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Statutes: Alabama

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Statutes: Alabama

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

These statutes below are current through Act 2019-540. Please check to make sure there have been no updates since this time. These and other statutes are available online at the Alabama State Legislature webpage.

Title 12. Courts

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Chapter 25. Alabama Sentencing Commission

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Article 2. Alabama Sentencing Reform Act of 2003

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 12-25-32. Definitions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

For the purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) COMMISSION. The Alabama Sentencing Commission, established as a state agency under the Supreme Court by this chapter.

(2) CONTINUUM OF PUNISHMENTS. An array of punishment options, from probation to incarceration, graduated in restrictiveness according to the degree of supervision of the offender including, but not limited to, all of the following:

a. Active Incarceration. A sentence, other than an intermediate punishment or unsupervised probation, that requires an offender to serve a sentence of imprisonment. The term includes time served in a work release program operated as a custody option by the Alabama Department of Corrections or in the Supervised Intensive Restitution program of the Department of Corrections pursuant to Article 7, commencing with Section 15-18-110, of Chapter 18 of Title 15.

b. Intermediate Punishment. A sentence that may include assignment to any community based punishment program or may include probation with conditions or probation in conjunction with a period of confinement. Intermediate punishments include, but are not limited to, all of the following options:

1. A split sentence pursuant to Section 15-18-8.

2. Assignment to a community punishment and corrections program pursuant to the Alabama Community Punishment and Corrections Act or local acts.

3. Assignment to a community based manual labor work program pursuant to Sections 14-5-30 to 14-5-37, inclusive.

4. Intensive probation supervision pursuant to Section 15-22-56.

5. Cognitive and behavioral training.

6. Community service work.

7. County probation.

8. Day fines or means-based fines.

9. Day reporting.

10. Drug or alcohol testing.

11. Drug court programs.

12. Educational programs.

13. Electronic monitoring.

14. Home confinement or house arrest.

15. Ignition interlock.

16. Intermittent confinement.

17. Jail and prison diversion programs.

18. Job readiness and work.

19. Literacy and basic learning.

20. Pretrial diversion programs.

21. Residential drug treatment.

22. Residential community based punishment programs in which the offender is required to spend at least eight hours per day, or overnight, within a facility and is required to participate in activities such as counseling, treatment, social skills training, or employment training, conducted at the residential facility or at another specified location.

23. Restorative justice as established in Section 12-17-226.6.

(i) Victim impact panels.

(ii) Voluntary victim offender conferencing.

(iii) Voluntary victim offender mediation.

24. Self-help groups.

25. Sobrietor or breath alcohol remote monitoring.

26. Substance abuse education and treatment.

27. Treatment alternatives to street crime (TASC).

28. Voice recognition, curfew restriction, or employment monitoring.

29. Work release, other than those work release programs operated by the Alabama Department of Corrections, as a custody option.

c. Unsupervised Probation. A sentence in a criminal case that includes a period of probation but does not include supervision, active incarceration, or an intermediate punishment.

d. Post-release Supervision. A mandatory period of supervision following sentences of active incarceration as defined in paragraph a. that may include one or more intermediate punishment options.

(3) COURT. Unless otherwise stated, a district or circuit court exercising jurisdiction to sentence felony offenders.

(4) EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES. Policies, procedures, programs, and practices proven by widely accepted and published research to reliably produce reductions in recidivism.

(5) FELONY OFFENSE. A noncapital felony offense.

(6) INITIAL VOLUNTARY STANDARDS. The voluntary sentencing standards effective on October 1, 2006. These standards were based on statewide historic sentences imposed with normative adjustments designed to reflect current sentencing policies.

(7) NONVIOLENT OFFENSE. All offenses which are not violent offenses.

(8) NONVIOLENT OFFENDER. Any offender who does not qualify as a violent offender pursuant to subdivision (14).

(9) OFFENDER. A person convicted of a noncapital felony offense.

(10) RELEASE AUTHORITY. Any public official, agency, or other entity authorized by law to release a sentenced offender from incarceration or other conditions of a sentence.

(11) VALIDATED RISK AND NEEDS ASSESSMENT. An actuarial tool that has been validated and established by administrative rule in Alabama to determine the likelihood of an offender engaging in future criminal behavior. The Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Department of Corrections shall adopt compatible tools to conduct a validated risk and needs assessment upon offenders within the jurisdiction of the state. A validated risk and needs assessment shall include, but not be limited to, an offender’s prior criminal history, the nature and severity of the present offense, and potential for future violence.

(12) TRUTH-IN-SENTENCING STANDARDS. Truth in sentencing is scheduled to become effective October 1, 2020.

(13) UNDER SUPERVISION. All offenders under the supervision of any criminal justice agency or program including, but not limited to, any of the following entities:

a. The Alabama Department of Corrections.

b. State or county probation offices.

c. Community corrections programs pursuant to Alabama Community Corrections Act.

d. Jails.

e. State or local law enforcement agencies.

f. Any court.

(14) VIOLENT OFFENDER. A violent offender is an offender who has been convicted of a violent offense, or who is determined by the trial court judge or a release authority to have demonstrated a propensity for violence, aggression, or weapons related behavior based on the criminal history or behavior of the offender while under supervision of any criminal justice system agency or entity.

(15) VIOLENT OFFENSE.

a. For the purposes of this article, a violent offense includes each of the following offenses, or any substantially similar offense to those listed in this subdivision created after June 20, 2003:

1. Capital murder pursuant to Sections 13A-6-2 and 13A-5-40.

2. Murder pursuant to Section 13A-6-2.

3. Manslaughter pursuant to Section 13A-6-3.

4. Criminally negligent homicide pursuant to Section 13A-6-4.

5. Assault I pursuant to Section 13A-6-20.

6. Assault II pursuant to Section 13A-6-21.

7. Compelling street gang membership pursuant to Section 13A-6-26.

8. Kidnapping I pursuant to Section 13A-6-43.

9. Kidnapping II pursuant to Section 13A-6-44.

10. Rape I pursuant to Section 13A-6-61.

11. Rape II pursuant to Section 13A-6-62.

12. Sodomy I pursuant to Section 13A-6-63.

13. Sodomy II pursuant to Section 13A-6-64.

14. Sexual torture pursuant to Section 13A-6-65.l.

15. Sexual abuse I pursuant to Section 13A-6-66.

16. Enticing a child to enter a vehicle for immoral purposes pursuant to Section 13A-6-69.

17. Stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-90.

18. Aggravated stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-91.

19. Soliciting a child by computer pursuant to Section 13A-6-110.

20. Domestic violence I pursuant to Section 13A-6-130.

21. Domestic violence II pursuant to Section 13A-6-131.

22. Burglary I pursuant to Section 13A-7-5.

23. Burglary II pursuant to Section 13A-7-6.

24. Burglary III pursuant to subdivision (1) or subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of Section 13A-7-7.

25. Arson I pursuant to Section 13A-7-41.

26. Criminal possession of explosives pursuant to Section 13A-7-44.

27. Extortion I pursuant to Section 13A-8-14.

28. Robbery I pursuant to Section 13A-8-41.

29. Robbery II pursuant to Section 13A-8-42.

30. Robbery III pursuant to Section 13A-8-43.

31. Pharmacy robbery pursuant to Section 13A-8-51.

32. Terrorist threats pursuant to Section 13A-10-15.

33. Escape I pursuant to Section 13A-10-31.

34. Promoting prison contraband I pursuant to Section 13A-10-36, involving a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

35. Intimidating a witness pursuant to Section 13A-10-123.

36. Intimidating a juror pursuant to Section 13A-10-127.

37. Treason pursuant to Section 13A-11-2.

38. Discharging a weapon into an occupied building, dwelling, automobile, etc., pursuant to Section 13A-11-61.

39. Promoting prostitution I pursuant to Section 13A-12-111.

40. Production of obscene matter involving a minor pursuant to Section 13A-12-197.

41. Trafficking pursuant to Section 13A-12-231.

42. Child abuse pursuant to Section 26-15-3.

43. Elder abuse pursuant to Section 38-9-7.

44. Terrorism pursuant to Section 13A-10-152.

45. Hindering prosecution for terrorism pursuant to Section 13A-10-154.

46. Domestic violence III pursuant to subsection (d) of Section 13A-6-132.

47. Domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation pursuant to Section 13A-6-138.

48. Human trafficking I pursuant to Section 13A-6-152.

49. Human trafficking II pursuant to Section 13A-6-153.

50. Hindering prosecution in the first degree pursuant to Section 13A-10-43.

51. Any substantially similar offense for which an Alabama offender has been convicted under prior Alabama law or the law of any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States, or any of the territories of the United States.

b. The basis for defining these offenses as violent is that each offense meets at least one of the following criteria:

1. Has as an element, the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or physical force against the person of another.

2. Involves a substantial risk of physical injury against the person of another.

3. Is a nonconsensual sex offense.

4. Is particularly reprehensible.

c. Any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a violent offense shall be considered a violent offense for the purposes of this article.

d. Any criminal offense which meets the criteria provided in paragraph b. enacted after 2003.

Title 13A. Criminal Code

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-1-2. Definitions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Unless different meanings are expressly specified in subsequent provisions of this title, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) Booby trap. Any concealed or camouflaged device designed to cause bodily injury when triggered by any action of a person making contact with the device. This term includes guns, ammunition, or explosive devices attached to trip wires or other triggering mechanisms, sharpened stakes, nails, spikes, electrical devices, lines or wires with hooks attached, and devices for the production of toxic fumes or gases.

(2) Burden of injecting the issue. The term means that the defendant must offer some competent evidence relating to all matters subject to the burden, except that the defendant may rely upon evidence presented by the prosecution in meeting the burden.

(3) Clandestine laboratory operation. Any of the following:

a. Purchase or procurement of chemicals, supplies, equipment, or laboratory location for the unlawful manufacture of controlled substances.

b. Transportation or arranging for the transportation of chemicals, supplies, or equipment for the unlawful manufacture of controlled substances.

c. Setting up of equipment or supplies in preparation for the unlawful manufacture of controlled substances.

d. Distribution or disposal of chemicals, equipment, supplies, or products used in or produced by the unlawful manufacture of controlled substances.

(4) Crime. A misdemeanor or a felony.

(5) Dangerous instrument. Any instrument, article, or substance which, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used, is highly capable of causing death or serious physical injury. The term includes a “vehicle,” as that term is defined in subdivision (15).

(6) Deadly physical force. Physical force which, under the circumstances in which it is used, is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury.

(7) Deadly weapon. A firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purposes of inflicting death or serious physical injury. The term includes, but is not limited to, a pistol, rifle, or shotgun; or a switch-blade knife, gravity knife, stiletto, sword, or dagger; or any billy, black-jack, bludgeon, or metal knuckles.

(8) Felony. An offense for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of one year is authorized by this title.

(9) Misdemeanor. An offense for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment not in excess of one year may be imposed.

(10) Offense. Conduct for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment, or the death penalty, or to a fine is provided by any law of this state or by any law, local law, or ordinance of a political subdivision of this state.

(11) Person. A human being, and where appropriate, a public or private corporation, an unincorporated association, a partnership, a government, or a governmental instrumentality.

(12) Physical injury. Impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.

(13) Possess. To have physical possession or otherwise to exercise dominion or control over tangible property.

(14) Serious physical injury. Physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

(15) Vehicle. Any “propelled vehicle,” as defined in subdivision (9) of Section 13A-8-1. The term includes any propelled device by which any person or property is transported on land, water, or in the air, and includes motor vehicles, motorcycles, motorboats, and aircraft, and any vessel, whether propelled by machinery or not.

(16) Violation. An offense for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment not in excess of 30 days may be imposed.

Chapter 6. Offenses Involving Danger to the Person

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Article 2. Assaults

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-6-20. Assault in the first degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of assault in the first degree if:

(1) With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he causes serious physical injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or

(2) With intent to disfigure another person seriously and permanently, or to destroy, amputate or disable permanently a member or organ of his body, he causes such an injury to any person; or

(3) Under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes serious physical injury to any person; or

(4) In the course of and in furtherance of the commission or attempted commission of arson in the first degree, burglary in the first or second degree, escape in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, rape in the first degree, robbery in any degree, sodomy in the first degree or any other felony clearly dangerous to human life, or of immediate flight therefrom, he causes a serious physical injury to another person; or

(5) While driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance or any combination thereof in violation of Section 32-5A-191 he causes serious bodily injury to the person of another with a motor vehicle.

(b) Assault in the first degree is a Class B felony.

Section 13A-6-21. Assault in the second degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of assault in the second degree if the person does any of the following:

(1) With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he or she causes serious physical injury to any person.

(2) With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he or she causes physical injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.

(3) He or she recklessly causes serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.

(4) With intent to prevent a peace officer, as defined in Section 36-21-60, a detention or correctional officer at any municipal or county jail or state penitentiary, emergency medical personnel, a utility worker, or a firefighter from performing a lawful duty, he or she intends to cause physical injury and he or she causes physical injury to any person. For the purpose of this subdivision, a person who is a peace officer who is employed or under contract while off duty by a private or public entity is a peace officer performing a lawful duty when the person is working in his or her approved uniform while off duty with the approval of his or her employing law enforcement agency. Provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall be deemed or construed as amending, modifying, or extending the classification of a peace officer as off-duty for workers compensation purposes or any other benefits to which a peace officer may otherwise be entitled to under law when considered on-duty. Additionally, nothing contained herein shall be deemed or construed as amending, modifying, or extending the tort liability of any municipality as a result of any action or inaction on the part of an off-duty police officer.

(5) With intent to cause physical injury to a teacher or to an employee of a public educational institution during or as a result of the performance of his or her duty, he or she causes physical injury to any person.

(6) With intent to cause physical injury to a health care worker, including a nurse, physician, technician, or any other person employed by or practicing at a hospital as defined in Section 22-21-20; a county or district health department; a long-term care facility; or a physician’s office, clinic, or outpatient treatment facility during the course of or as a result of the performance of the duties of the health care worker or other person employed by or practicing at the hospital; the county or district health department; any health care facility owned or operated by the State of Alabama; the long-term care facility; or the physician’s office, clinic, or outpatient treatment facility; he or she causes physical injury to any person. This subdivision shall not apply to assaults by patients who are impaired by medication or to assaults on home health care workers while they are in private residences.

(7) For a purpose other than lawful medical or therapeutic treatment, he or she intentionally causes stupor, unconsciousness, or other physical or mental impairment or injury to another person by administering to him or her, without his or her consent, a drug, substance or preparation capable of producing the intended harm.

(b) Assault in the second degree is a Class C felony.

(c) For the purposes of this section, utility worker means any person who is employed by an entity that owns, operates, leases, or controls any plant, property, or facility for the generation, transmission, manufacture, production, supply, distribution, sale, storage, conveyance, delivery, or furnishing to or for the public of electricity, natural or manufactured gas, water, steam, sewage, or telephone service, including two or more utilities rendering joint service.

Section 13A-6-22. Assault in the third degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of assault in the third degree if:

(1) With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes physical injury to any person; or

(2) He recklessly causes physical injury to another person; or

(3) With criminal negligence he causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or

(4) With intent to prevent a peace officer from performing a lawful duty, he causes physical injury to any person.

(b) Assault in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

Section 13A-6-23. Menacing

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of menacing if, by physical action, he intentionally places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury.

(b) Menacing is a Class B misdemeanor.

Section 13A-6-24. Reckless endangerment

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of reckless endangerment if he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.

(b) Reckless endangerment is a Class A misdemeanor.

Section 13A-6-25. Criminal coercion

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of criminal coercion if, without legal authority, he threatens to confine, restrain or to cause physical injury to the threatened person or another, or to damage the property or reputation of the threatened person or another with intent thereby to induce the threatened person or another against his will to do an unlawful act or refrain from doing a lawful act.

(b) Criminal coercion is a Class A misdemeanor.

Article 3. Kidnapping, Unlawful Imprisonment, and Related Offenses

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-6-40. Definitions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

The following definitions apply in this article:

(1) RESTRAIN. To intentionally or knowingly restrict a person’s movements unlawfully and without consent, so as to interfere substantially with his liberty by moving him from one place to another, or by confining him either in the place where the restriction commences or in a place to which he has been moved. Restraint is “without consent” if it is accomplished by:

a. Physical force, intimidation or deception, or

b. Any means, including acquiescence of the victim, if he is a child less than 16 years old or an incompetent person and the parent, guardian or other person or institution having lawful control or custody of him has not acquiesced in the movement or confinement.

(2) ABDUCT. To restrain a person with intent to prevent his liberation by either:

a. Secreting or holding him in a place where he is not likely to be found, or

b. Using or threatening to use deadly physical force.

(3) RELATIVE. A parent or stepparent, ancestor, sibling, uncle or aunt or other lawful custodian, including an adoptive relative of the same degree through marriage or adoption.

Section 13A-6-41. Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of unlawful imprisonment in the first degree if he restrains another person under circumstances which expose the latter to a risk of serious physical injury.

(b) Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

Section 13A-6-42. Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree if he restrains another person.

(b) A person does not commit a crime under this section if:

(1) The person restrained is a child less than 18 years old, and

(2) The actor is a relative of the child, and

(3) The actor’s sole purpose is to assume lawful control of the child.

The burden of injecting the issue is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.

(c) Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree is a Class C misdemeanor.

Section 13A-6-43. Kidnapping in the first degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of kidnapping in the first degree if he abducts another person with intent to

(1) Hold him for ransom or reward; or

(2) Use him as a shield or hostage; or

(3) Accomplish or aid the commission of any felony or flight therefrom; or

(4) Inflict physical injury upon him, or to violate or abuse him sexually; or

(5) Terrorize him or a third person; or

(6) Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.

(b) A person does not commit the crime of kidnapping in the first degree if he voluntarily releases the victim alive, and not suffering from serious physical injury, in a safe place prior to apprehension. The burden of injecting the issue of voluntary safe release is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof. This subsection does not apply to a prosecution for or preclude a conviction of kidnapping in the second degree or any other crime.

(c) Kidnapping in the first degree is a Class A felony.

Section 13A-6-44. Kidnapping in the second degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of kidnapping in the second degree if he abducts another person.

(b) A person does not commit a crime under this section if:

(1) The abduction is not coupled with intent to use or to threaten to use deadly force,

(2) The actor is a relative of the person abducted, and

(3) The actor’s sole purpose is to assume lawful control of that person.

The burden of injecting the issue of defense under this subsection is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.

(c) Kidnapping in the second degree is a Class B felony.

Section 13A-6-45. Interference with custody

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of interference with custody if he knowingly takes or entices:

(1) Any child under the age of 18 from the lawful custody of its parent, guardian or other lawful custodian, or
(2) Any committed person from the lawful custody of its parent, guardian or other lawful custodian. “Committed person” means, in addition to anyone committed under judicial warrant, any neglected, dependent or delinquent child, mentally defective or insane person or any other incompetent person entrusted to another’s custody by authority of law.

(b) A person does not commit a crime under this section if the actor’s sole purpose is to assume lawful control of the child.

The burden of injecting the issue is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.

(c) Interference with custody is a Class C felony.

Article 4. Sexual Offenses

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-6-60. Definitions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

The following definitions apply in this article:

(1) FORCIBLE COMPULSION. Use or threatened use, whether express or implied, of physical force, violence, confinement, restraint, physical injury, or death to the threatened person or to another person. Factors to be considered in determining an implied threat include, but are not limited to, the respective ages and sizes of the victim and the accused; the respective mental and physical conditions of the victim and the accused; the atmosphere and physical setting in which the incident was alleged to have taken place; the extent to which the accused may have been in a position of authority, domination, or custodial control over the victim; or whether the victim was under duress. Forcible compulsion does not require proof of resistance by the victim.

(2) INCAPACITATED. The term includes any of the following:

a. A person who suffers from a mental or developmental disease or disability which renders the person incapable of appraising the nature of his or her conduct.

b. A person is temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his or her conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic, or intoxicating substance and the condition was known or should have been reasonably known to the offender.

c. A person who is unable to give consent or who is unable to communicate an unwillingness to an act because the person is unconscious, asleep, or is otherwise physically limited or unable to communicate.

(3) SEXUAL CONTACT. Any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person done for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of either party. The term does not require skin to skin contact.

(4) SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Such term has its ordinary meaning and occurs upon any penetration, however slight; emission is not required.

(5) SODOMY. Any sexual act involving the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person.

Section 13A-6-61. Rape in the first degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of rape in the first degree if he or she does any of the following:

(1) Engages in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion.

(2) Engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of being incapacitated.

(3) Being 16 years old or older, engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is less than 12 years old.

(b) Rape in the first degree is a Class A felony.

Section 13A-6-62. Rape in the second degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of rape in the second degree if, being 16 years old or older, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is 12 years old or older, but less than 16 years old; provided, however, the actor is at least two years older than the other person.

(b) Rape in the second degree is a Class B felony.

Section 13A-6-63. Sodomy in the first degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of sodomy in the first degree if he or she does any of the following:

(1) Engages in sodomy with another person by forcible compulsion.

(2) Engages in sodomy with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of being incapacitated.

(3) Being 16 years old or older, engages in sodomy with a person who is less than 12 years old.

(b) Sodomy in the first degree is a Class A felony.

Section 13A-6-64. Sodomy in the second degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of sodomy in the second degree if, being 16 years old or older, he or she engages in sodomy with another person 12 years old or older, but less than 16 years old; provided, however, the actor is at least two years older than the other person.

(b) Sodomy in the second degree is a Class B felony.

Section 13A-6-65. Sexual misconduct

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of sexual misconduct if he or she does any of the following:

(1) Engages in sexual intercourse with another person without his or her consent, under circumstances other than those covered by Sections 13A-6-61 and 13A-6-62; or with consent where consent was obtained by the use of any fraud or artifice.

(2) Engages in sodomy with another person, without his or her consent, under circumstances other than those covered by Sections 13A-6-63 and 13A-6-64; or with consent where consent was obtained by the use of fraud or artifice.

(3) Engages in sexual contact with another person without his or her consent under circumstances other than those under Sections 13A-6-66, 13A-6-67, and 13A-6-69.1; or with consent where consent was obtained by the use of fraud or artifice.

(b) Sexual misconduct is a Class A misdemeanor.

Section 13A-6-65.1. Sexual torture

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of sexual torture if he or she does any of the following:

(1) Penetrates the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person with an inanimate object, by forcible compulsion, with the intent to sexually torture, sexually abuse, or to gratify the sexual desire of either party.

(2) Penetrates the vagina, anus, or mouth of a person who is incapable of consent by reason of being incapacitated, with an inanimate object, with the intent to sexually torture, sexually abuse, or to gratify the sexual desire of either party.

(3) Penetrates the vagina, anus, or mouth of a person who is less than 12 years old, with an inanimate object, by a person who is 16 years old or older with the intent to sexually torture, sexually abuse, or to gratify the sexual desire of either party.

(4) By inflicting physical injury, including, but not limited to, burning, crushing, wounding, mutilating, or assaulting the sex organs or intimate parts of another person, with the intent to sexually torture, sexually abuse, or to gratify the sexual desire of either party.

(b) The crime of sexual torture is a Class A felony.

Section 13A-6-66. Sexual abuse in the first degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the first degree if he or she does either of the following:

(1) Subjects another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion.

(2) Subjects another person to sexual contact who is incapable of consent by reason of being incapacitated.

(b) Sexual abuse in the first degree is a Class C felony.

Section 13A-6-67. Sexual abuse in the second degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the second degree if he or she does either of the following:

(1) Subjects another person to sexual contact who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than 16 years old.

(2) Being 19 years old or older, subjects another person to sexual contact who is less than 16 years old, but more than 12 years old.

(b) Sexual abuse in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor, except as provided in subsection (c), or if a person commits a second or subsequent offense of sexual abuse in the second degree within one year of another sexual offense, the offense is a Class C felony.

(c) If a person violates subdivision (a)(2), and he or she is at least 15 years older than the victim, the offense shall be a Class C felony.

Section 13A-6-68. Indecent exposure

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of indecent exposure if, with intent to arouse or gratify sexual desire of himself or herself, or of any person other than his or her spouse, he or she exposes his or her genitals under circumstances in which he or she knows the conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm.

(b) Indecent exposure is a Class A misdemeanor except a third or subsequent conviction shall be a Class C felony.

Section 13A-6-69.1. Sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old if he or she, being 16 years old or older, subjects another person who is less than 12 years old to sexual contact.

(b) Sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old is a Class B felony.

Section 13A-6-70. Lack of consent

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Unless otherwise stated, an element of every offense defined in this article is that the sexual act was committed without the consent of the victim.

(b) Lack of consent results from either of the following:

(1) Forcible compulsion.

(2) Being incapable of consent.

(c) A person is deemed incapable of consent if he or she is either:

(1) Less than 16 years old.

(2) Incapacitated.

(d) Consent to engage in sexual intercourse, sodomy, sexual acts, or sexual contact may be communicated by words or actions. The existence of a current or previous marital, dating, social, or sexual relationship with the defendant is not sufficient to constitute consent. Evidence that the victim suggested, requested, or otherwise communicated to the defendant that the defendant use a condom or other birth control device or sexually transmitted disease protection, without additional evidence of consent, is not sufficient to constitute consent.

Article 5. Stalking and Aggravated Stalking

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-6-90. Stalking

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person who intentionally and repeatedly follows or harasses another person and who makes a threat, either expressed or implied, with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm is guilty of the crime of stalking in the first degree.

(b) The crime of stalking in the first degree is a Class C felony.

Section 13A-6-90.1. Stalking in the second degree.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person who, acting with an improper purpose, intentionally and repeatedly follows, harasses, telephones, or initiates communication, verbally, electronically, or otherwise, with another person, any member of the other person’s immediate family, or any third party with whom the other person is acquainted, and causes material harm to the mental or emotional health of the other person, or causes such person to reasonably fear that his or her employment, business, or career is threatened, and the perpetrator was previously informed to cease that conduct is guilty of the crime of stalking in the second degree.

(b) The crime of stalking in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor.

Section 13A-6-91. Aggravated stalking

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person who violates the provisions of Section 13A-6-90(a) and whose conduct in doing so also violates any court order or injunction is guilty of the crime of aggravated stalking in the first degree.

(b) The crime of aggravated stalking in the first degree is a Class B felony.

Section 13A-6-91.1. Aggravated stalking in the second degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person who violates the provisions of Section 13A-6-90.1 and whose conduct in doing so also violates any court order or injunction is guilty of the crime of aggravated stalking in the second degree.

(b) The crime of aggravated stalking in the second degree is a Class C felony.

Section 13A-6-92. Definitions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings, respectively, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(a) COURSE OF CONDUCT. A pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time which evidences a continuity of purpose.

(b) CREDIBLE THREAT. A threat, expressed or implied, made with the intent and the apparent ability to carry out the threat so as to cause the person who is the target of the threat to fear for his or her safety or the safety of a family member and to cause reasonable mental anxiety, anguish, or fear.

(c) HARASSES. Engages in an intentional course of conduct directed at a specified person which alarms or annoys that person, or interferes with the freedom of movement of that person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress. Constitutionally protected conduct is not included within the definition of this term.

Article 7. Domestic Violence and Related Offenses

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-6-130. Domestic violence -- First degree.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a)(1) A person commits the crime of domestic violence in the first degree if the person commits the crime of assault in the first degree pursuant to Section 13A-6-20; aggravated stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-91; or burglary in the first degree pursuant to Section 13A-7-5 and the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, step-parent, child, step-child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present household member, or a person who has or had a dating relationship with the defendant.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a household member excludes non-romantic or non-intimate co-residents, and a dating relationship means a current or former relationship of a romantic or intimate nature characterized by the expectation of affectionate or sexual involvement by either party.

(b) Domestic violence in the first degree is a Class A felony, except that the defendant shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of one year without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any other reduction in time for any second or subsequent conviction under this subsection.

(c) The minimum term of imprisonment imposed under subsection (b) shall be double without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any reduction in time if either of the following occurs:

(1) A defendant willfully violates a protection order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction and in the process of violating the order commits domestic violence in the first degree.

(2) The offense was committed in the presence of a child under the age of 14 years at the time of the offense, who is the victim’s child or step-child, the defendant’s child or step-child, or who is a child residing in or visiting the household of the victim or defendant. For purposes of this subsection, “in the presence of a child” means that the child was in a position to see or hear the act.

(d) The court shall make a written finding of fact, to be made part of the record upon conviction or adjudication, of whether or not the act was committed in the presence of a child. If a defendant has a trial by jury and the jury finds the defendant guilty, the jury shall also render a special verdict as to whether or not the defendant committed the act in the presence of a child.

Section 13A-6-131. Domestic violence -- Second degree.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a)(1) A person commits the crime of domestic violence in the second degree if the person commits the crime of assault in the second degree pursuant to Section 13A-6-21; the crime of intimidating a witness pursuant to Section 13A-10-123; the crime of stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-90; the crime of burglary in the second or third degree pursuant to Sections 13A-7-6 and 13A-7-7; or the crime of criminal mischief in the first degree pursuant to Section 13A-7-21 and the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, step-parent, child, step-child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present household member, or a person who has or had a dating relationship with the defendant.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a household member excludes non-romantic or non-intimate co-residents, and a dating relationship means a current or former relationship of a romantic or intimate nature characterized by the expectation of affectionate or sexual involvement by either party.

(b) Domestic violence in the second degree is a Class B felony, except the defendant shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of six months without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any reduction in time for any second or subsequent conviction under this subsection.

(c) The minimum term of imprisonment imposed under subsection (b) shall be double without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any reduction in time if either of the following applies:

(1) A defendant willfully violates a protection order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction and in the process of violating the order commits domestic violence in the second degree.

(2) The offense was committed in the presence of a child under the age of 14 years at the time of the offense, who is the victim’s child or step-child, the defendant’s child or step-child, or who is a child residing in or visiting the household of the victim or defendant. For purposes of this subsection, “in the presence of a child” means that the child was in a position to see or hear the act.

(d) The court shall make a written finding of fact, to be made part of the record upon conviction or adjudication, of whether or not the act was committed in the presence of a child. If a defendant has a trial by jury and the jury finds the defendant guilty, the jury shall also render a special verdict as to whether or not the defendant committed the act in the presence of a child.

Section 13A-6-132. Domestic violence -- Third degree.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a)(1) A person commits domestic violence in the third degree if the person commits the crime of assault in the third degree pursuant to Section 13A-6-22; the crime of menacing pursuant to Section 13A-6-23; the crime of reckless endangerment pursuant to Section 13A-6-24; the crime of criminal coercion pursuant to Section 13A-6-25; the crime of harassment pursuant to subsection (a) of Section 13A-11-8; the crime of criminal surveillance pursuant to Section 13A-11-32; the crime of harassing communications pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 13A-11-8; the crime of criminal trespass in the third degree pursuant to Section 13A-7-4; the crime of criminal mischief in the second or third degree pursuant to Sections 13A-7-22 and 13A-7-23; or the crime of arson in the third degree pursuant to Section 13A-7-43; and the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, step-parent, child, step-child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present household member, or a person who has or had a dating relationship with the defendant.

(2) For the purpose of this section, a household member excludes non-romantic or non-intimate co-residents, and a dating relationship means a current or former relationship of a romantic or intimate nature characterized by the expectation of affectionate or sexual involvement by either party.

(b) Domestic violence in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor. The minimum term of imprisonment imposed under subsection (a) shall be 30 days without consideration of reduction in time if a defendant willfully violates a protection order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction and in the process of violating the order commits domestic violence in the third degree.

(c) A second conviction under subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor, except the defendant shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 days in a city or county jail or detention facility without consideration for any reduction in time.

(d) A third or subsequent conviction under subsection (a) is a Class C felony.

(e) If the defendant has a previous conviction for domestic violence in the first degree pursuant to Section 13A-6-130, domestic violence in the second degree pursuant to Section 13A-6-131, domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation pursuant to Section 13A-6-138, or a domestic violence conviction or other substantially similar conviction from another state or jurisdiction, a conviction under subsection (a) is a Class C felony.

(f) For purposes of determining second, third, or subsequent number of convictions, convictions in municipal court shall be included.

Section 13A-6-137. Interference with a domestic violence emergency call.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of interference with a domestic violence emergency call if he or she intentionally hinders, obstructs, disconnects, or in any way prevents the victim from calling for assistance.

(b) Interference with a domestic violence emergency call is a Class B misdemeanor.

Section 13A-6-138. Domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) STRANGULATION. Intentionally causing asphyxia by closure or compression of the blood vessels or air passages of the neck as a result of external pressure on the neck.

(2) SUFFOCATION. Intentionally causing asphyxia by depriving a person of air or by preventing a person from breathing through the inhalation of toxic gases or by blocking or obstructing the airway of a person, by any means other than by strangulation.

(b) A person commits the crime of domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation if he or she commits an assault with intent to cause physical harm or commits the crime of menacing pursuant to Section 13A-6-23, by strangulation or suffocation or attempted strangulation or suffocation and the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, step-parent, child, step-child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present household member, or a person who has or had a dating relationship with the defendant. For the purpose of this section, a household member excludes non-romantic or non-intimate co-residents, and a dating relationship means a current or former relationship of a romantic or intimate nature characterized by the expectation of affectionate or sexual involvement by either party.

(c) Domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation is a Class B felony punishable as provided by law.

Article 7A. Domestic Violence Protection Order Enforcement Act

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-6-140. Short title; purpose

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) This article shall be known as the Domestic Violence Protection Order Enforcement Act.

(b) The purpose of this article is to define the crime of violation of a domestic violence protection order.

Section 13A-6-141. Definitions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings, respectively, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTION ORDER. A domestic violence protection order is any protection from abuse order issued pursuant to the Protection from Abuse Act, Sections 30-5-1 to 30-5-11, inclusive. The term includes the following:

a. A restraining order, injunctive order, or order of release from custody which has been issued in a circuit, district, municipal, or juvenile court in a domestic relations or family violence case;

b. An order issued by municipal, district, or circuit court which places conditions on the pre-trial release on defendants in criminal cases, including provisions of bail pursuant to Section 15-13-190;

c. An order issued by another state or territory which may be enforced under Sections 30-5B-1 through 30-5B-10. Restraining or protection orders not issued pursuant to the Protection From Abuse Act, Sections 30-5-1 to 30-5-11, inclusive, must specify that a history of violence or abuse exists for the provisions of this chapter to apply.

(2) VIOLATION. The knowing commission of any act prohibited by a domestic violence protection order or any willful failure to abide by its terms.

Section 13A-6-142. Violations; penalties

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of violation of a domestic violence protection order if the person knowingly commits any act prohibited by a domestic violence protection order or willfully fails to abide by any term of a domestic violence protection order.

(b) A violation of a domestic violence protection order is a Class A misdemeanor which shall be punishable as provided by law. A second conviction for violation of a domestic violence protection order, in addition to any other penalty or fine, shall be punishable by a minimum of 30 days imprisonment which may not be suspended. A third or subsequent conviction is a Class C felony.

(c) In addition to any other fine or penalty provided by law, the court shall order the defendant to pay an additional fine of fifty dollars ($50) for a violation of a domestic violence protection order to be distributed to the Domestic Violence Trust Fund, established by Section 30-6-11.

Section 13A-6-143. Arrest for violation of article

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

A law enforcement officer may arrest any person for the violation of this article if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has violated any provision of a valid domestic violence protection order, whether temporary or permanent. The presentation of a domestic violence protection order constitutes probable cause for an officer to believe that a valid order exists. For purposes of this article, the domestic violence protection order may be inscribed on a tangible copy or may be stored in an electronic or other medium if it is retrievable in a detectable form. Presentation of a certified copy of the domestic violence protection order is not required for enforcement or to allow a law enforcement officer to effect a warrantless arrest. If a domestic violence protection order is not presented to or otherwise confirmed by a law enforcement officer, the officer may consider other information in determining whether there is probable cause to believe that a valid domestic violence protection order exists. The law enforcement officer may arrest the defendant without a warrant although he or she did not personally see the violation. Knowledge by the officer of the existence or contents of, or both, or presentation to the officer by the complainant of, a domestic violence protection order shall constitute prima facie evidence of the validity of the order.

If a law enforcement officer of this state determines that an otherwise valid domestic violence protection order cannot be enforced because the defendant has not been notified or served with the domestic violence protection order, the law enforcement officer shall inform the defendant of the order and allow the person a reasonable opportunity to comply with the order’s provisions before enforcing the order. In the event the law enforcement officer provides notice of the domestic violence protection order to the defendant, the officer shall document this fact in the written report.

Article 9. Protecting Alabama's Elders Act

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

13A-6-191. Definitions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

For purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) CAREGIVER. An individual who has the responsibility for the care of an elderly person as a result of family relationship or who has assumed the responsibility for the care of the person voluntarily, for pecuniary gain, by contract, or as a result of the ties of friendship.

(2) DECEPTION. Deception occurs when a person knowingly:

a. Creates or confirms another’s impression which is false and which the defendant does not believe to be true.

b. Fails to correct a false impression which the defendant previously has created or confirmed.

c. Fails to correct a false impression when the defendant is under a duty to do so.

d. Prevents another from acquiring information pertinent to the disposition of the property involved.

e. Sells or otherwise transfers or encumbers property, failing to disclose a lien, adverse claim, or other legal impediment to the enjoyment of the property, whether that impediment is or is not valid, or is not a matter of official record.

f. Promises performance which the defendant does not intend to perform or knows will not be performed.

(3) ELDERLY PERSON. A person 60 years of age or older.

(4) EMOTIONAL ABUSE. The intentional or reckless infliction of emotional or mental anguish or the use of a physical or chemical restraint, medication, or isolation as punishment or as a substitute for treatment or care of any elderly person.

(5) FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION. The use of deception, intimidation, undue influence, force, or threat of force to obtain or exert unauthorized control over an elderly person’s property with the intent to deprive the elderly person of his or her property or the breach of a fiduciary duty to an elderly person by the person’s guardian, conservator, or agent under a power of attorney which results in an unauthorized appropriation, sale, or transfer of the elderly person’s property.

(6) INTIMIDATION. A threat of physical or emotional harm to an elderly person, or the communication to an elderly person that he or she will be deprived of food and nutrition, shelter, property, prescribed medication, or medical care or treatment.

(7) NEGLECT. The failure of a caregiver to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical services, medication, or health care for an elderly person.

(8) PERSON. A human being.

(9) UNDUE INFLUENCE. Domination, coercion, manipulation, or any other act exercised by another person to the extent that an elderly person is prevented from exercising free judgment and choice.

Article 11. Additional Sexual Offenses

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-6-240. Distributing a private image with intent to harass, threaten, coerce, or intimidate the person depicted

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of distributing a private image if he or she knowingly posts, emails, texts, transmits, or otherwise distributes a private image with the intent to harass, threaten, coerce, or intimidate the person depicted when the depicted person has not consented to the transmission and the depicted person had a reasonable expectation of privacy against transmission of the private image.
(b) For purposes of this section, private image means a photograph, digital image, video, film, or other recording of a person who is identifiable from the recording itself or from the circumstances of its transmission and who is engaged in any act of sadomasochistic abuse, sexual intercourse, sexual excitement, masturbation, breast nudity, as defined in Section 13A-12-190, genital nudity, or other sexual conduct. The term includes a recording that has been edited, altered, or otherwise manipulated from its original form.
(c)(1) For purposes of this section, a reasonable expectation of privacy includes, but is not limited to, either of the following circumstances:
a. The person depicted in the private image created it or consented to its creation believing that it would remain confidential.
b. The sexual conduct depicted in the image was involuntary.
(2) There is no reasonable expectation of privacy against the transmission of a private image made voluntarily in a public or commercial setting.
(d) It is a defense to distributing a private image if the distribution of the private image was made in the public interest, including, but not limited to, the reporting of unlawful conduct; the lawful and common practices of law enforcement, legal proceedings, or medical treatment; or a bona fide attempt to prevent further distribution of the private image.
(e) A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor. A subsequent adjudication or conviction under this section is a Class C felony.

Section 13A-6-241. Sexual extortion.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of sexual extortion if he or she knowingly causes or attempts to cause another person to engage in sexual intercourse, sodomy, sexual contact, or in a sexual act or to produce any photograph, digital image, video, film, or other recording of any person, whether recognizable or not, engaged in any act of sadomasochistic abuse, sexual intercourse, sodomy, sexual excitement, masturbation, breast nudity, genital nudity, or other sexual conduct by communicating any threat to injure the body, property, or reputation of any person.

(b) Sexual extortion is a Class B felony.

Chapter 7. Offenses Involving Damage to and Intrusion Upon Property

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Article 1. Burglary and Criminal Trespass

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-7-1. Definitions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

The following definitions are applicable to this article:

(1) BUILDING. Any structure which may be entered and utilized by persons for business, public use, lodging or the storage of goods, and such term includes any vehicle, aircraft or watercraft used for the lodging of persons or carrying on business therein, and such term includes any railroad box car or other rail equipment or trailer or tractor trailer or combination thereof. Where a building consists of two or more units separately occupied or secure, each shall be deemed both a separate building and a part of the main building.

(2) DWELLING. A building which is used or normally used by a person for sleeping, living or lodging therein.

(3) ENTER OR REMAIN UNLAWFULLY. A person “enters or remains unlawfully” in or upon premises when he is not licensed, invited or privileged to do so. A person who, regardless of his intent, enters or remains in or upon premises which are at the time open to the public does so with license and privilege unless he defies a lawful order not to enter or remain, personally communicated to him by the owner of such premises or other authorized person. A license or privilege to enter or remain in a building which is partly open to the public is not a license or privilege to enter or remain in that part of the building which is not open to the public. A person who enters or remains upon unimproved and apparently unused land, which is neither fenced nor otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders, does so with license and privileges unless notice against trespass is personally communicated to him by the owner of such land or other authorized person, or unless such notice is given by posting in a conspicuous manner.

(4) POSTING IN A CONSPICUOUS MANNER. A sign or signs posted on the property, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden or the placement of identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts on the property, provided that the marks satisfy all of the following:

a. Are vertical lines of not less than eight inches in length and not less than one inch in width.

b. Are placed so that the bottom of the mark is not less than three feet from the ground or more than five feet from the ground.

c. Are placed at locations that are readily visible to any person approaching the property and are no more than 100 feet apart on forest land or 1,000 feet apart on land other than forest land.

(5) PREMISES. Such term includes any “building,” as herein defined, and any real property.

Section 13A-7-2. Criminal trespass in the first degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the first degree if he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling.

(b) Criminal trespass in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

Section 13A-7-3. Criminal trespass in the second degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building or upon real property which is fenced or enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders.

(b) Criminal trespass in the second degree is a Class C misdemeanor.

Section 13A-7-4. Criminal trespass in the third degree

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the third degree when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises.

(b) Criminal trespass in the third degree is a violation.

Chapter 8. Offenses Involving Theft

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Article 10. The Consumer Identity Protection Act

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-8-190. Short title

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

This article shall be known as “The Consumer Identity Protection Act.”

Section 13A-8-191. Definitions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

For purposes of this act, the following words shall have the following meanings:

(1) Identification documents. — Any papers, cards, or other documents issued by federal, state, or local governmental authorities that are used specifically to identify a person. Identification documents include, but are not limited to, driver’s licenses, military identification cards, passports, birth certificates, Social Security cards, and other government-issued identification cards

(2) Identifying information. — Any information, used either alone or in conjunction with other information, that specifically identifies a person or a person’s property, and includes, but is not limited to, any of the following information related to a person:

a. Name.

b. Date of birth.

c. Social Security number.

d. Driver’s license number.

e. Financial services account numbers, including checking and savings accounts.

f. Credit or debit card numbers.

g. Personal identification numbers (PIN).

h. Electronic identification codes.

i. Automated or electronic signatures.

j. Biometric data.

k. Fingerprints.

l. Passwords.

m. Parent’s legal surname prior to marriage.

n. Any other numbers or information that can be used to access a person’s financial resources, obtain identification, act as identification, or obtain goods or services.

(3) Victim. — A person whose identification documents or identifying information are used to perpetrate a crime created by this article.

Section 13A-8-192. Identity theft — Elements

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of identity theft if, without the authorization, consent, or permission of the victim, and with the intent to defraud for his or her own benefit or the benefit of a third person, he or she does any of the following:

(1) Obtains, records, or accesses identifying information that would assist in accessing financial resources, obtaining identification documents, or obtaining benefits of the victim.

(2) Obtains goods or services through the use of identifying information of the victim.

(3) Obtains identification documents in the victim’s name.

(4) Obtains employment through the use of identifying information of the victim.

(b) Identity theft is a Class B felony.

(c) This section shall not apply when a person obtains the identity of another person to misrepresent his or her age for the sole purpose of obtaining alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or another privilege denied to minors.

(d) Any prosecution brought pursuant to this article shall be commenced within seven years after the commission of the offense.

Section 13A-8-193. Trafficking in stolen identities — Elements

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of trafficking in stolen identities when, without the authorization, consent, or permission of the victim, he or she manufactures, sells, transfers, purchases, or possesses, with intent to manufacture, sell, transfer, or purchase, identification documents or identifying information for the purpose of committing identity theft.

(b) Possession of five or more identification documents of the same person, or possession of identifying information of five or more separate persons, without the authorization, consent, or permission of the person or persons, shall create an inference that the identities are possessed with intent to manufacture, sell, transfer, or purchase identification documents or identifying information for the purpose of committing identity theft.

(c) Trafficking in stolen identities is a Class B felony.

Section 13A-8-194. Use of false identity to obstruct justice — Elements

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of obstructing justice using a false identity if he or she uses identification documents or identifying information of another person or a fictitious person to avoid summons, arrest, prosecution, or to impede a criminal investigation.

(b) Obstructing justice using a false identity is a Class C felony.

Section 13A-8-195. Restitution

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Upon conviction for any crime in this act, in addition to any other punishment, a person found guilty shall be ordered by the court to make restitution for financial loss caused by the criminal violation of this act to any person whose identifying information was appropriated. Financial loss may include any costs incurred by the victim in correcting the credit history or credit rating of the victim or any costs incurred in connection with any civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy any debt, lien, or other obligations resulting from the theft of the victim’s identification documents or identifying information, including lost wages and attorney’s fees. The court may order restitution for financial loss to any other person or entity that suffers a loss from the violation. Additionally, persons convicted of violation of this article shall be assessed an amount of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per day and medical expenses for time spent in county or municipal jails or in a state prison facility.

Section 13A-8-196. Jurisdiction

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

In any criminal proceeding brought pursuant to this article, the crime shall be considered to be committed in any county in which any part of the crime took place, regardless of whether the defendant was ever actually present in that county, or in the county of residence of the person who is the subject of the identification documents or identifying information.

Section 13A-8-197. Court records

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

In any case in which a person obtains identification documents or identifying information of another person in violation of this article and uses the documents or information to commit a crime in the name of another person, the court records for the crime shall reflect that the victim of this act did not commit the crime.

Section 13A-8-198 Correction of records — Public, private

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Upon a conviction for any crime in violation of this article or conviction of any other offense which the court finds involved identity theft, and at the victim’s request, the sentencing court shall issue any orders necessary to correct any public or private record that contains false information as a result of a criminal violation of this article. Any order shall be under seal and may be released only as prescribed by this section. The order shall include the following information:

(1) Information about financial accounts affected by the crime, including, but not limited to, the name of the financial institution, the account number, amount of money involved in the crime, and the date of the crime.

(2) The specific identifying information and identification documents used to commit the crime.

(3) A description of the perpetrator of the crime.

(b) The victim may release the orders as follows:

(1) The victim may submit this order in any civil proceeding to set aside a judgment against the victim involving the specific account and amounts as determined by the criminal sentencing court. The order shall remain sealed in the civil proceeding.

(2) The victim may submit the order to any governmental entity or private business as proof that any financial accounts therein created or altered were a result of the crime and not the actions of the victim.

Section 13A-8-199. Civil remedies

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) In addition to any other remedies provided by law, a victim who has suffered loss as a result of a criminal violation of this article may bring an action in his or her county of residence or any county in which any part of the crime took place, regardless of whether the defendant who committed the criminal violation was ever actually present in that county, against the defendant to recover the following:

(1) Five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each incident, or three times the actual damages, whichever is greater.

(2) Reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs.

(b) The statute of limitations for cases under this section shall be seven years from the earlier of the date of discovery of the offense or the date when the offense reasonably should have been discovered.

Section 13A-8-201. Identification documents; reissuance

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Upon request by a victim of a crime created by this article, identification documents issued by a state, county, or municipal agency and used to perpetrate a crime created by this article shall be reissued at no charge to the victim. An agency may require proof of the criminal activity, such as a police report, before reissuing the identification documents.

Chapter 9. Forgery and Fraudulent Practices

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-9-18 Criminal Impersonation

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of criminal impersonation if he:

(1) Assumes a false identity and does an act in his assumed character with intent to gain an economic benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another; or

(2) Pretends to be a representative of some person or organization and does an act in his pretended capacity with intent to gain an economic benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another.

(b) Criminal impersonation is a Class B misdemeanor.

Chapter 11. Offenses Against Order and Safety

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Article 1. Offenses Against Public Order and Decency

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-11-8. Harassment or harassing communications

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a)(1) HARASSMENT. A person commits the crime of harassment if, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she either:

a. Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person or subjects him or her to physical contact.

b. Directs abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture towards another person.

(2) For purposes of this section, harassment shall include a threat, verbal or nonverbal, made with the intent to carry out the threat, that would cause a reasonable person who is the target of the threat to fear for his or her safety.

(3) Harassment is a Class C misdemeanor.

(b)(1) HARASSING COMMUNICATIONS. A person commits the crime of harassing communications if, with intent to harass or alarm another person, he or she does any of the following:

a. Communicates with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, telegraph, mail, or any other form of written or electronic communication, in a manner likely to harass or cause alarm.

b. Makes a telephone call, whether or not a conversation ensues, with no purpose of legitimate communication.

c. Telephones another person and addresses to or about such other person any lewd or obscene words or language.

Nothing in this section shall apply to legitimate business telephone communications.

(2) Harassing communications is a Class C misdemeanor.

Article 2. Offenses Against Privacy

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-11-30. Definitions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

The following definitions apply to this article:

(1) Eavesdrop. To overhear, record, amplify or transmit any part of the private communication of others without the consent of at least one of the persons engaged in the communication, except as otherwise provided by law.

(2) Private place. A place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance, but such term does not include a place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access.

(3) Surveillance. Secret observation of the activities of another person for the purpose of spying upon and invading the privacy of the person observed.

Section 13A-11-31. Criminal eavesdropping

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of criminal eavesdropping if he intentionally uses any device to eavesdrop, whether or not he is present at the time.

(b) Criminal eavesdropping is a Class A misdemeanor.

Section 13A-11-32. Criminal surveillance

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of criminal surveillance if he intentionally engages in surveillance while trespassing in a private place.

(b) Criminal surveillance is a Class B misdemeanor.

Section 13A-11-32.1. Aggravated criminal surveillance

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of aggravated criminal surveillance if he or she intentionally engages in surveillance of an individual in any place where the individual being observed has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior express or implied consent of the individual being observed, for the purpose of sexual gratification.

(b) Aggravated criminal surveillance is a Class C felony.

(c) The statute of limitations begins at the time of discovery of the surveillance.

Section 13A-11-33. Installing eavesdropping device

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person commits the crime of installing an eavesdropping device if he intentionally installs or places a device in a private place with knowledge it is to be used for eavesdropping and without permission of the owner and any lessee or tenant or guest for hire of the private place.

(b) Installing an eavesdropping device in a private place is prima facie evidence of knowledge that the device is to be used for eavesdropping.

(c) Installing an eavesdropping device is a Class C felony.

Article 3. Offenses Relating to Firearms and Weapons

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 13A-11-70. Definitions.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

For the purposes of this division, the following terms shall have the respective meanings ascribed by this section:

(1) Pistol. Any firearm with a barrel less than 12 inches in length.

(2) Crime of violence. Any of the following crimes or an attempt to commit any of them, namely, murder, manslaughter, (except manslaughter arising out of the operation of a vehicle), rape, mayhem, assault with intent to rob, assault with intent to ravish, assault with intent to murder, robbery, burglary, and kidnapping. “Crime of violence” shall also mean any Class A felony or any Class B felony that has as an element serious physical injury, the distribution or manufacture of a controlled substance, or is of a sexual nature involving a child under the age of 12.

(3) Person. Such term includes any firm, partnership, association or corporation.

Section 13A-11-72. Certain persons forbidden to possess pistol.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) No person who has been convicted in this state or elsewhere of committing or attempting to commit a crime of violence shall own a pistol or have one in his or her possession or under his or her control.

(b) No person who is a drug addict or an habitual drunkard shall own a pistol or have one in his or her possession or under his or her control.

(c) Subject to the exceptions provided by Section 13A-11-74, no person shall knowingly with intent to do bodily harm carry or possess a deadly weapon on the premises of a public school.

(d) Possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to do bodily harm on the premises of a public school in violation of subsection (c) of this section is a Class C felony.

(e) School security personnel and school resource officers qualified under subsection (a) of Section 1 of the act amending this subsection, employed by a local board of education, and authorized by the employing local board of education to carry a deadly weapon while on duty are exempt from subsection (c) of this section. Law enforcement officers are exempt from this section, and persons with pistol permits issued pursuant to Section 13A-11-75, are exempt from subsection (c) of this section.

(f) The term “school resource officer” as used in this section means an Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commissioner-certified law enforcement officer employed by a law enforcement agency who is specifically selected and specially trained for the school setting.”

(g) The term “public school” as used in this section applies only to a school composed of grades K-12 and shall include a school bus used for grades K-12.

(h) The term “deadly weapon” as used in this section means a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purposes of inflicting death or serious physical injury, and such term includes, but is not limited to, a bazooka, hand grenade, missile, or explosive or incendiary device; a pistol, rifle, or shotgun; or a switch-blade knife, gravity knife, stiletto, sword, or dagger; or any club, baton, billy, black-jack, bludgeon, or metal knuckles.

Section 13A-11-84. Penalties; seizure and disposition of pistols involved in violations of certain sections.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Every violation of subsection (a) of Section 13A-11-72 or of Sections 13A-11-81 or 13A-11-82 shall be punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years. Every violation of subsection (b) of Section 13A-11-72 or of Sections 13A-11-73, 13A-11-74 and 13A-11-77 through 13A-11-80 shall be punishable by imprisonment for any term less than one year or by a fine of not more than $500.00, or both. The punishment for violating Section 13A-11-78 or 13A-11-79 may include revocation of license.

(b) It shall be the duty of any sheriff, policeman or other peace officer of the State of Alabama, arresting any person charged with violating Sections 13A-11-71 through 13A-11-73, or any one or more of said sections, to seize the pistol or pistols in the possession or under the control of the person or persons charged with violating said section or sections, and to deliver said pistol or pistols to one of the following named persons: if a municipal officer makes the arrest, to the city clerk or custodian of stolen property of the municipality employing the arresting officer; if a county, state or other peace officer makes the arrest, to the sheriff of the county in which the arrest is made. The person receiving the pistol or pistols from the arresting officer shall keep it in a safe place in as good condition as received until disposed of as hereinafter provided. Within five days after the final conviction of any person arrested for violating any of the above-numbered sections, the person receiving possession of the pistol or pistols, seized as aforesaid, shall report the seizure and detention of said pistol or pistols to the district attorney within the county where the pistol or pistols are seized, giving a full description thereof, the number, make and model thereof, the name of the person in whose possession it was found when seized, the person making claim to same or any interest therein, if the name can be ascertained or is known, and the date of the seizure. Upon receipt of the report from the person receiving possession of the pistol or pistols as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the district attorney within the county wherein the pistol or pistols were seized to forthwith file a complaint in the circuit court of the proper county, praying that such seized pistol or pistols be declared contraband, be forfeited to the state and be destroyed. Any person, firm or corporation or association of persons in whose possession said pistol or pistols may be seized or who claim to own the same or any interest therein shall be made a party defendant to said complaint, and thereupon such matter shall proceed and be determined in the circuit court of the proper county in the same form and manner, as near as may be, as in the forfeiture and destruction of gaming devices, except as herein otherwise provided. When any judgment of condemnation and forfeiture is made in any case filed under the provisions of this section, the judge making such judgment shall direct therein the destruction of the pistol or pistols by the person receiving possession of said pistol or pistols from the arresting officer in the presence of the clerk or register of the court, unless the judge is of the opinion that the nondestruction thereof is necessary or proper in the ends of justice, in which event and upon recommendation of the district attorney, the judge shall award the pistol or pistols to the sheriff of the county or to the chief of police of the municipality to be used exclusively by the sheriff or the chief of police in the enforcement of law, and the sheriff of the county and the chiefs of police of the municipalities shall keep a permanent record of all pistols awarded to them as provided for herein, to be accounted for as other public property, and said order, in the event that no appeal is taken within 15 days from the rendition thereof, shall be carried out and executed before the expiration of 20 days from the date of the judgment. The court, at its discretion, shall direct in said judgment that the costs of the proceedings be paid by the person in whose possession said pistol or pistols were found when seized, or by any party or parties who claim to own said pistol or pistols, or any interest therein, and who contested the condemnation and forfeiture thereof.

Title 26. Infants and Incompetents

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 26-1-1. Age of majority designated as 19 years

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Any person in this state, at the arrival at the age of 19 years, shall be relieved of his or her disabilities of minority and thereafter shall have the same legal rights and abilities as persons over 21 years of age. No law of this state shall discriminate for or against any person between and including the ages of 19 and 21 years solely on the basis of age.

(b) This section shall also apply to any person who arrived at the age of 19 and 20 years before July 22, 1975, but shall not abrogate any defense or abridge any remedy available to him or her prior to such date.

(c) All laws or parts of laws which read “under the age of 21 years” hereafter shall read “under the age of 19 years.” Wherever the words “under the age of 21 years” appear in any law limiting the legal rights and abilities of persons under such age, such words shall be construed to mean under the age of 19 years.

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (c), nothing in this section shall be deemed to repeal any provision of Chapter 19 of Title 15.

(e) Notwithstanding subsection (a), or any other provision of law to the contrary, a person who is 18 years of age or older may consent to participate in research conducted by a college or university that is accredited by a federally recognized accrediting agency if the research has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of the institution.

(f) Notwithstanding subsection (a), an unemancipated minor who is 18 years old and of sound mind, notwithstanding his or her minority, may enter into a binding contract as may be exercised by an individual of full legal age. The minor, by reason of his or her minority, may not rescind, avoid, or repudiate the contract or rescind, avoid, or repudiate any exercise of a right or privilege under the contract.

Chapter 10A. Alabama Adoption Code

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

26-10A-30. Grandparent visitation.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Post-adoption visitation rights for the natural grandparents of the adoptee may be granted when the adoptee is adopted by a stepparent, a grandfather, a grandmother, a brother, a half-brother, a sister, a half-sister, an aunt or an uncle and their respective spouses, if any. Such visitation rights may be maintained or granted at the discretion of the court at any time prior to or after the final order of adoption is entered upon petition by the natural grandparents, if it is in the best interest of the child.

Title 30. Marital and Domestic Relations

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Chapter 2. Divorce and Alimony

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Article 1. Divorce from Bonds of Matrimony.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

30-2-1. Grounds; jurisdiction for proceedings; divorce judgment awarded to both parties.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) The circuit court has power to divorce persons from the bonds of matrimony, upon a complaint filed by one of the parties, entitled “In re the marriage of …………………… and ……………………,” for the causes following:

(1) In favor of either party, when the other was, at the time of the marriage physically and incurably incapacitated from entering into the marriage state.

(2) For adultery.

(3) For voluntary abandonment from bed and board for one year next preceding the filing of the complaint.

(4) Imprisonment in the penitentiary of this or any other state for two years, the sentence being for seven years or longer.

(5) The commission of the crime against nature, whether with mankind or beast, either before or after marriage.

(6) For becoming addicted after marriage to habitual drunkenness or to habitual use of opium, morphine, cocaine, or other like drug.

(7) Upon application of either the husband or wife, when the court is satisfied from all the testimony in the case that there exists such a complete incompatibility of temperament that the parties can no longer live together.

(8) In favor of either party, when the other, after marriage, shall have been confined in a mental hospital for a period of five successive years, if such party from whom a divorce is sought is hopelessly and incurably insane at the time of the filing of the complaint; provided, however, that the superintendent of the mental hospital in which such person is confined shall make a certified statement, under oath, that it is his opinion and belief, after a complete and full study and examination of such person, that such person is hopelessly and incurably insane.

(9) Upon application of either party, when the court finds there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and that further attempts at reconciliation are impractical or futile and not in the best interests of the parties or family.

(10) In favor of the husband, when the wife was pregnant at the time of marriage, without his knowledge or agency.

(11) In favor of either party to the marriage when the other has committed actual violence on his or her person, attended with danger to life or health, or when from his or her conduct there is reasonable apprehension of such violence.

(12) In favor of the wife when the wife has lived, or shall have lived separate and apart from the bed and board of the husband for two years and without support from him for two years next preceding the filing of the complaint, and she has bona fide resided in this state during that period.

(b) When a judgment of divorce is entered, in effect, it is awarded to both parties to the marriage.

30-2-5. Residency requirement for plaintiff when defendant nonresident.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

When the defendant is a nonresident, the other party to the marriage must have been a bona fide resident of this state for six months next before the filing of the complaint, which must be alleged in the complaint and proved.

Article 3. Alimony and Support.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

30-2-50. Allowance for support during pendency of action.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Pending an action for divorce, the court may make an allowance for the support of either spouse out of the estate of the other spouse, suitable to the spouse’s estate and the condition in life of the parties, for a period of time not longer than necessary for the prosecution of the complaint for divorce.

30-2-51. Allowance upon grant of divorce; certain property not considered; retirement benefits.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) If either spouse has no separate estate or if it is insufficient for the maintenance of a spouse, the judge, upon granting a divorce, at his or her discretion, may order to a spouse an allowance out of the estate of the other spouse, taking into consideration the value thereof and the condition of the spouse’s family. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the judge may not take into consideration any property acquired prior to the marriage of the parties or by inheritance or gift unless the judge finds from the evidence that the property, or income produced by the property, has been used regularly for the common benefit of the parties during their marriage.

(b)(1) The marital estate is subject to equitable division and distribution. Unless the parties agree otherwise, and except as otherwise provided by federal or state law, the marital estate includes any interest, whether vested or unvested, either spouse has acquired, received, accumulated, or earned during the marriage in any and all individual, joint, or group retirement benefits including, but not limited to, any retirement plans, retirement accounts, pensions, profit-sharing plans, savings plans, annuities, or other similar benefit plans from any kind of employment, including, but not limited to, self employment, public or private employment, and military employment.

(2) Notwithstanding the foregoing, unless the parties agree otherwise, the total amount of the retirement benefits payable to the noncovered spouse shall not exceed 50 percent of the retirement benefits that may be considered by the court.

(3) Any party asserting that all or a portion of his or her interest in any retirement benefits is excluded from the marital estate shall bear the burden of proving that fact and the value or amount of the excluded interest, including any active or passive income or appreciation on that interest.

(c) The court may use any method of valuing, dividing, and distributing an interest in retirement benefits that is equitable under the circumstances of the case so long as the overall division and distribution of the marital property remains equitable to the parties. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a court to divide or distribute any amount, or any percentage, of one spouse’s retirement benefits to the other spouse.

(d) Any passive increase or decrease in the value of retirement benefits from the effective date of the award to the date of distribution shall accrue to, or be borne by, the parties on a pro rata basis. Passive increases or decreases are increases or decreases resulting from fluctuations in the value of the assets regarding a retirement benefit and cost-of-living adjustments made pursuant to the terms of a retirement benefit, but do not include any increases or decreases resulting from contributions, withdrawals, or accruals to a retirement benefit attributable to any period, after the effective date of the award.

(e) Unless otherwise prohibited by state or federal law, a court may enter any order designed to protect or preserve the legal interest of either spouse in retirement benefits, including any order to prevent, or to compensate a spouse for, the deprivation or dissipation of a legal share of any retirement benefits due to the act or omission of the other spouse and any order necessary to enforce the property division of such benefits. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a court may not enter any order modifying the terms of any retirement benefits or enlarging the benefits payable under the terms of a retirement plan.

30-2-52. Allowance upon grant of divorce for misconduct; certain property not considered.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

If the divorce is in favor of either spouse for the misconduct of the other spouse, the judge trying the case shall have the right to make an allowance to either spouse out of the estate of either spouse, or not make an allowance as the circumstances of the case may justify, and if an allowance is made, the misconduct of either spouse may be considered in determining the amount; provided, however, that any property acquired prior to the marriage of the parties or by inheritance or gift may not be considered in determining the amount.

30-2-55. Termination of alimony upon remarriage or cohabitation with member of opposite sex; reimbursement not required.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Any decree of divorce providing for periodic payments of alimony shall be modified by the court to provide for the termination of such alimony upon petition of a party to the decree and proof that the spouse receiving such alimony has remarried or that such spouse is living openly or cohabiting with a member of the opposite sex. This provision shall be applicable to any person granted a decree of divorce either prior to April 28, 1978, or thereafter; provided, however, that no payments of alimony already received shall have to be reimbursed.

Chapter 3. Child Custody and Support

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Article 1. General Provisions.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 30-3-4.2. Grandparent visitation.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) For the purposes of this section, the following words have the following meanings:

(1) GRANDPARENT. The parent of a parent, whether the relationship is created biologically or by adoption.

(2) HARM. A finding by the court, by clear and convincing evidence, that without court-ordered visitation by the grandparent, the child’s emotional, mental, or physical well-being has been, could reasonably be, or would be jeopardized.

(b) A grandparent may file an original action in a circuit court where his or her grandchild resides or any other court exercising jurisdiction with respect to the grandchild or file a motion to intervene in any action when any court in this state has before it any issue concerning custody of the grandchild, including a domestic relations proceeding involving the parent or parents of the grandchild, for reasonable visitation rights with respect to the grandchild if any of the following circumstances exist:

(1) An action for a divorce or legal separation of the parents has been filed, or the marital relationship between the parents of the child has been severed by death or divorce.

(2) The child was born out of wedlock and the petitioner is a maternal grandparent of the child.

(3) The child was born out of wedlock, the petitioner is a paternal grandparent of the child, and paternity has been legally established.

(4) An action to terminate the parental rights of a parent or parents has been filed or the parental rights of a parent has been terminated by court order; provided, however, the right of the grandparent to seek visitation terminates if the court approves a petition for adoption by an adoptive parent, unless the visitation rights are allowed pursuant to Section 26-10A-30, Code of Alabama 1975.

(c)(1) There is a rebuttable presumption that a fit parent’s decision to deny or limit visitation to the petitioner is in the best interest of the child.

(2) To rebut the presumption, the petitioner shall prove by clear and convincing evidence, both of the following:

a. The petitioner has established a significant and viable relationship with the child for whom he or she is requesting visitation.

b. Visitation with the petitioner is in the best interest of the child.

(d) To establish a significant and viable relationship with the child, the petitioner shall prove by clear and convincing evidence any of the following:

(1)a. The child resided with the petitioner for at least six consecutive months with or without a parent present within the three years preceding the filing of the petition.

b. The petitioner was the caregiver to the child on a regular basis for at least six consecutive months within the three years preceding the filing of the petition.

c. The petitioner had frequent or regular contact with the child for at least 12 consecutive months that resulted in a strong and meaningful relationship with the child within the three years preceding the filing of the petition.

(2) Any other facts that establish the loss of the relationship between the petitioner and the child is likely to harm the child.

(e) To establish that visitation with the petitioner is in the best interest of the child, the petitioner shall prove by clear and convincing evidence all of the following:

(1) The petitioner has the capacity to give the child love, affection, and guidance.

(2) The loss of an opportunity to maintain a significant and viable relationship between the petitioner and the child has caused or is reasonably likely to cause harm to the child.

(3) The petitioner is willing to cooperate with the parent or parents if visitation with the child is allowed.

(f) The court shall make specific written findings of fact in support of its rulings.

(g)(1) A grandparent or grandparents who are married to each other may not file a petition seeking an order for visitation more than once every 24 months absent a showing of good cause. The fact that a grandparent or grandparents who are married to each other have petitioned for visitation shall not preclude another grandparent from subsequently petitioning for visitation within the 24-month period. After an order for grandparent visitation has been granted, the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the child may file a petition requesting the court to modify or terminate a grandparent’s visitation time with a grandchild.

(2) The court may modify or terminate visitation upon proof that a material change in circumstances has occurred since the award of grandparent visitation was made and a finding by the court that the modification or termination of the grandparent visitation rights is in the best interest of the child.

(h) The court may award any party reasonable expenses incurred by or on behalf of the party, including costs, communication expenses, attorney’s fees, guardian ad litem fees, investigative fees, expenses for court-appointed witnesses, travel expenses, and child care during the course of the proceedings.

(i)(1) Notwithstanding any provisions of this act to the contrary, a petition filed by a grandparent having standing under Chapter 10A of Title 26 of the Code of Alabama 1975, seeking visitation shall be filed in probate court and is governed by Section 26-10A-30, Code of Alabama 1975, rather than by this act if either of the following circumstances exists:

a. The grandchild has been the subject of an adoption proceeding other than the one creating the grandparent relationship.

b. The grandchild is the subject of a pending or finalized adoption proceeding.

(2) Notwithstanding any provisions of this act to the contrary, a grandparent seeking visitation pursuant to Section 12-15-314, Code of Alabama 1975, shall be governed by that section rather than by this act.

(3) Notwithstanding any provisions of this act to the contrary, a parent of a parent whose parental rights have been terminated by a court order in which the petitioner was the Department of Human Resources, shall not be awarded any visitation rights pursuant to this act.

(j) The right of a grandparent to maintain visitation rights pursuant to this section terminates upon the adoption of the child except as provided by Section 26-10A-30 of the Code of Alabama 1975.

(k) All of the following are necessary parties to any action filed under this act:

(1) Unless parental rights have been terminated, the parent or parents of the child.

(2) Every other person who has been awarded custody or visitation with the child pursuant to court order.

(3) Any agency having custody of the child pursuant to court order.

(l) In addition, upon filing of the action, notice shall be given to all other grandparents of the child. The petition shall affirmatively state the name and address upon whom notice has been given.

(m) Service and notice shall be made in the following manner:

(1) Service of process on necessary parties shall be made in accordance with the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure.

(2) As to any other person to whom notice is required to be given under subsection (l), notice shall be given by first class mail to the last known address of the person or persons entitled to notice. Notice shall be effective on the third day following mailing.

(n) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the notice requirements provided by this act may be limited or waived by the court to the extent necessary to protect the confidentiality and the health, safety, or liberty of a person or a child.

(o) Upon filing an action under this section, after giving special weight to the fundamental right of a fit parent to decide which associations are in the best interest of his or her child, the court may, after a hearing, enter a pendente lite order granting temporary visitation rights to a grandparent, pending a final order, if the court determines from the evidence that the petitioner has established a significant and viable relationship with the child for whom he or she is requesting visitation, visitation would be in the best interest of the child, and any of the following circumstances exist:

(1) The child resided with the grandparent for at least six consecutive months within the three years preceding the filing of the petition.

(2) The grandparent was the caregiver of the child on a regular basis for at least six consecutive months within the three years preceding the filing of the petition.

(3) The grandparent provided significant financial support for the child for at least six consecutive months within the three years preceding the filing of the petition.

(4) The grandparent had frequent or regular contact with the child for at least 12 consecutive months within the three years preceding the filing of the petition.

(p) As a matter of public policy, this act recognizes the importance of family and the fundamental rights of parents and children. In the context of grandparent visitation under this act, a fit parent’s decision regarding whether to permit grandparent visitation is entitled to special weight due to a parent’s fundamental right to make decisions concerning the rearing of his or her child. Nonetheless, a parent’s interest in a child must be balanced against the long-recognized interests of the state as parens patriae. Thus, as applied to grandparent visitation under this act, this act balances the constitutional rights of parents and children by imposing an enhanced standard of review and consideration of the harm to a child caused by the parent’s limitation or termination of a prior relationship of a child to his or her grandparent.

Section 30-3-5. Venue of all proceedings seeking modification of child custody, visitation rights, or child support.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, venue of all proceedings for petitions or other actions seeking modification, interpretation, or enforcement of a final decree awarding custody of a child or children to a parent and/or granting visitation rights, and/or awarding child support, and/or awarding other expenses incident to the support of a minor child or children, and/or granting post-minority benefits for a child or children is changed so that venue will lie in: (1) the original circuit court rendering the final decree; or (2) in the circuit court of the county where both the current custodial parent or, in the case of post-minority benefits, where the most recent custodial parent, that parent having custody at the time of the child’s attaining majority, and the said child or children have resided for a period of at least three consecutive years immediately preceding the filing of the petition or other action. The current or most recent custodial parent shall be able to choose the particular venue as herein provided, regardless of which party files the petition or other action.

Section 30-3-9. Effect of military deployment of parent on child custody determinations

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A military deployment, including past, previous, or future deployments, may not be considered by the court as the sole factor when making an original child custody determination, or in modifying an existing child custody determination, in any proceeding involving any person who has sought, or is seeking, custodial rights to, or visitation rights with, a child.

(b) Any order granting a continuance or stay of a child custody case granted pursuant to the Federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 App. U.S.C. Sections 501 to 596, inclusive, may include a pendente lite custody determination order.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to limit or expand the legal rights of any person under any existing law.

Article 6. Custody and Domestic or Family Abuse

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 30-3-130. Definitions.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

For the purposes of this article “domestic or family abuse” means an incident resulting in the abuse, stalking, assault, harassment, or the attempt or threats thereof. Abuse means any offense under Article 4 (commencing with Section 13A-6-60) of Chapter 6 of Title 13A, and under Chapter 15 (commencing with Section 26-15-1) of Title 26. Stalking means the offenses prescribed in Sections 13A-6-90 to 13A-6-92, inclusive. Assault means the offense prescribed in Sections 13A-6-20 to 13A-6-25, inclusive. Harassment means the offenses prescribed in Section 13A-11-8.

Section 30-3-131. Determination raises rebuttable presumption that custody with perpetrator detrimental to child.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

In every proceeding where there is at issue a dispute as to the custody of a child, a determination by the court that domestic or family violence has occurred raises a rebuttable presumption by the court that it is detrimental to the child and not in the best interest of the child to be placed in sole custody, joint legal custody, or joint physical custody with the perpetrator of domestic or family violence. Notwithstanding the provisions regarding rebuttable presumption, the judge must also take into account what, if any, impact the domestic violence had on the child.

Section 30-3-132. Factors court must consider.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) In addition to other factors that a court is required to consider in a proceeding in which the custody of a child or visitation by a parent is at issue and in which the court has made a finding of domestic or family violence the court shall consider each of the following:

(1) The safety and well-being of the child and of the parent who is the victim of family or domestic violence.
(2) The perpetrator’s history of causing physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or causing reasonable fear of physical harm, bodily injury, or assault, to another person.

(b) If a parent is absent or relocates because of an act of domestic or family violence by the other parent, the absence or relocation may not be a factor that weighs against the parent in determining the custody or visitation.

Section 30-3-133. Determination raises rebuttable presumption that child reside with parent not perpetrator.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

In every proceeding where there is at issue a dispute as to the custody of a child, a determination by the court that domestic or family violence has occurred raises a rebuttable presumption by the court that it is in the best interest of the child to reside with the parent who is not a perpetrator of domestic or family violence in the location of that parent’s choice, within or outside the state.

Section 30-3-134. Finding of domestic violence constitutes change in circumstances.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

In every proceeding in which there is at issue the modification of an order for custody or visitation of a child, a finding that domestic or family violence has occurred since the last custody determination constitutes a finding of change in circumstances.

Section 30-3-135. Visitation by parent who committed violence.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A court may award visitation by a parent who committed domestic or family violence only if the court finds that adequate provision for the safety of the child and the parent who is a victim of domestic or family violence can be made.

(b) In a visitation order, a court may take any of the following actions:

(1) Order an exchange of the child to occur in a protected setting.
(2) Order visitation supervised in a manner to be determined by the court.
(3) Order the perpetrator of domestic or family violence to attend and complete to the satisfaction of the court, a program of intervention for perpetrators or other designated counseling as a condition of visitation.
(4) Order the perpetrator of domestic or family violence to abstain from possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substances during the visitation and for 24 hours preceding the visitation.
(5) Order the perpetrator of domestic or family violence to pay a fee to defray the cost of supervised visitation.
(6) Prohibit overnight visitation.
(7) Require a bond from the perpetrator of domestic or family violence for the return and safety of the child.
(8) Impose any other condition that is deemed necessary to provide for the safety of the child, the victim of family or domestic violence, or other family or household member.

(c) Whether or not visitation is allowed, the court may order the address of the child or the victim of family or domestic violence to be kept confidential.

(d) The court may refer but shall not order an adult who is a victim of family or domestic violence to attend counseling relating to the victim’s status or behavior as a victim, individually or with the perpetrator of domestic or family violence as a condition of receiving custody of a child or as a condition of visitation.

(e) If a court allows a family or household member to supervise visitation, the court shall establish conditions to be followed during visitation.

Article 7. Joint Custody.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 30-3-151. Definitions.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

For the purposes of this article the following words shall have the following meanings:

(1) JOINT CUSTODY. Joint legal custody and joint physical custody.
(2) JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY. Both parents have equal rights and responsibilities for major decisions concerning the child, including, but not limited to, the education of the child, health care, and religious training. The court may designate one parent to have sole power to make certain decisions while both parents retain equal rights and responsibilities for other decisions.
(3) JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY. Physical custody is shared by the parents in a way that assures the child frequent and substantial contact with each parent. Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean physical custody of equal durations of time.
(4) SOLE LEGAL CUSTODY. One parent has sole rights and responsibilities to make major decisions concerning the child, including, but not limited to, the education of the child, health care, and religious training.
(5) SOLE PHYSICAL CUSTODY. One parent has sole physical custody and the other parent has rights of visitation except as otherwise provided by the court.

Section 30-3-152. Factors considered; order without both parents' consent; presumption where both parents request joint custody.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) The court shall in every case consider joint custody but may award any form of custody which is determined to be in the best interest of the child. In determining whether joint custody is in the best interest of the child, the court shall consider the same factors considered in awarding sole legal and physical custody and all of the following factors:

(1) The agreement or lack of agreement of the parents on joint custody.
(2) The past and present ability of the parents to cooperate with each other and make decisions jointly.
(3) The ability of the parents to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent.
(4) Any history of or potential for child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping.
(5) The geographic proximity of the parents to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of joint physical custody.

(b) The court may order a form of joint custody without the consent of both parents, when it is in the best interest of the child.

(c) If both parents request joint custody, the presumption is that joint custody is in the best interest of the child. Joint custody shall be granted in the final order of the court unless the court makes specific findings as to why joint custody is not granted.

Article 7A. Alabama Parent-Child Relationship Protection Act

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 30-3-161. Definitions.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

As used in this article, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings, unless the context requires a different definition:

(1) CHANGE OF PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE. A change of the residence of a child whose custody has been determined by a prior court order, whether or not accompanied by a change of the residence of a person entitled to custody of the child, with the intent that such change shall be permanent in nature and not amounting to a temporary absence of the child from his or her principal residence.

(2) CHILD. A minor child as defined by subdivision (2) of Section 30-3B-102. As used in this article, the term may include the singular and the plural.

(3) CHILD CUSTODY DETERMINATION. A judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a permanent, temporary, initial, and modification order. The term does not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual.

(4) COMMENCEMENT. The filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.

(5) COURT. An entity authorized under the law of a state to establish, enforce, or modify a child custody determination.

(6) MODIFICATION. A child custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by the court that made the previous determination.

(7) PERSON ACTING AS A PARENT. A person, other than a parent, who has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of six consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within one year immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding and has been awarded legal custody by a court or claims a right to legal custody under the law of this state.

(8) PERSON ENTITLED TO CUSTODY OR VISITATION. A person so entitled to physical custody of a child as defined by Sections 30-3-1 through 30-3-4.1, inclusive, or visitation with respect to a child by virtue of a child custody determination as defined by subdivision (3) of Section 30-3B-102.

(9) PHYSICAL CUSTODY. The physical care and supervision of a child.

(10) PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE OF A CHILD. Any of the following:
a. The residence designated by a court to be the primary residence of the child.
b. In the absence of a determination by a court, the residence at which the parents of a child whose change of principal residence is at issue have expressly agreed that the child will primarily reside.
c. In the absence of a determination by a court or an express agreement between the parents of a child whose change of principal residence is at issue, the residence, if any, at which the child lived with the child’s parents, a parent, or a person acting as a parent, for at least six consecutive months or, in the case of a child less than six months of age, the residence at which the child lived from birth with the child’s parents, a parent, or a person acting as a parent. Periods of temporary absence from such residence are counted as part of the period of residence.

(11) RELOCATE or RELOCATION. A change in the principal residence of a child for a period of 45 days or more. The term does not include a temporary absence from the primary residence, or an absence necessary to escape domestic violence.

Section 30-3-162. Applicability.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Except as provided otherwise by this article, the provisions of this article apply to all orders determining custody of or visitation with a child whether such order was issued before or after September 1, 2003. To the extent that a provision of this article conflicts with an existing order determining custody of or visitation with a child or other enforceable agreement, this article does not apply to alter or amend the terms of such order or agreement which addresses the rights of the parties or the child with regard to a change in the primary residence of a child. Any person entitled to the legal or physical custody of or visitation with a child may commence an action for modification to incorporate the provisions of this article into an existing order determining the custody of or visitation with a child. Except as provided in subsection (c) of Section 30-3-165, this article shall not apply to a person who is on active military service in the Armed Forces of the United States of America and is being transferred or relocated pursuant to a non-voluntary order from the government.

(b) Sections 30-3-169.1 to 30-3-169.7, inclusive, shall not apply to a change of principal residence of a child to a residence which is 60 miles or less from the residence of a non-relocating parent who is entitled to custody of or visitation with the child or if the change or proposed change results in the child residing nearer to the non-relocating parent than before the change or proposed change, unless such change in the principal residence of a child results in the child living in a different state.

Section 30-3-165. Notice.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) When a notice is required by either Section 30-3-163 or Section 30- 3-164, except as provided by Section 30-3-167, the notice of a proposed change of principal residence of a child or the notice of an intended or proposed change of the principal residence of an adult as provided in this article must be given by certified mail to the last known address of the person or persons entitled to notification under this article not later than the 45th day before the date of the intended change of the principal residence of a child or the 10th day after the date such information required to be furnished by subsection (b) becomes known, if the person did not know and could not reasonably have known the information in sufficient time to comply with the 45- day notice, and it is not reasonably possible to extend the time for change of principal residence of the child.

(b) Except as provided by Section 30-3-167, all of the following information, if available, must be included with the notice of intended change of principal residence of a child:

(1) The intended new residence, including the specific street address, if known.
(2) The mailing address, if not the same as the street address.
(3) The telephone number or numbers at such residence, if known.
(4) If applicable, the name, address, and telephone number of the school to be attended by the child, if known.
(5) The date of the intended change of principal residence of a child.
(6) A statement of the specific reasons for the proposed change of principal residence of a child, if applicable.
(7) A proposal for a revised schedule of custody of or visitation with a child, if any.
(8) A warning to the non-relocating person that an objection to the relocation must be made within 30 days of receipt of the notice or the relocation will be permitted.

(c) A person entitled to custody of a child who is on active military service in the Armed Forces of the United States of America and is being transferred or relocated pursuant to a non-voluntary order of the government shall provide notice of change of principal residence of a child to the persons entitled to custody of or visitation with a child with the information set forth in subsection (b) except that such notice need not contain a warning to the non-relocating person as provided in subdivision (8) of subsection (b) that an objection to the relocation must be made within 30 days or the relocation will be permitted.

(d) A person required to give notice of a proposed change of principal residence of a child under this section has a continuing duty to provide the information required by this section as that information becomes known. Such information should be provided by certified mail to the last known address to the person or persons entitled to such notice within 10 days of the date such information becomes known.

Section 30-3-167. Disclosure exceptions.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) In order to protect the identifying information of persons at risk from the effects of domestic violence or abuse, on a finding by the court that the health, safety, or liberty of a person or a child would be unreasonably put at risk by the disclosure of the identifying information required by Section 30-3-163 or Section 30-3-164 in conjunction with a proposed change of principal residence of a child or change of principal residence of a person having custody of or rights of visitation with a child, the court may order any or all of the following:

(1) The specific residence address and telephone number of a child or the person having custody of or rights of visitation with a child and other identifying information shall not be disclosed in the pleadings, other documents filed in the proceeding, or in any order issued by the court, except for in camera disclosures.
(2) The notice requirements provided by this article may be waived to the extent necessary to protect confidentiality and the health, safety, or liberty of a person or a child.
(3) Any other remedial action that the court considers necessary to facilitate the legitimate needs of the parties and the interests of the child.

(b) If appropriate, the court may conduct an ex parte hearing under subsection (a). Issuance of a final order of protection under Sections 30-5-1 to 30-5-11, inclusive; a conviction for domestic violence pursuant to Sections 13A-6-130 to 13A-6-135, inclusive; or an award of custody of the child pursuant to Sections 30-3-131 to 30-3-135, inclusive, shall be considered prima facie evidence that the health, safety, or liberty of a person or a child would be unreasonably put at risk by the disclosure of identifying information or by compliance with the notice requirements of this article.

Section 30-3-169. Objection to change of principal residence.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

The person entitled to determine the principal residence of a child may change the principal residence of a child after providing notice as provided herein unless a person entitled to notice files a proceeding seeking a temporary or permanent order to prevent the change of principal residence of a child within 30 days after receipt of such notice.

Section 30-3-169.1. Proceedings.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person entitled to custody of or visitation with a child may commence a proceeding objecting to a proposed change of the principal residence of a child and seek a temporary or permanent order to prevent the relocation.

(b) A non-parent entitled to visitation with a child may commence a proceeding to obtain a revised schedule of visitation, but may not object to the proposed change of principal residence of a child or seek a temporary or permanent order to prevent the change.

(c) A proceeding filed under this section must be filed within 30 days of receipt of notice of a proposed change of principal residence of a child, except that the court may extend or waive the time for commencing such action upon a showing of good cause, excusable neglect, or that the notice required by subsection (b) of Section 30-3-165 is defective or insufficient upon which to base an action under this article.

(d) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this article, the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply to all proceedings under this article.

Section 30-3-169.4. Burden of proof.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

In proceedings under this article unless there has been a determination that the party objecting to the change of the principal residence of the child has been found to have committed domestic violence or child abuse, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a change of principal residence of a child is not in the best interest of the child. The party seeking a change of principal residence of a child shall have the initial burden of proof on the issue. If that burden of proof is met, the burden of proof shifts to the non-relocating party.

Chapter 3B. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Article 1. General Provisions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 30-3B-102. Definitions.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

In this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) ABANDONED. Left without provision for reasonable and necessary care or supervision.

(2) CHILD. An individual who has not attained 19 years of age.

(3) CHILD CUSTODY DETERMINATION. A judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a permanent, temporary, initial, and modification order. The term does not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual.

(4) CHILD CUSTODY PROCEEDING. A proceeding in a court in which legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child is an issue. The term includes a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence, in which the issue may appear. The term does not include a court proceeding involving juvenile delinquency, contractual emancipation, adoption, or enforcement under Article 3.

(5) COMMENCEMENT. The filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.

(6) COURT. An entity authorized under the law of a state to establish, enforce, or modify a child custody determination.

(7) HOME STATE. The state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding. In the case of a child less than six months of age, the term means the state in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of the child or any of the mentioned persons is part of the period.

(8) INITIAL DETERMINATION. The first child custody determination concerning a particular child.

(9) ISSUING COURT. The court that makes a child custody determination for which enforcement is sought under this chapter.

(10) ISSUING STATE. The state in which a child custody determination is made.

(11) MODIFICATION. A child custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by the court that made the previous determination.

(12) PERSON. An individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government; governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality; public corporation; or any other legal or commercial entity.

(13) PERSON ACTING AS A PARENT. A person, other than a parent, who:
a. Has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of six consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within one year immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding; and
b. Has been awarded legal custody by a court or claims a right to legal custody under the law of this state.

(14) PHYSICAL CUSTODY. The physical care and supervision of a child.

(15) STATE. A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

(16) WARRANT. An order issued by a court authorizing law enforcement officers to take physical custody of a child.

Section 30-3B-103. Proceedings governed by other law.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

This chapter does not govern an adoption proceeding or a proceeding pertaining to the authorization of emergency medical care for a child.

Section 30-3B-104. Application to Indian tribes.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

A child custody proceeding that pertains to an Indian child as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. § 1901, et seq., is not subject to this chapter to the extent that it is governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Section 30-3B-105. International application of chapter.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A court of this state shall treat a foreign country as if it were a state of the United States for the purpose of applying this article and Article 2.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), a child custody determination made in a foreign country under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of this chapter must be recognized and enforced under Article 3.

(c) A court of this state need not apply this chapter if the child custody law of a foreign country violates fundamental principles of human rights.

Section 30-3B-106. Effect of child custody determination.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

A child custody determination made by a court of this state that had jurisdiction under this chapter binds all persons who have been served in accordance with the laws of this state or notified in accordance with Section 30-3B-108 or who have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court, and who have been given an opportunity to be heard. As to those persons the determination is conclusive as to all decided issues of law and fact except to the extent the determination is modified.

Section 30-3B-107. Priority.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

If a question of existence or exercise of jurisdiction under this chapter is raised in a child custody proceeding, the question, upon request of a party, must be given priority on the calendar and handled expeditiously.

Section 30-3B-108. Notice to persons outside state.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Notice required for the exercise of jurisdiction when a person is outside this state may be given in a manner prescribed by the law of this state for service of process. Notice must be given in a manner reasonably calculated to give actual notice but may be by publication if other means are not effective.

(b) Proof of service may be made in the manner prescribed by the law of this state.

(c) Notice is not required for the exercise of jurisdiction with respect to a person who submits to the jurisdiction of the court.

Section 30-3B-109. Appearance and limited immunity.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) When making a special appearance a party to a child custody proceeding, including a modification proceeding, or a petitioner or respondent in a proceeding to enforce or register a child custody determination, is not subject to personal jurisdiction in this state for another proceeding or purpose solely by reason of having participated, or of having been physically present for the purpose of participating, in the proceeding.

(b) A person who is subject to personal jurisdiction in this state on a basis other than physical presence is not immune from service of process in this state. A party present in this state who is subject to the jurisdiction of another state is not immune from service of process allowable under the laws of that state.

(c) The immunity granted by subsection (a) does not extend to civil litigation based on acts unrelated to the participation in a proceeding under this chapter committed by an individual while present in this state.

Section 30-3B-110. Communication between courts.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A court of this state may communicate with a court in another state concerning a proceeding arising under this chapter.

(b) The court may allow the parties to participate in the communication. If the parties are not able to participate in the communication, they must be given the opportunity to present facts and legal arguments before a decision on jurisdiction is made.

(c) Communication between courts on schedules, calendars, court records, and similar matters may occur without informing the parties. A record need not be made of the communication.

(d) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), a record must be made of a communication under this section. The parties must be informed promptly of the communication and granted access to the record.

(e) For the purposes of this section, “record” means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

Section 30-3B-111. Taking testimony in another state.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) In addition to other procedures available to a party, a party to a child custody proceeding may offer testimony of witnesses who are located in another state, including testimony of the parties and the child, by deposition or other means allowable in this state for testimony taken in another state. The court on its own motion may order that the testimony of a person be taken in another state and may prescribe the manner in which and the terms upon which the testimony is taken.

(b) A court of this state may permit an individual residing in another state to be deposed or to testify by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means before a designated court or at another location in that state. A court of this state shall cooperate with courts of other states in designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.

(c) Documentary evidence transmitted from another state to a court of this state by technological means that do not produce an original writing may not be excluded from evidence on an objection based on the means of transmission.

Section 30-3B-112. Cooperation between courts; preservation of records.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A court of this state may request the appropriate court of another state to:

(1) Hold an evidentiary hearing;
(2) Order a person to produce or give evidence pursuant to procedures of that state;
(3) Order that an evaluation be made with respect to the custody of a child involved in a pending proceeding;
(4) Forward to the court of this state a certified copy of the transcript of the record of the hearing, the evidence otherwise presented, and any evaluation prepared in compliance with the request; and
(5) Order a party to a child custody proceeding or any person having physical custody of the child to appear in the proceeding with or without the child.

(b) Upon request of a court of another state, a court of this state may hold a hearing or enter an order described in subsection (a).

(c) Travel and other necessary and reasonable expenses incurred under subsections (a) and (b) may be assessed against the parties according to the law of this state.

(d) A court of this state shall preserve the pleadings, orders, decrees, records of hearings, evaluations, and other pertinent records with respect to a child custody proceeding until the child attains 19 years of age. Upon appropriate request by a court or law enforcement official of another state, the court shall forward a certified copy of those records.

Article 2. Jurisdiction

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 30-3B-201. Initial child custody jurisdiction.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 30-3B-204, a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination only if:

(1) This state is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this state but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this state;
(2) A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under subdivision (1), or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this state is the more appropriate forum under Section 30-3B-207 or 30-3B-208, and:
a. The child and the child’s parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this state other than mere physical presence; and
b. Substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships;
(3) All courts having jurisdiction under subdivision (1) or (2) have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that a court of this state is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under Section 30-3B-207 or 30-3B-208; or
(4) No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in subdivision (1), (2), or (3).

(b) Subsection (a) is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child custody determination by a court of this state.

(c) Physical presence of a child is not necessary or sufficient to make a child custody determination.

Section 30-3B-202. Continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 30-3B-204, a court of this state which has made a child custody determination consistent with Section 30-3B-201 or Section 30-3B-203 has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the determination until:

(1) A court of this state determines that neither the child, nor the child and one parent, nor the child and a person acting as a parent have a significant connection with this state and that substantial evidence is no longer available in this state concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships; or
(2) A court of this state or a court of another state determines that the child, the child’s parents, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in this state.

(b) A court of this state which has made a child custody determination and does not have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this section may modify that determination only if it has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under Section 30-3B-201.

Section 30-3B-203. Jurisdiction to modify determination.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Except as otherwise provided in Section 30-3B-204, a court of this state may not modify a child custody determination made by a court of another state unless a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under Section 30-3B-201(a)(1) or (2) and:

(1) The court of the other state determines it no longer has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under Section 30-3B-202 or that a court of this state would be a more convenient forum under Section 30-3B-207; or
(2) A court of this state or a court of the other state determines that the child, the child’s parents, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in the other state.

Section 30-3B-204. Temporary emergency jurisdiction.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A court of this state has temporary emergency jurisdiction if the child is present in this state and the child has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.

(b) If there is no previous child custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this chapter and a child custody proceeding has not been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under Sections 30-3B-201 through 30-3B-203, a child custody determination made under this section remains in effect until an order is obtained from a court of a state having jurisdiction under Sections 30-3B-201 through 30-3B-203. If a child custody proceeding has not been or is not commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under Sections 30-3B-201 through 30-3B-203, a child custody determination made under this section becomes a final determination, if it so provides and this state becomes the home state of the child.

(c) If there is a previous child custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this chapter, or a child custody proceeding has been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under Sections 30-3B-201 through 30-3B-203, any order issued by a court of this state under this section must specify in the order a period that the court considers adequate to allow the person seeking an order to obtain an order from the state having jurisdiction under Sections 30-3B-201 through 30-3B-203. The order issued in this state remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other state within the period specified or the period expires.

(d) A court of this state which has been asked to make a child custody determination under this section, upon being informed that a child custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child custody determination has been made by, a court of a state having jurisdiction under Sections 30-3B-201 through 30-3B-203, shall immediately communicate with the other court. A court of this state which is exercising jurisdiction pursuant to Sections 30-3B-201 through 30-3B-203, upon being informed that a child custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child custody determination has been made by, a court of another state under a statute similar to this section shall immediately communicate with the court of that state to resolve the emergency, protect the safety of the parties and the child, and determine a period for the duration of the temporary order.

Section 30-3B-205. Notice; opportunity to be heard; joinder.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Before a child custody determination is made under this chapter, notice and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the standards of Section 30-3B-108 must be given to all persons entitled to notice under the law of this state as in child custody proceedings between residents of this state, any parent whose parental rights have not been previously terminated, and any person having physical custody of the child.

(b) This chapter does not govern the enforceability of a child custody determination made without notice or an opportunity to be heard.

(c) The obligation to join a party and the right to intervene as a party in a child custody proceeding under this chapter are governed by the law of this state as in child custody proceedings between residents of this state.

Section 30-3B-206. Simultaneous proceedings.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 30-3B-204, a court of this state may not exercise its jurisdiction under this article if, at the time of the commencement of the proceeding, a proceeding concerning the custody of the child has been commenced in a court of another state having jurisdiction substantially in conformity with this chapter, unless the proceeding has been terminated or is stayed by the court of the other state because a court of this state is a more convenient forum under Section 30-3B-207.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in Section 30-3B-204, a court of this state, before hearing a child custody proceeding, shall examine the court documents and other information supplied by the parties pursuant to Section 30-3B-209. If the court determines that a child custody proceeding has been commenced in a court in another state having jurisdiction substantially in accordance with this chapter, the court of this state shall stay its proceeding and communicate with the court of the other state. If the court of the state having jurisdiction substantially in accordance with this chapter does not determine that the court of this state is a more appropriate forum, the court of this state shall dismiss the proceeding.

(c) In a proceeding to modify a child custody determination, a court of this state shall determine whether a proceeding to enforce the determination has been commenced in another state. If a proceeding to enforce a child custody determination has been commenced in another state, the court may:

(1) Stay the proceeding for modification pending the entry of an order of a court of the other state enforcing, staying, denying, or dismissing the proceeding for enforcement;
(2) Enjoin the parties from continuing with the proceeding for enforcement; or
(3) Proceed with the modification under conditions it considers appropriate.

Section 30-3B-207. Inconvenient forum.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A court of this state which has jurisdiction under this chapter to make a child custody determination may decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum. The issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon the motion of a party, the court’s own motion, or request of another court.

(b) Before determining whether it is an inconvenient forum, a court of this state shall consider whether it is appropriate for a court of another state to exercise jurisdiction. For this purpose, the court shall allow the parties to submit information and shall consider all relevant factors, including:

(1) Whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue in the future and which state could best protect the parties and the child;
(2) The length of time the child has resided outside this state;
(3) The distance between the court in this state and the court in the state that would assume jurisdiction;
(4) The relative financial circumstances of the parties;
(5) Any agreement of the parties as to which state should assume jurisdiction;
(6) The nature and location of the evidence required to resolve the pending litigation, including testimony of the child;
(7) The ability of the court of each state to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present the evidence; and
(8) The familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues in the pending litigation.

(c) If a court of this state determines that it is an inconvenient forum and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum, it shall stay the proceedings upon condition that a child custody proceeding be promptly commenced in another designated state and may impose any other condition the court considers just and proper.

(d) A court of this state may decline to exercise its jurisdiction under this chapter if a child custody determination is incidental to an action for divorce or another proceeding while still retaining jurisdiction over the divorce or other proceeding.

Section 30-3B-208. Jurisdiction declined by reason of conduct.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 30-3B-204 or by other law of this state, if a court of this state has jurisdiction under this chapter because a person seeking to invoke its jurisdiction has engaged in unjustifiable conduct, the court shall decline to exercise its jurisdiction unless:

(1) The parents and all persons acting as parents have acquiesced in the exercise of jurisdiction;
(2) A court of the state otherwise having jurisdiction under Sections 30-3B-201 through 30-3B-203 determines that this state is a more appropriate forum under Section 30-3B-207; or
(3) No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in Sections 30-3B-201 through 30-3B-203.

(b) If a court of this state declines to exercise its jurisdiction pursuant to subsection (a), it may fashion an appropriate remedy to ensure the safety of the child and prevent a repetition of the unjustifiable conduct, including staying the proceeding until a child custody proceeding is commenced in a court having jurisdiction under Sections 30-3B-201 through 30-3B-203.

(c) If a court dismisses a petition or stays a proceeding because it declines to exercise its jurisdiction pursuant to subsection (a), it shall assess against the party seeking to invoke its jurisdiction necessary and reasonable expenses including costs, communication expenses, attorney’s fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses, and child care during the course of the proceedings, unless the party from whom fees are sought establishes that the assessment would be clearly inappropriate. The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against this state unless authorized by law other than this chapter.

Section 30-3B-209. Information to be submitted to court.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (e), in a child custody proceeding, each party, in its first pleading or in an attached affidavit, shall give information, if reasonably ascertainable, under oath as to the child’s present address or whereabouts, the places where the child has lived during the last five years, and the names and present addresses of the persons with whom the child has lived during that period. The pleading or affidavit must state whether the party:

(1) Has participated, as a party or witness or in any other capacity, in any other proceeding concerning the custody of or visitation with the child and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the date of the child custody determination, if any;
(2) Knows of any proceeding that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings for enforcement and proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, and adoptions, and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding; and
(3) Knows the names and addresses of any person not a party to the proceeding who has physical custody of the child or claims rights of legal custody or physical custody of, or visitation with, the child and, if so, the names and addresses of those persons.

(b) If the information required by subsection (a) is not furnished, the court, upon motion of a party or its own motion, may stay the proceeding until the information is furnished.

(c) If the declaration as to any of the items described in subsection (a)(1) through (3) is in the affirmative, the declarant shall give additional information under oath as required by the court. The court may examine the parties under oath as to details of the information furnished and other matters pertinent to the court’s jurisdiction and the disposition of the case.

(d) Each party has a continuing duty to inform the court of any proceeding in this or any other state that could affect the current proceeding.

(e) If a party alleges in an affidavit or a pleading under oath that the health, safety, or liberty of a party or child would be jeopardized by disclosure of the present address or whereabouts of a party or child, the information must be sealed and may not be disclosed to the other party or the public unless the court orders the disclosure to be made after a hearing in which the court takes into consideration the health, safety, or liberty of the party or child and determines that the disclosure is in the interest of justice.

Section 30-3B-210. Appearance of parties and child.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) In a child custody proceeding in this state, the court may order a party to the proceeding who is in this state to appear before the court in person with or without the child. The court may order any person who is in this state and who has physical custody or control of the child to appear in person with the child.

(b) If a party to a child custody proceeding whose presence is desired by the court is outside this state, the court may order that a notice given pursuant to Section 30-3B-108 include a statement directing the party to appear in person with or without the child and informing the party that failure to appear may result in a decision adverse to the party.

(c) The court may enter any orders necessary to ensure the safety of the child and of any person ordered to appear under this section.

(d) If a party to a child custody proceeding who is outside this state is directed to appear under subsection (b) or desires to appear personally before the court with or without the child, the court may require another party to pay reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses of the party so appearing and of the child.

Article 3. Enforcement.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 30-3B-301. Definitions.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

In this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) PETITIONER. A person who seeks enforcement of an order for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or enforcement of a child custody determination.
(2) RESPONDENT. A person against whom a proceeding has been commenced for enforcement of an order for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or enforcement of a child custody determination.

Section 30-3B-302. Enforcement under Hague Convention.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Under this article a court of this state may enforce an order for the return of the child made under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as if it were a child custody determination.

Section 30-3B-303. Duty to enforce

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A court of this state shall recognize and enforce a child custody determination of a court of another state if the latter court exercised jurisdiction in substantial conformity with this chapter or the determination was made under factual circumstances meeting the jurisdictional standards of this chapter and the determination has not been modified in accordance with this chapter.

(b) A court of this state may utilize any remedy available under other law of this state to enforce a child custody determination made by a court of another state. The remedies provided in this article are cumulative and do not affect the availability of other remedies to enforce a child custody determination.

Section 30-3B-304. Temporary visitation

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A court of this state which does not have jurisdiction to modify a child custody determination, may issue a temporary order enforcing:

(1) A visitation schedule made by a court of another state;
(2) The visitation provisions of a child custody determination of another state that does not provide for a specific visitation schedule; or
(3) The visitation provision of a child custody determination of another state by implementing makeup or substitute visitation.

(b) If a court of this state makes an order under subsection (a)(2) or subsection (a)(3), it shall specify in the order a period that it considers adequate to allow the petitioner to obtain an order from a court having jurisdiction under the criteria specified in Article 2. The order remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other court or the period expires.

Section 30-3B-305. Registration of child custody determination.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A child custody determination issued by a court of another state may be registered in this state, with or without a simultaneous request for enforcement, by sending to the appropriate court in this state:

(1) A letter or other document requesting registration;
(2) Two copies, including one certified copy, of the determination sought to be registered, and a statement under penalty of perjury that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person seeking registration the order has not been modified; and
(3) Except as otherwise provided in Section 30-3B-209, the name and address of the person seeking registration and any parent or person acting as a parent who has been awarded custody or visitation in the child custody determination sought to be registered.

(b) On receipt of the documents required by subsection (a), the registering court shall:

(1) Cause the determination to be filed as a foreign judgment, together with one copy of any accompanying documents and information, regardless of their form; and
(2) Serve notice upon the persons named pursuant to subsection (a)(3) and provide them with an opportunity to contest the registration in accordance with this section.

(c) The notice required by subsection (b)(2) must state that:

(1) A registered determination is enforceable as of the date of the registration in the same manner as a determination issued by a court of this state;
(2) A hearing to contest the validity of the registered determination must be requested within 30 days after service of notice; and
(3) Failure to contest the registration will result in confirmation of the child custody determination and preclude further contest of that determination with respect to any matter that could have been asserted.

(d) A person seeking to contest the validity of a registered order must request a hearing within 30 days after service of the notice. At that hearing, the court shall confirm the registered order unless the person contesting registration establishes that:

(1) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Article 2;
(2) The child custody determination sought to be registered has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2; or
(3) The person contesting registration was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of Section 30-3B-108, in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which registration is sought.

(e) If a timely request for a hearing to contest the validity of the registration is not made, the registration is confirmed as a matter of law and the person requesting registration and all persons served must be notified of the confirmation.

(f) Confirmation of a registered order, whether by operation of law or after notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the order with respect to any matter that could have been asserted at the time of registration.

Section 30-3B-306. Enforcement of registered determination.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A court of this state may grant any relief normally available under the law of this state to enforce a registered child custody determination made by a court of another state.

(b) A court of this state shall recognize and enforce, but may not modify, except in accordance with Article 2, a registered child custody determination of a court of another state.

Section 30-3B-307. Simultaneous proceedings.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

If a proceeding for enforcement under this article is commenced in a court of this state and the court determines that a proceeding to modify the determination is pending in a court of another state having jurisdiction to modify the determination under Article 2, the enforcing court shall immediately communicate with the modifying court. The proceeding for enforcement continues unless the enforcing court, after consultation with the modifying court, stays or dismisses the proceeding.

Section 30-3B-308. Expedited enforcement of child custody determination.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A petition under this article must be verified. Certified copies of all orders sought to be enforced and of any order confirming registration must be attached to the petition. A copy of a certified copy of an order may be attached instead of the original.

(b) A petition for enforcement of a child custody determination must state:

(1) Whether the court that issued the determination identified the jurisdictional basis it relied upon in exercising jurisdiction and, if so, what the basis was;
(2) Whether the determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court whose decision must be enforced under this chapter and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;
(3) Whether any proceeding has been commenced that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, and adoptions and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;
(4) The present physical address of the child and the respondent, if known;
(5) Whether relief in addition to the immediate physical custody of the child and attorney’s fees is sought and, if so, the relief sought; and
(6) If the child custody determination has been registered and confirmed under Section 30-3B-305, the date and place of registration.

(c) Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall issue an order directing the respondent to appear in person with or without the child at a hearing and may enter any order necessary to ensure the safety of the parties and the child. The hearing must be held on the next judicial day after service of the order unless that date is impossible. In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the first judicial day possible. The court may extend the date of hearing at the request of the petitioner.

(d) An order issued under subsection (c) must state the time and place of the hearing and advise the respondent that at the hearing the court will order that the petitioner may take immediate physical custody of the child and the payment of fees, costs, and expenses under Section 30-3B-312, and may schedule a hearing to determine whether further relief is appropriate, unless the respondent appears and establishes that:

(1) The child custody determination has not been registered and confirmed under Section 30-3B-305, and that:
a. The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Article 2;
b. The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2;
c. The respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of Section 30-3B-108, in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which enforcement is sought; or
(2) The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought was registered and confirmed under Section 30-3B-304, but has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2.

Section 30-3B-309. Service of petition and order.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Except as otherwise provided in Section 30-3B-311, the petition and order must be served, by any method authorized by the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, upon respondent and any person who has physical custody of the child.

Section 30-3B-310. Hearing and order

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Unless the court issues a temporary emergency order pursuant to Section 30-3B-204, upon a finding that a petitioner is entitled to immediate physical custody of the child, the court shall order that the petitioner may take immediate physical custody of the child unless the respondent establishes that:

(1) The child custody determination has not been registered and confirmed under Section 30-3B-305 and that:
a. The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Article 2;
b. The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2; or
c. The respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of Section 30-3B-108, in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which enforcement is sought; or
(2) The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought was registered and confirmed under Section 30-3B-305, but has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2.

(b) The court may award the fees, costs, and expenses authorized under Section 30-3B-312 and may grant additional relief, and set a further hearing to determine whether additional relief is appropriate.

(c) If a party called to testify refuses to answer on the ground that the testimony may be self-incriminating, the court may draw an adverse inference from the refusal.

(d) A privilege against disclosure of communications between spouses and a defense of immunity based on the relationship of husband and wife or parent and child may not be invoked in a proceeding under this article.

Section 30-3B-311. Warrant to take physical custody of child.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Upon the filing of a petition seeking enforcement of a child custody determination, the petitioner may file a verified application for the issuance of a warrant to take physical custody of the child if the child is imminently likely to suffer serious physical harm or be removed from this state.

(b) If the court, upon the testimony of the petitioner or other witness, finds that the child is imminently likely to suffer serious physical harm or be removed from this state, it may issue a warrant to take physical custody of the child. The petition must be heard within 72 hours after the warrant is executed unless impossible. In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the next judicial day. The application for the warrant must include the statements required by Section 30-3B-308(b).

(c) A warrant to take physical custody of a child must:

(1) Recite the facts upon which a conclusion of imminent serious physical harm or removal from the jurisdiction is based;
(2) Direct law enforcement officers to take physical custody of the child immediately;
(3) Provide for the placement of the child pending final relief; and
(4) Provide the specific facts found by the court that constitute “the exigent circumstances” required under Section 30-3B-311(e) to warrant authorizing the law enforcement officers to make a forcible entry at any hour.

(d) The respondent must be served with the petition, warrant, and order immediately after the child is taken into physical custody.

(e) A warrant to take physical custody of a child is enforceable throughout this state. If the court finds on the basis of the testimony of the petitioner or other witness that a less intrusive remedy is not effective, it may authorize law enforcement officers to enter private property to take physical custody of the child. If required by exigent circumstances of the case, the court may authorize law enforcement officers to make a forcible entry at any hour.

(f) The court may impose conditions upon placement of a child to ensure the appearance of the child and the child’s custodian.

Section 30-3B-312. Costs, fees, and expenses.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) The court may award any party, including a state, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by or on behalf of the party, including costs, communication expenses, attorney’s fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses, and child care during the course of the proceedings.

(b) The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against a state unless authorized by law other than this chapter.

Section 30-3B-313. Recognition and enforcement.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

A court of this state shall accord full faith and credit to an order issued by another state and consistent with this chapter which enforces a child custody determination by a court of another state unless the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2.

Section 30-3B-314. Appeals

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

An appeal may be taken from a final order in a proceeding under this article in accordance with Alabama law. Unless the court enters a temporary emergency order under Section 30-3B-204, the enforcing court may not stay an order enforcing a child custody determination pending appeal.

Article 4. Miscellaneous Provisions.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 30-3B-401. Application and construction.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

In applying and construing this chapter, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

Section 30-3B-402. Severability clause.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

Section 30-3B-403. Effective date.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

This chapter takes effect January 1, 2000.

Section 30-3B-404. Repeals.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Effective January 1, 2000, the following sections and all amendments thereto and all other sections and parts of sections of this code inconsistent herewith are repealed: the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act located at Sections 30-3-20 through 30-3-44. No actions may be filed under the repealed provisions after December 31, 1999.

Section 30-3B-405. Transitional provision.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

A motion or other request for relief made in a child custody proceeding or to enforce a child custody determination which was commenced before January 1, 2000, is governed by the law in effect at the time the motion or other request was made.

Chapter 5. Protection from Abuse.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 30-5-1. Short title; construction; purposes.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) This chapter shall be known as and may be cited as the Protection From Abuse Act.

(b) This chapter shall be liberally construed and applied to promote all of the following purposes:

(1) To assure victims of domestic violence the maximum protection from abuse that the law can provide.

(2) To create a flexible and speedy remedy to discourage violence and harassment against family members or others with whom the perpetrator has continuing contact.

(3) To expand the ability of law enforcement officers to assist victims, to enforce the law effectively in cases of domestic violence, and to prevent further incidents of abuse.

(4) To facilitate equal enforcement of criminal law by deterring and punishing violence against family members and others who are personally involved with the perpetrators.

(5) To recognize that domestic violence is a crime that will not be excused or tolerated.

(6) To provide for protection orders to prevent domestic violence and provide for court jurisdiction and venue; to provide for court hearing for petitions for relief; and to provide for the contents and the issuance of protection orders.

Section 30-5-2. Definitions.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

In this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) ABUSE. An act committed against a victim, which is any of the following:

a. Arson. Arson as defined under Sections 13A-7-40 to 13A-7-43, inclusive.

b. Assault. Assault as defined under Sections 13A-6-20 to 13A-6-22, inclusive.

c. Attempt. Attempt as defined under Section 13A-4-2.

d. Child Abuse. Torture or willful abuse of a child, aggravated child abuse, or chemical endangerment of a child as provided in Chapter 15, commencing with Section 26-15-1, of Title 26, known as the Alabama Child Abuse Act.

e. Criminal Coercion. Criminal coercion as defined under Section 13A-6-25.

f. Criminal Trespass. Criminal trespass as defined under Sections 13A-7-2 to 13A-7-4.1, inclusive.

g. Harassment. Harassment as defined under Section 13A-11-8.

h. Kidnapping. Kidnapping as defined under Sections 13A-6-43 and 13A-6-44.

i. Menacing. Menacing as defined under Section 13A-6-23.

j. Other Conduct. Any other conduct directed toward a plaintiff covered by this chapter that could be punished as a criminal act under the laws of this state.

k. Reckless Endangerment. Reckless endangerment as defined under Section 13A-6-24.

l. Sexual Abuse. Any sexual offenses included in Article 4, commencing with Section 13A-6-60, of Chapter 6 of Title 13A.

m. Stalking. Stalking as defined under Sections 13A-6-90 to 13A-6-94, inclusive.

n. Theft. Theft as defined under Sections 13A-8-1 to 13A-8-5, inclusive.

o. Unlawful Imprisonment. Unlawful imprisonment as defined under Sections 13A-6-41 and 13A-6-42.

(2) COURT. A circuit court judge, a district court judge appointed as a special circuit court judge pursuant to law or a district court judge designated by a written standing order from the presiding circuit court judge to handle protection from abuse cases.

(3) DATING RELATIONSHIP. A relationship or former relationship of a romantic or intimate nature characterized by the expectation of affectionate or sexual involvement by either party.

a. A dating relationship includes the period of engagement to be married.

b. A dating relationship does not include a casual or business relationship or a relationship that ended more than 12 months prior to the filing of the petition for a protection order.

(4) PLAINTIFF. An individual who has standing to file a petition under Section 30-5-5.

(5) PROTECTION ORDER. Any order of protection from abuse issued under this chapter for the purpose of preventing acts of abuse as defined in this chapter.

(6) THREAT. Any word or action, expressed or implied, made to cause the plaintiff to fear for his or her safety or for the safety of another person.

(7) VICTIM. An individual who is related in any of the following ways to the person who commits an act of abuse:

a. Has a current or former marriage, including common law marriage, with the defendant.

b. Has a child in common with the defendant regardless of whether the victim and defendant have ever been married and regardless of whether they are currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same household.

c. Has or had a dating relationship with the defendant. A dating relationship does not include a casual or business relationship or a relationship that ended more than 12 months prior to the filing of the petition for a protection order.

d. Is a current or former household member. For purposes of this chapter, a household member excludes non-romantic or non-intimate co-residents.

e. A relative of a current or former household member as defined in paragraph d. who also lived with the defendant.

f. An individual who is a parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild.

Section 30-5-3. Jurisdiction; how order may be obtained; venue; when final order not issued; residency.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) The courts, as provided in this chapter, shall have jurisdiction to issue protection orders.

(b) A protection order may be requested in any pending civil or domestic relations action, as an independent civil action, or in conjunction with the preliminary, final, or post-judgment relief in a civil action.

(c) A petition for a protection order may be filed in any of the following locations:

(1) Where the plaintiff or defendant resides.

(2) Where the plaintiff is temporarily located if he or she has left his or her residence to avoid further abuse.

(3) Where the abuse occurred.

(4) Where a civil matter is pending before the court in which the plaintiff and the defendant are opposing parties.

(d) When custody, visitation, or support, or a combination of them, of a child or children has been established in a previous court order in this state, or an action containing any of the issues above is pending in a court in this state in which the plaintiff and the defendant are opposing parties, a copy of any temporary ex parte protection order issued pursuant to this chapter and the case giving rise thereto should be transferred to the court of original venue of custody, visitation, or support for further disposition as soon as practical taking into account the safety of the plaintiff and any children.

(e) A minimum period of residency of a plaintiff is not required to petition the court for an order of protection.

Section 30-5-4. Remedies and relief; duty to inform court of pending proceedings, litigation, etc.; previous court orders; issuance of orders.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) The plaintiff’s right to relief under this chapter shall not be affected by his or her leaving the residence or household to avoid further abuse.

(b) At any hearing in a proceeding to obtain a protection order, each party has a continuing duty to inform the court of each pending proceeding in this state or any other state for a protection order, any pending civil litigation in this state or any other state, each pending proceeding in any family or juvenile court of this state or any other state, each pending criminal case involving the parties in this state or any other state, and any existing child custody or support order, including the case name, the file number, and the county and state of the proceeding, if that information is known to the party.

(c) The remedies and procedures provided in this chapter are in addition to and not in lieu of any other available civil or criminal remedies. Plaintiffs shall not be barred from relief under this chapter because of other proceedings or judgments involving the parties in a court of this state or any other state.

(d) If child custody, visitation, or support have been ordered previously by a court of this state or any other state prior to the filing of an action under this chapter, the terms of the previous court order concerning these matters may be incorporated into a protection order as long as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, Chapter 3B, and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, Chapter 3A, are followed if an order was issued in another state.

(e) Any protection order issued in this state pursuant to this chapter shall be effective throughout this state.

(f) Any protection order issued by the court of another state shall be accorded full faith and credit and enforced as if it were an order of this state.

Section 30-5-5. Petitions, motions, etc. - Filing, forms, contents, costs.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) The following persons have standing to file a sworn petition for a protection order under this chapter as a plaintiff:

(1) A person who is at least 18 years old or is otherwise emancipated and is the victim of abuse, as defined in Section 30-5-2, or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of abuse.

(2) A parent, legal guardian, next friend, court-appointed guardian ad litem, or the State Department of Human Resources may petition for relief on behalf of the following:

a. A minor child.

b. Any person prevented by physical or mental incapacity from seeking a protection order.

(b) Standardized petitions for actions pursuant to this chapter shall be made available through the circuit clerks’ offices around the state. The circuit clerk shall not provide assistance to persons in completing the forms or in presenting their case to the court.

(c) A sworn petition shall allege the incidents of abuse, the specific facts and circumstances that form the basis upon which relief is sought, and that the plaintiff genuinely fears subsequent acts of abuse by the defendant.

(d) The court shall not enter mutual orders. The court shall issue separate orders that specifically and independently state the prohibited behavior and relief granted in order to protect the victim and the victim’s immediate family and to clearly provide law enforcement with sufficient directives.

(e) Any plaintiff who files a petition under this chapter may do so through an attorney or may represent himself or herself throughout the legal process outlined in this chapter, including, but not limited to, the filing of pleadings, motions, and any other legal documents with any court, and the appearance in ex parte and formal court proceedings on his or her behalf.

(f)(1) The following information shall not be contained on any court document made available to the public and the defendant by the circuit clerk’s office: The plaintiff’s home address and, if applicable, business address; a plaintiff’s home telephone number and, if applicable, business telephone number; the home or business address or telephone number of any member of the plaintiff’s family or household; or an address that would reveal the confidential location of a shelter for victims of domestic violence as defined in Section 30-6-1.

(2) If disclosure of the plaintiff’s address, the address of any member of the plaintiff’s family or household, or an address that would reveal the confidential location of a shelter for victims of domestic violence is necessary to determine jurisdiction or to consider a venue issue, it shall be made orally and in camera.

(3) If the plaintiff has not disclosed an address or telephone number under this section, the plaintiff shall satisfy one of the following requirements:

a. Designate and provide to the court an alternative address.

b. Elect to substitute the business address and telephone number of his or her attorney of record in place of the address of the plaintiff on any court document.

(g) No court costs and fees shall be assessed for the filing and service of a petition for a protection order, for the issuance or registration of a protection order, or for the issuance of a witness subpoena under this chapter. Costs and fees may be assessed against the defendant at the discretion of the court.

Section 30-5-6. Hearing on petition; right to counsel; temporary orders.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) The court shall hold a hearing after the filing of a petition under this chapter upon the request of the defendant or within 10 days of the perfection of service. A final hearing shall be set at which the standard of proof shall be a preponderance of the evidence. If the defendant has not been served, a final hearing may be continued to allow for service to be perfected.

(b) The court may enter such temporary ex parte protection orders as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff or children from abuse, or the immediate and present danger of abuse to the plaintiff or children, upon good cause shown. The court shall grant or deny a petition for a temporary ex parte protection order filed under this chapter within three business days of the filing of the petition. Any granted temporary ex parte protection order shall be effective until the final hearing date.

(c) If a final hearing under subsection (a) is continued, the court may make or extend temporary ex parte protection orders under subsection (b) as it deems reasonably necessary.

Section 30-5-7. Orders for protection or modification - Authorized, issuance, relief, time, amendment, etc.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) If it appears from a petition for a protection order or a petition to modify a protection order that abuse has occurred or from a petition for a modification of a protection order that a modification is warranted, the court may do any of the following:

(1) Without notice or hearing, immediately issue an ex parte protection order or modify an ex parte protection order as it deems necessary.

(2) After providing notice as required by the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, issue a final protection order or modify a protection order after a hearing whether or not the defendant appears.

(b) A court may grant any of the following relief without notice and a hearing in an ex parte protection order or an ex parte modification of a protection order:

(1) Enjoin the defendant from threatening to commit or committing acts of abuse, as defined in this chapter, against the plaintiff or children of the plaintiff, and any other person designated by the court.

(2)a. Restrain and enjoin the defendant from harassing, stalking, annoying, threatening, or engaging in conduct that would place the plaintiff, minors, children of the plaintiff, or any other person designated by the court in reasonable fear of bodily injury or from contacting the plaintiff or children of the plaintiff.

b. For the purposes of this subdivision, contacting includes, but is not limited to, communicating with the victim verbally or in any written form, either in person, telephonically, electronically, or in any other manner, either directly or indirectly through a third person.

(3) Restrain and enjoin the defendant from having physical or violent contact with the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s property, or from going within a minimum of 300 feet of the plaintiff’s residence, even if the residence is shared with the defendant, school, or place of employment of the plaintiff, any children, or any other person designated by the court, or order the defendant to stay away from any specified place frequented by the plaintiff, any children, or any person designated by the court where the court determines the defendant has no legitimate reason to frequent.

(4) Award temporary custody of any children of the parties.

(5) Enjoin the defendant from interfering with the plaintiff’s efforts to remove any children of the plaintiff or from removing any children from the jurisdiction of the court, and direct the appropriate law enforcement officer to accompany the plaintiff during the effort to remove any children of the plaintiff as necessary to protect the plaintiff or any children from abuse or child abuse.

(6) Enjoin the defendant from removing any children from the individual having legal custody of the children, except as subsequently authorized by a custody or visitation order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(7) Remove and exclude the defendant from the residence of the plaintiff, regardless of ownership of the residence.

(8) Order possession and use of an automobile and other essential personal effects, regardless of ownership, and direct the appropriate law enforcement officer to accompany the plaintiff to the residence of the parties or to other specified locations as necessary to protect the plaintiff or any children from abuse.

(9) Order other relief as it deems necessary to provide for the safety and welfare of the plaintiff or any children and any person designated by the court.

(10) Prohibit the defendant from transferring, concealing, encumbering, or otherwise disposing of specified property mutually owned or leased by the parties.

(c) The court may grant any of the following relief in a final protection order or a modification of a protection order after notice and a hearing, whether or not the defendant appears:

(1) Grant the relief available in subsection (b).

(2) Specify arrangements for visitation of any children by the defendant on a basis that gives primary consideration to the safety of the plaintiff or any children, or both, and require supervision by a third party or deny visitation if necessary to protect the safety of the plaintiff or any children, or both.

(3) Order the defendant to pay attorney’s fees and court costs.

(4) When the defendant has a duty to support the plaintiff or any children living in the residence or household and the defendant is the sole owner or lessee, grant to the plaintiff possession of the residence or household to the exclusion of the defendant by evicting the defendant or restoring possession to the plaintiff, or both, or by consent agreement allowing the defendant to provide suitable alternate housing.

(5) Order the defendant to pay temporary reasonable support for the plaintiff or any children in the plaintiff’s custody, or both, when the defendant has a legal obligation to support such persons. The amount of temporary support awarded shall be in accordance with Child Support Guidelines found in Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration.

(6) Order the defendant to provide temporary possession of a vehicle to the plaintiff, if the plaintiff has no other means of transportation of his or her own and the defendant either has control of more than one vehicle or has alternate means of transportation.

(d)(1) Any temporary ex parte order issued pursuant to this chapter shall remain in effect as provided in Section 30-5-6. While the final protection order is in effect, the court may amend its order at any time upon subsequent petition being filed by either party and a hearing held pursuant to this chapter.

(2) Any final protection order is of permanent duration unless otherwise specified or modified by a subsequent court order.

(e) No order or agreement under this chapter shall in any manner affect title to any real property, except final subsequent proceedings available by law.

(f) A temporary or final judgment on a protective order entered pursuant to this section shall indicate all of the following:

(1) That the injunction is valid and enforceable in all counties in the state.

(2) That law enforcement officers may use their arrest powers pursuant to Section 15-10-3 to enforce the terms of the injunction.

(3) That the court had jurisdiction over the parties and matter under the laws of the state and that reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard was given to the person against whom the order is sought sufficient to protect that person’s right to due process.

Section 30-5-8. Copies of order issued to certain persons; notice of penalties on order.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a)(1) A copy of any notice of hearing or any protection order under this chapter shall be sent to the plaintiff within 24 hours of issuance, provided the plaintiff provides the court with current and accurate contact information, and to the law enforcement officials with jurisdiction over the residence of the plaintiff. The clerk of the court may furnish a certified copy of the notice of final hearing or protection order, if any, electronically.

(2) A copy of the petition and ex parte protection order, if issued, under this chapter shall be served upon the defendant as soon as possible pursuant to Rule 4 of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure. A copy of the notice of final hearing and any other order under this chapter shall be issued to the defendant as soon as possible.

(3) Certain information in these cases shall be entered in the Protection Order Registry of the Administrative Office of Courts and shall be electronically transmitted by the Administrative Office of Courts to the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency for entry into the Law Enforcement Tactical System and into the National Crime Information Center as approved by the Alabama Justice Information Commission. The information shall include, but is not limited to, information as to the existence and status of any protection orders for verification purposes.

(b) Ex parte and final protection orders shall be in a format as provided by the Administrative Office of Courts. If a court wishes to provide additional information in these standardized court orders, the court may attach additional pages containing this additional information.

(c) Within 24 hours after receiving proof of service of process of the petition and ex parte order, if issued, the clerk of court shall enter the service date into the Protection Order Registry of the Administrative Office of Courts and the information shall be electronically transmitted by the Administrative Office of Courts to the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency. The Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency shall enter the information into the Law Enforcement Tactical System and into the National Crime Information Center as approved by the Alabama Justice Information Commission.

(d) If a court vacates or modifies a protection order, the order shall be sent within 24 hours to the plaintiff, provided that the plaintiff provides the court with current and accurate contact information, to the defendant, and to the law enforcement officials where the victim resides.

(e)(1) The Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency shall develop an automated process by which a plaintiff may request notification of service of the ex parte protection order and other court actions related to the protection order as determined and approved by the Alabama Justice Information Commission. The automated notice shall be made within 12 hours after a law enforcement officer serves an ex parte protection order upon the defendant. The notification shall include, at a minimum, the date, time, and where the protection order was served. The information identifying the plaintiff referenced under subdivision (2) shall be exempt from public records requirements in Section 36-12-40.

(2) Upon implementation of the automated process, information held by the clerks and law enforcement agencies in conjunction with this process that reveals a home or employment telephone number, cellular telephone number, home or employment address, electronic mail address, or other electronic means of identification of a plaintiff requesting notification of service of a protection order or other court actions is exempt from Section 36-12-40. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, any state or federal agency that is authorized to have access to such information by any provision of law shall be granted access in the furtherance of the agency’s statutory duties.

Section 30-5-11. Construction of chapter.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

The provisions of this chapter are supplemental and shall be construed in pari materia with other laws relating to civil and criminal procedure; provided, however, those laws or parts of laws which are in direct conflict or inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.

Chapter 5A. Family Violence Protection Order Enforcement Act.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 30-5A-5. Lack of knowledge of order by defendant.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Lack of knowledge by the defendant of the order which was violated shall be an affirmative defense to conviction for violating this chapter at trial only, but shall not affect the determination of the arresting officer in deciding to arrest. Nothing in this section shall change the burden of proof required in a criminal prosecution.

Section 30-5A-6. Authority to enforce orders through contempt proceedings not diminished.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to diminish the inherent authority of the courts to enforce their lawful orders through civil or criminal contempt proceedings.

Section 30-5A-7. Chapter to be construed in pari materia with certain laws.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

The provisions of this chapter shall be construed in pari materia with all laws which relate to punishment and sentences for any civil or criminal offense, including, but not limited to, contempt of court, domestic abuse, child abuse, family abuse, or juvenile abuse, and the punishment and sentences provided in Chapter 5 of Title 13A. All laws which otherwise conflict with this chapter are repealed only to the extent of the conflict.

Chapter 5B. Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Section 30-5B-1. Short title.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

This chapter may be cited as the Alabama Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.

Section 30-5B-2. Definitions.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

As used in this chapter, the following words have the following meanings:
(1) Court. A circuit or district court authorized by statute to issue or modify a protective order.
(2) Foreign protection order. A protection order issued by a tribunal of another state.
(3) Issuing state. The state whose tribunal issues a protection order.
(4) Mutual foreign protection order. A foreign protection order that includes provisions in favor of both the protected individual seeking enforcement of the order and the respondent.
(5) Protected individual. An individual protected by a protection order.
(6) Protection order. An injunction or other order, issued by a tribunal under the domestic violence or family violence laws of the issuing state, to prevent an individual from engaging in violent or threatening acts against, harassment of, contact or communication with, or physical proximity to, another individual.
(7) Respondent. The individual against whom enforcement of a protection order is sought.
(8) State. A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes an Indian tribe or band that has jurisdiction to issue protection orders.
(9) Tribunal. A court, agency, or other entity authorized by law to issue or modify a protection order.

Section 30-5B-3. Judicial enforcement of order.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A person authorized by the law of this state to seek enforcement of a protection order may seek enforcement of a valid foreign protection order in a court of this state. The court shall enforce the terms of the order, including terms that provide relief that a court of this state would lack power to provide but for this section. The court shall enforce the order, whether the order was obtained by independent action or in another proceeding, if it is an order issued in response to a complaint, petition, or motion filed by or on behalf of an individual seeking protection. In a proceeding to enforce a foreign protection order, the court shall follow the procedures of this state for the enforcement of protection orders.
(b) A court of this state may not enforce a foreign protection order issued by a tribunal of a state that does not recognize the standing of a protected individual to seek enforcement of the order.
(c) A court of this state shall enforce the provisions of a valid foreign protection order which govern custody and visitation, if the order was issued in accordance with the jurisdictional requirements governing the issuance of custody and visitation orders in the issuing state.
(d) A court of this state may not enforce under this chapter a provision of a foreign protection order with respect to support.
(e) A foreign protection order is valid if it meets all of the following criteria:
(1) Identifies the protected individual and the respondent.
(2) Is currently in effect.
(3) Was issued by a tribunal that had jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter under the law of the issuing state.
(4) Was issued after the respondent was given reasonable notice and had an opportunity to be heard before the tribunal that issued the order or, in the case of an order ex parte, the respondent was given notice and had an opportunity to be heard within a reasonable time after the order was issued, consistent with the rights of the respondent to due process.
(f) A foreign protection order valid on its face is prima facie evidence of its validity.
(g) Absence of any of the criteria for validity of a foreign protection order is an affirmative defense in an action seeking enforcement of the order.
(h) A court of this state may enforce provisions of a mutual foreign protection order which favor a respondent only if both of the following criteria are met:
(1) The respondent filed a written pleading seeking a protection order from the tribunal of the issuing state.
(2) The tribunal of the issuing state made specific findings in favor of the respondent.

Section 30-5B-4. Nonjudicial enforcement of order.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) A law enforcement officer of this state, upon determining that there is probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protection order exists and that the order has been violated, shall enforce the order as if it were the order of a court of this state. Presentation of a protection order that identifies both the protected individual and the respondent and, on its face, is currently in effect constitutes probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protection order exists. For the purposes of this section, the protection order may be inscribed on a tangible medium or may have been stored in an electronic or other medium if it is retrievable in perceivable form. Presentation of a certified copy of a protection order is not required for enforcement.
(b) If a foreign protection order is not presented, a law enforcement officer of this state may consider other information in determining whether there is probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protection order exists.
(c) If a law enforcement officer of this state determines that an otherwise valid foreign protection order cannot be enforced because the respondent has not been notified or served with the order, the officer shall inform the respondent of the order, and allow the respondent a reasonable opportunity to comply with the order before enforcing the order.
(d) Registration or filing of an order in this state is not required for the enforcement of a valid foreign protection order pursuant to this chapter.

Section 30-5B-5. Registration of order.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) Any individual may register a foreign protection order in this state. To register a foreign protection order, an individual shall present a certified copy of the order to any circuit or district court clerk in the state and complete an affidavit as provided in subsection (d).
(b) The court clerk shall enter, as expeditiously as possible, all necessary information into the State Judicial Information System which shall be electronically transmitted by the Administrative Office of Courts to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information System. After the order is registered, a copy of the order stamped filed by the court clerk shall be provided by the clerk’s office to the person registering the order.
(c) The Criminal Justice Information Center, as Alabama’s central registry of protection orders, shall enter, as expeditiously as possible, an order upon electronic submission from the State Judicial Information System of information concerning a valid protection order filed with a circuit or district court clerk. The Criminal Justice Information Center shall correct inaccurate information upon receipt of notice of inaccuracies or corrections, and shall remove from the registry protection orders not currently in effect.
(d) An individual registering a foreign protection order shall file an affidavit by the protected individual stating that, to the best of the protected individual’s knowledge, the order is currently in effect.
(e) A foreign protection order registered under this chapter shall be entered by the State Judicial Information System, Criminal Justice Information System, and the National Crime Information Center in any existing state or federal registry of protection orders, in accordance with applicable law.
(f) A fee may not be charged for the registration of a foreign protection order.

Section 30-5B-6. Immunity.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

In the absence of negligence, or wantonness, or willful misconduct, this state or a local governmental agency, or a law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney, clerk of court, or any state or local governmental official acting in an official capacity, is immune from civil and criminal liability for an act or omission arising out of the registration or enforcement of a foreign protection order or the detention or arrest of an alleged violator of a foreign protection order if the act or omission was done in an effort to comply with this chapter.

Section 30-5B-7. Other remedies.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

A protected individual who pursues remedies under this chapter is not precluded from pursuing other legal or equitable remedies against the respondent.

Section 30-5B-8. Uniformity of application and construction.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

In applying and construing this uniform act, consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

Section 30-5B-9. Severability clause.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

Section 30-5B-10. Transitional provision.

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

This chapter applies to protection orders issued before January 1, 2004, and to continuing actions for enforcement of foreign protection orders commenced before January 1, 2004. A request for enforcement of a foreign protection order made on or after January 1, 2004, for violations of a foreign protection order occurring before January 1, 2004, is governed by this chapter.

Title 38. Public Welfare

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

Chapter 9. Protection of Aged Adults and Adults with a Disability

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

38-9-2. Definitions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) ABUSE. The infliction of physical pain, injury, or the willful deprivation by a caregiver or other person of services necessary to maintain mental and physical health.

(2) ADULT IN NEED OF PROTECTIVE SERVICES. A person 18 years of age or older whose behavior indicates that he or she is mentally incapable of adequately caring for himself or herself and his or her interests without serious consequences to himself or herself or others, or who, because of physical or mental impairment, is unable to protect himself or herself from abuse, neglect, exploitation, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse by others, and who has no guardian, relative, or other appropriate person able, willing, and available to assume the kind and degree of protection and supervision required under the circumstances.

(3) CAREGIVER. An individual who has the responsibility for the care of a protected person as a result of family relationship or who has assumed the responsibility for the care of the person voluntarily, by contract, or as a result of the ties of friendship.

(4) COURT. The circuit court.

(5) DEPARTMENT. The Department of Human Resources of the State of Alabama.

(6) EMOTIONAL ABUSE. The willful or reckless infliction of emotional or mental anguish or the use of a physical or chemical restraint, medication, or isolation as punishment or as a substitute for treatment or care of any protected person.

(7) EMPLOYEE OF A NURSING HOME. A person permitted to perform work in a nursing home by the nursing home administrator or by a person or an entity with an ownership interest in the facility, or by both. A person shall be considered an employee whether or not he or she receives compensation for the work performed.

(8) EXPLOITATION. The expenditure, diminution, or use of the property, assets, or resources of a protected person without the express voluntary consent of that person or his or her legally authorized representative or the admission of or provision of care to a protected person who needs to be in the care of a licensed hospital by an unlicensed hospital after a court order obtained by the State Board of Health has directed closure of the unlicensed hospital. For the purpose of this section and Sections 38-9-6 and 38-9-7, the term “unlicensed hospital” shall have the meaning ascribed to it in Section 22-21-33, and the term “licensed hospital” shall have the meaning ascribed to it in Section 22-21-20.

(9) INTENTIONALLY. A person acts intentionally with respect to a result or to conduct described by a statute defining an offense, when his or her purpose is to cause that result or to engage in that conduct.

(10) INTERESTED PERSON. Any adult relative, friend, or guardian of a protected person, or any official or representative of a public or private agency, corporation, or association concerned with his or her welfare.

(11) MISAPPROPRIATION OF PROPERTY OF A NURSING HOME RESIDENT. The deliberate misplacement or wrongful, temporary, or permanent use or withholding of belongings or money of a resident of a nursing home without the consent of the resident.

(12) NEGLECT. The failure of a caregiver to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical services, or health care for the person unable to care for himself or herself; or the failure of the person to provide these basic needs for himself or herself when the failure is the result of the person’s mental or physical inability.

(13) NEURODEGENERATIVE. Relating to or being a progressive loss of neurologic function.

(14) NURSING FACILITY. A facility which is licensed as a nursing home by the Alabama Department of Public Health pursuant to Article 2, Chapter 21, Title 22.

(15) OTHER LIKE INCAPACITIES. Those conditions incurred as the result of accident or mental or physical illness, producing a condition which substantially impairs an individual from adequately providing for his or her own care or protecting his or her own interests or protecting himself or herself from physical or mental injury or abuse.

(16) PERSON. Any natural human being.

(17) PHYSICAL INJURY. Impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.

(18) PROTECTED PERSON. Any person over 18 years of age subject to protection under this chapter or any person, including, but not limited to, persons with a neurodegenerative disease, persons with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities, or any person over 18 years of age that is mentally or physically incapable of adequately caring for himself or herself and his or her interests without serious consequences to himself or herself or others.

(19) PROTECTIVE SERVICES. Those services whose objective is to protect an incapacitated person from himself or herself and from others.

(20) RECKLESSLY. A person acts recklessly with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he or she is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk shall be of such nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates a risk but is unaware of that risk solely by reason of voluntary intoxication, as defined in subdivision (e)(2) of Section 13A-3-2, acts recklessly with respect thereto.

(21) SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY. Physical injury which creates a risk of death, or which causes serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health, protracted loss of the function of any bodily organ, or the impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

(22) SEXUAL ABUSE. Any conduct that is a crime as defined in Sections 13A-6-60 to 13A-6-70, inclusive.

Chapter 9F. Elder Abuse Protection Order and Enforcement Act

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

38-9F-3. Definitions

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

For purposes of this chapter the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) CAREGIVER. The term as defined in Section 13A-6-191.

(2) ELDER ABUSE. The commission of any of the following acts or the intent to commit any of the following acts against an elderly person:

a. Abuse, as defined in Section 38-9-2.

b. Arson, as defined in Sections 13A-7-40 to 13A-7-43, inclusive.

c. Assault, as defined in Sections 13A-6-20 to 13A-6-22, inclusive.

d. Criminal coercion, as defined in Section 13A-6-25.

e. Criminal trespass as defined in Sections 13A-7-2 to 13A-7-4.1, inclusive.

f. Emotional abuse, as defined in Section 13A-6-191.

g. Financial exploitation, as defined in Sections 13A-6-191 and 8-6-171.

h. Harassment, as defined in Section 13A-11-8.

i. Kidnapping, as defined in Sections 13A-6-43 and 13A-6-44.

j. Menacing, as defined in Section 13A-6-23.

k. Reckless endangerment, as defined in Section 13A-6-24.

l. Sexual abuse, as defined as any of the acts in Sections 13A-6-60 to 13A-6-68.

m. Stalking, as defined in Sections 13A-6-90 to 13A-6-91.1, inclusive.

n. Theft, as defined in Sections 13A-8-2 to 13A-8-5, inclusive.

o. Unlawful imprisonment, as defined in Sections 13A-6-41 and 13A-6-42.

(3) ELDER ABUSE PROTECTION ORDER or PROTECTION ORDER. An order issued pursuant to this chapter including all of the following:

a. A restraining order, injunctive order, or order of release from custody issued by a circuit, district, municipal, or probate court that seeks to protect an elderly person.

b. An order issued by a circuit, district, or municipal court that places conditions on the pre-trial release of a defendant in a criminal case, which may include provisions of bail pursuant to Section 15-13-190 that seeks to protect an elderly person.

(4) ELDERLY PERSON. A person 60 years of age or older.

(5) PLAINTIFF. An elderly person in need of protection from elder abuse.

(6) THREAT. Any word or action, expressed or implied, made to cause a plaintiff to fear for his or her safety or for the safety of another person.

(7) VIOLATION. The knowing commission of any act or conduct prohibited by an elder abuse protection order or any willful failure to abide by its terms.

38-9F-4. Issuance of elder abuse protection orders

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) The following courts shall have jurisdiction to issue elder abuse protection orders under this chapter:

(1) Circuit courts.

(2) A special circuit court judge appointed pursuant to Section 12-1-14 or 12-1-14.1.

(3) A district court judge designated by a written standing order from the presiding circuit court judge.

(b) An elder abuse protection order may be requested in any pending civil or domestic relations action, as an independent civil action, or in connection with the preliminary, final, or post-judgment relief in a civil action.

(c) A petition for an elder abuse protection order may be filed in any of the following locations:

(1) Where the plaintiff or defendant resides.

(2) Where the plaintiff is temporarily located if he or she has left his or her residence to avoid further abuse.

(3) Where the abuse occurred.

(d) There is no minimum period of residence for the plaintiff in the State of Alabama or in the county in which a case is filed.

(e) An elder abuse protection order shall be a status order that is specifically designed to protect the elderly person, and in personam jurisdiction over the defendant shall not be required in order to issue an ex parte or final order under this chapter.

38-9F-7. Hearing; temporary ex parte protection orders

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) The court shall hold a hearing after the filing of a petition under this chapter upon the request of the defendant or within 10 days of the perfection of service. A final hearing shall be set at which the standard of proof shall be a preponderance of the evidence. If the defendant has not been served, a final hearing may be continued to allow for service to be perfected.

(b) The court may enter such temporary ex parte protection orders as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff from abuse. The court shall grant or deny a petition for a temporary ex parte protection order filed under this chapter within three business days of the filing of the petition. Any granted temporary ex parte protection order shall be effective until the final hearing date.

(c) If a final hearing under subsection (a) is continued, the court may make or extend temporary ex parte protection orders under subsection (b) as it deems reasonably necessary.

38-9F-8. Ex parte relief

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) If it appears from a petition for an elder abuse protection order or a petition to modify an elder abuse protection order that elder abuse has occurred or a modification is warranted, the court may do either of the following:

(1) Without notice or hearing, immediately issue an ex parte elder abuse protection order or modify an ex parte elder abuse protection order as it deems necessary.

(2) After providing notice as required by the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, issue an elder abuse protection order or modify an elder abuse protection order after a hearing whether or not the defendant appears.

(b) Based upon a risk of imminent potential harm to the plaintiff, a court may grant one or more of the following ex parte forms of relief without prior notice to the defendant or a hearing:

(1) Enjoin the defendant from threatening to commit or committing acts of elder abuse against the plaintiff and any other individual designated by the court.

(2) Restrain and enjoin the defendant from harassing, stalking, annoying, telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating, either directly or indirectly, with the plaintiff or threatening or engaging in conduct that would place the plaintiff or any other individual designated by the court in reasonable fear of bodily injury.

(3) Order the defendant to stay away from the plaintiff’s residence, place of employment, or any specified place frequented by the plaintiff that the defendant has no legitimate reason to frequent.

(4) Remove and exclude the defendant from the residence of the plaintiff, regardless of ownership of the residence.

(5) Order possession and use of an automobile or other essential personal effects, regardless of ownership, and direct the appropriate law enforcement officer to accompany the plaintiff to the residence of the plaintiff or other specified locations as necessary to protect the plaintiff from abuse.

(6) Prohibit the defendant from transferring, concealing, encumbering, or otherwise disposing of specified property mutually owned or leased by the parties or in which the plaintiff had an ownership interest within the last 12 months.

(7) Prohibit the defendant from transferring the funds, benefits, property, resources, belongings, or assets of the plaintiff to any person other than the plaintiff.

(8) Direct the defendant to refrain from exercising control over the funds, benefits, property, resources, belongings, or assets of the plaintiff.

(9) Require the defendant to provide an accounting of the disposition of the plaintiff’s income and other resources, and of the plaintiff’s debts and expenses.

(10) Restrain the defendant from exercising any powers the defendant has been granted as the plaintiff’s agent under power of attorney.

(11) Require the defendant to comply with the instructions of the plaintiff’s guardian, conservator, or agent under power of attorney.

(12) Order other relief as it deems necessary to provide for the safety and welfare of the plaintiff and any individual designated by the court.

(c) The court may grant one or more of the following forms of relief in a final order after notice and hearing:

(1) Grant the relief available in subsection (b).

(2) Require the defendant to return custody or control of the funds, benefits, property, resources, belongings, or assets to the plaintiff.

(3) Order restitution.

(4) Prohibit the defendant from possessing a firearm or other weapon specified by the court, except when the weapon is necessary for employment as a law enforcement officer or military personnel.

(5) Order the defendant to pay attorneys’ fees and court costs.

(d) Any temporary ex parte protection order issued pursuant to this chapter shall remain in effect until the final order is entered.

(e) Any final elder abuse protection order shall be of permanent duration unless otherwise specified by the court.

(f) An elder abuse protection order may not affect in any manner title to real property.

38-9F-6. Sworn petition for relief on behalf of elderly person

Updated: 
January 6, 2020

(a) If a plaintiff lacks the physical or mental capacity to seek protection for himself or herself, the following may file a sworn petition for relief on behalf of the plaintiff:

(1) A court appointed guardian. The petition must include a copy of the court order appointing the petitioner as the plaintiff’s guardian.

(2) A court appointed conservator. The petition must include a copy of the court order appointing the petitioner as the plaintiff’s conservator.

(3) A temporary guardian appointed pursuant to Section 26-2A-107. The petition must include a copy of the court order appointing the petitioner as the plaintiff’s temporary guardian.

(4) An agent, co-agent, or successor agent appointed under the plaintiff’s validly executed power of attorney who acts within the authority of the power of attorney. The petition shall include a copy of the power of attorney.

(5) A health care proxy appointed under the plaintiff’s validly executed Advance Directive for Health Care, or similar document, who acts within the authority of the designation. The petition shall include a copy of the Advance Directive for Health Care or similar document.

(6) An interested person who has the authority to petition for protective placement or other protective services under Section 38-9-6.

(b) A sworn petition shall allege the incidents of abuse and the specific facts and circumstances that form the basis upon which relief is sought.

(c) Standardized petitions for actions pursuant to this chapter shall be made available through the circuit clerk’s offices throughout the state. A circuit clerk shall not be required to provide assistance to individuals in completing the forms or in presenting the petitioner’s case to the court.

(d) The elderly person for whom the petition is filed must be served with the petition pursuant to the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure.

(e) The court may not assess court costs or other fees for the filing or service of a petition or the issuance of a witness subpoena under this chapter against a petitioner or plaintiff. Costs and fees may be assessed against the defendant at the discretion of the court.