. in Andalusia, Alabama, which was at that time the oldest law firm in continuous existence in the State of Alabama. Judge Bowden maintained a general litigation practice while also serving as the Municipal Prosecutor for the City of Andalusia and as an Assistant District Attorney. During this time, Judge Bowden successfully prosecuted two capital murder cases, one of which was the longest jury trial in the history of Covington County. Judge Bowden has remained a member of the Air Force Reserves since leaving active duty. In 2008, Judge Bowden deployed to Balad AB, Iraq, in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM and OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. He is currently assigned to the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School at Maxwell AFB, and holds the rank of Colonel. Judge Bowden has held various positions in the community, to include Chairman of the Covington County Republican Party, President of the Covington County Bar Association, Chairman of the Covington County Red Cross, Lay Delegate to the 2000 and 2004 General Conference of the United Methodist Church, President of the Andalusia Rotary Club, President of Andalusia Elementary PTO, and youth league coach. He is married to the former Angela Mobley. He and Angie have two children, Anna Beth, who lives and works in Dallas, Texas, and Sim, who is a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. Contact Judge Bowden
- Resources | 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama - Covington County
Resources Administrative Orders Helpful Links Jury Service
- Helpful Links | 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama - Covington County
Helpful Links Alabama Administrative Office of Courts The Alabama Administrative Office of Courts website can be viewed . here Alabama Code The Code of Alabama can be accessed . here Alabama State Bar The Alabama State Bar's website may be accessed here . Covington County Probate Court The Probate Court's website may be accessed . here District Attorney's Office The Covington County District Attorney Office Facebook page can be accessed . here Forms The Alabama Administrative Office of Court's E-Forms can be accessed here . Legal Services For assistance in legal matters, Legal Services Alabama is available to help. You may access their website here . Municipal Courts Andalusia Municipal Court Florala Municipal Court Gantt Municipal Court t Lockhart Municipal Cour Opp Municipal Court Red Level Municipal Court River Fall Municipal Court
- Directions | 22nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama - Covington County
Directions Click here for turn-by-turn directions using Google maps. Traveling from Montgomery Get on I-65 S Follow I-65 S to AL-106 in Georgiana. Take exit 114 from I-65 S Continue straight on AL-55 S Turn left onto US-84 W Turn left onto M L King Jr Expressway Turn right onto N Cotton Street and follow to Court Square Traveling from Mobile Get on I-65 N Follow I-65 N to US-84 E in Conecuh County. Take Exit 93 from I-65 N Turn right onto US-84 W, follow to Andalusia Turn left onto M L King Jr Expressway Turn right onto N. Cotton Street, follow to Court Square Traveling from Dothan Get on US-84 W Follow AL-134 W towards Opp Turn left on US-84 W Turn left on Stanford Road Continue on to E 3 Notch St to Court Square