Section 12-11A-4

Trial without jury; powers of private judge; immunity; procedures.

(a) A trial conducted by a private judge shall be conducted without a jury.

(b) A person who serves as a private judge has, for each case the private judge hears, the same powers as the judge of a circuit court in relation to the following:

(1) Court procedure.

(2) Deciding the outcome of the case.

(3) Attendance of witnesses.

(4) Punishment of contempt.

(5) Enforcement of orders.

(6) Administering oaths.

(7) Giving all necessary certificates for the authentication of the records and proceedings.

(c) A person appointed as a private judge pursuant to the terms of this chapter shall have immunity in the same manner and to the same extent as a judge in the State of Alabama.

(d) All proceedings in an action heard by a private judge are of record and must be:

(1) Filed with the clerk of the circuit court in the county of proper venue under the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure.

(2) Made available to the public in the same manner as circuit court records.

(e) The Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply for all actions brought before a private judge. The private judge shall maintain jurisdiction over all matters brought before him or her until the order is deemed final and appealable, as defined by the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure. An appeal from an action or a judgment of a private judge may be taken in the same manner as an appeal from the circuit court of the county where the case is filed.

(Act 2012-266, p. 514, §4.)