Section 12-9A-2

Reallocation of vacant judgeship.

(a) Only in the event of a vacancy due to death, retirement, resignation, or removal from office of a district or circuit judge, the Judicial Resources Allocation Commission shall have 30 days to determine whether to reallocate such judgeship to another district or circuit. The commission may also choose to reallocate a judgeship if the incumbent judge is not eligible to run for reelection as a result of the age limitation provided for in Section 155 of the Constitution of Alabama 1901, as amended, by notifying the Secretary of State no later than one year prior to the close of qualifying for candidates to run for such judgeship. All reallocation decisions require a two-thirds vote of the commission members. In determining whether to reallocate such judgeship, the commission shall consider the need based on the district and court rankings as determined pursuant to Section 12-9A-1. However, in no event shall the commission reallocate a judgeship to another district or circuit if doing so would cause the district or circuit from which the judgeship was being removed to move into the ten counties in most need of a district judge or the ten circuits, or divisions thereof, in most need of a circuit judge based on the rankings provided pursuant to Section 12-9A-1. Additionally, each county shall continue to have at least one district judge.

(b) In the event the commission chooses not to reallocate the vacant judgeship within the 30 days prescribed in subsection (a), the vacancy shall be filled according to law in the district or circuit in which the judgeship is located.

(c) In the event the commission chooses to reallocate the vacant judgeship within the 30 days prescribed in subsection (a), the vacancy shall be filled according to law for the district or circuit to which the judgeship is reallocated. The person appointed to fill the judgeship shall serve the required time period pursuant to law before running for election, at which time the reallocated judgeship shall be subject to election in the district or circuit to which the judgeship was reallocated.

(d) Upon the reallocation of the judgeship, all remaining judgeships in the district or circuit from which the judgeship was reallocated shall be renumbered appropriately. Additionally, the state resources allocated to fund the judgeship shall continue to fund the judgeship in the district or circuit to which it was reallocated.

(e) The chair of the commission shall keep a true record of all the proceedings of the meetings of the commission. At the call of any member, the vote on any pending question shall be taken by ayes and nays, and the same shall be entered in the record. The records of the proceedings of the commission shall be open to any member of the commission and to the public and a copy of the record, certified by the chair, shall be kept in the records of commission maintained by the chair.

(Act 2017-42, §2.)