Section 12-12-70

Right of appeal and procedure for appeals generally; dismissal for failure to appear.

(a) Civil cases. Any party may appeal from a final judgment of the district court in a civil case by filing notice of appeal in the district court, within 14 days from the date of the judgment or the denial of a posttrial motion, whichever is later, or, if the appeal is to an appellate court, within the time prescribed by the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure or the Alabama Rules of Juvenile Procedure where applicable, together with security for costs as required by law or rule.

(b) Criminal cases. A defendant may appeal from a final judgment of the district court in a criminal or quasi-criminal case by filing notice of appeal within 14 days from the date of judgment or from the date of denial of a post-trial motion, whichever is later, together with such bond as may be fixed by the court, conditioned upon the defendant's appearance before the circuit court; provided, however, that the court may authorize the defendant's release on his own recognizance without any undertaking relating to or deposit of security. If the appeal is to an appellate court, the notice of appeal shall be filed within the time prescribed in the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure and where applicable, the Alabama Rules of Juvenile Procedure. A defendant sentenced to imprisonment shall not be released from custody pending an appeal until a cash bond is deposited or until he has given sufficient bond with surety, approved by the judge or magistrate, unless the court has authorized the release of such defendant on his own recognizance. If the appeal is to the circuit court and the defendant is not released from custody, the prosecution shall so notify the circuit clerk and the case shall be set for trial at the earliest practicable time.

(c) The state or municipality may appeal only from a judgment holding a statute or ordinance invalid.

(d) When an appeal is to the circuit court, the clerk of the district court, if separate from the clerk of the circuit court, shall forthwith file the notice of appeal, a cost bill and copies of the case file with the clerk of the circuit court. If the appeal is to an appellate court, the clerk of the district court shall follow the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure, and if applicable, the Alabama Rules of Juvenile Procedure.

(e) The circuit court shall, upon failure of the appellant to appear in court when the case is called for trial, unless good cause for such default is shown, enter an order dismissing the appeal and enter judgment of default on any appearance bond given in connection therewith in accordance with the procedures set out in Title 15, Article 5, Chapter 13. On motion of the defendant for good cause shown, the circuit court may, within 30 days of the date of the order of dismissal, set it aside and reinstate the appeal on such terms as the court may prescribe. If a separate district clerk's office has been established, the circuit clerk shall, upon the expiration of 30 days from the date of an order dismissing an appeal, unless such order is set aside, deliver a copy thereof to the district court clerk.

(f) Upon receipt of notice of dismissal of an appeal based upon the defendant's failure to appear, the district court may issue a warrant for arrest of the defendant, who may also be arrested without a warrant as an escapee. Upon arrest, the defendant shall be brought before the district court judge and punished in accordance with the judgment of the court.

(g) In addition to an involuntary dismissal as provided in subsection (e), the judge of the circuit court to which an appeal has been taken may, at the request of the defendant, enter an order dismissing the appeal, provided the defendant tenders payment of the costs and fine imposed by the district court at the time the request for dismissal is made, and provided further, that the defendant submits himself to the sheriff or, in municipal ordinance cases, to the chief of police to begin serving any sentence of imprisonment ordered by the district court. Any order dismissing an appeal, along with the fine and costs assessed by the district court and collected by the circuit court clerk pursuant to this subsection, shall be delivered to the district court clerk if a separate district clerk's office has been established, no later than 30 days from the date the appeal is dismissed.

(h) When judgment of guilt is entered against a defendant on appeal and the sentence of the circuit court includes a term of imprisonment, commitment shall be to the appropriate municipal jail, county jail or state penitentiary. All fines imposed and costs, including those costs accruing in district court, shall be collected by the circuit clerk and distributed as provided by law.

(Acts 1975, No. 1205, p. 2384, §4-111; Acts 1986, Ex. Sess., No. 86-723, p. 146, §1.)