Section 12-12-31

Small claims actions; attorney representation; when; attorney fees; prosecution of assigned claims; license required.

(a) The district court shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over all civil actions in which the matter in controversy, exclusive of interest and costs, does not exceed six thousand dollars ($6,000). These actions shall be placed on a small claims docket by each district court and shall be processed according to uniform rules of simplified civil procedure as may be promulgated by the Supreme Court.

(b) A party, including an individual, partnership, or corporation, may appear in cases on the small claims docket of district court with or without representation by an attorney. If a partnership appears without representation by an attorney, the person representing the partnership shall be a partner or employee of the partnership and if a corporation appears without representation by an attorney, the person representing the corporation shall be an officer or full-time employee of the corporation.

(c) No party shall seek or recover any judgment in a case on the small claims docket which includes an award of attorney fees unless the party is represented by a licensed attorney.

(d) No action shall be filed or prosecuted on the small claims docket by an assignee of the claim which is the subject matter of the action without being represented by a licensed attorney; nor shall any person, firm or corporation, excluding licensed attorneys, file or prosecute such an action on behalf of the original owner of the claim.

(e) No action may be filed or prosecuted on the small claims docket by any individual whose license to practice law, at the time of filing or prosecution, has been revoked, suspended, or otherwise impaired for disciplinary reasons by the Alabama Board of Bar Commissioners or the Alabama Supreme Court.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the docket fee for cases on the small claims docket in which the matter in controversy exceeds one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) shall be the same as the docket fee set for cases in the district court that are not small claims cases.

(Code 1852, §602; Code 1867, §698; Code 1876, §616; Code 1886, §720; Code 1896, §638; Code 1907, §3052; Acts 1923, No. 589, p. 764; Code 1923, §6465; Code 1940, T. 13, §129; Acts 1990, No. 90-382, p. 513, §2; Acts 1996, No. 96-752, p. 1323, §1; Act 2015-224, §1.)