23rd Judicial Circuit Madison County, Alabama
The Madison County courthouse is located in downtown Huntsville. The county consists of four District Judges and seven Circuit Judges, serving approximately 290,000 residents. There were 13,789 Circuit Court and 44,562 District Court cases filed and 12,921 Circuit cases and 43,223 District cases disposed of in 2009. The circuit courts are Alabama's trial courts of "general jurisdiction" - meaning that these courts have the power to decide all cases that can be brought into a court under the Constitution and laws of the State. The circuit courts have exclusive, original jurisdiction of all civil actions in which the amount in controversy exceeds $10,000 and concurrent jurisdiction with the district courts in civil actions in which the amount exceeds $3,000. The circuit courts have exclusive original jurisdiction over domestic relations cases, felony criminal cases, and capital murder cases. Circuit courts also have the authority to hear cases appealed from any courts of limited jurisdiction (i.e., municipal courts, probate courts, and district courts). A case appealed from a municipal, probate, or district court will be tried de novo in circuit Court - meaning the case will be tried again, usually with a jury, just as if it had not previously been heard in lower court. Circuit courts are "courts of record:" all proceedings are recorded and transcribed by an official court reporter.