Section 12-9A-1

Creation and composition; duties.

(a) A permanent study commission on the judicial resources in Alabama is hereby created and shall be known as the Judicial Resources Allocation Commission. The commission shall be composed of the following members:

(1) The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, who shall serve as chair.

(2) The legal advisor to the Governor of Alabama.

(3) The Alabama Attorney General.

(4) Three incumbent circuit judges appointed by the President of the Circuit Judges Association, one of whom shall be from the most populous circuit. One member shall be appointed for three years, one member shall be appointed for four years, and one member shall be appointed for five years. All appointments to fill vacancies shall be for the duration of the unexpired term and subsequent appointments shall be for five-year terms. Any member so appointed shall serve only so long as the member remains an incumbent circuit judge.

(5) Three incumbent district judges appointed by the President of the District Judges Association, one of whom shall be from a county without a dedicated circuit judge. One member shall be appointed for three years, one member shall be appointed for four years, and one member shall be appointed for five years. All appointments to fill vacancies shall be for the duration of the unexpired term and subsequent appointments shall be for five-year terms. Any member so appointed shall serve only so long as the member remains an incumbent district judge.

(6) Three licensed attorneys, two appointed by the President of the Alabama State Bar and one appointed by the President of the Alabama Lawyers Association. One member shall be appointed for three years, one member shall be appointed for four years, and one member shall be appointed for five years. All appointments to fill vacancies shall be for the duration of the unexpired term and subsequent appointments shall be for five-year terms. Any member so appointed shall serve only so long as the member remains a member in good standing of the Alabama State Bar.

(b) The membership of the commission shall be inclusive and reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban/rural, and economic diversity of the state. The appointing authorities must coordinate together to achieve this diversity.

(c) A majority of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The commission shall meet at least once annually beginning in the first quarter of 2018. The first committee meeting shall be set by the Chief Justice. Members shall serve without compensation.

(d) The commission shall annually review the need for increasing or decreasing the number of judgeships in each district court and circuit court using the following criteria:

(1) Judicial Weighted Caseload Study, as adopted by the Alabama Supreme Court.

(2) Population of the district or circuit as determined on the basis of the most recent decennial census of the United States or annual population estimates prepared by the United States Bureau of the Census.

(3) Judicial duties in the district or circuit, including consideration of those circuits which have specialized divisions.

(4) Uniformity in the calculation of how civil, criminal, and domestic cases are accounted for between circuits.

(5) Any other information deemed relevant by the commission.

(e) Based on the criteria in subsection (d), the commission shall annually determine the need for increasing or decreasing judgeships in the district and circuit courts and rank each court accordingly. The commission shall provide this list to the Governor and the Legislature no later than 30 days after it is completed.

(Act 2017-42, §1.)