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Mobile County District Court Judge Place 3

District courts are trial courts, meaning that district court judges have the authority to try cases. District court judges can conduct jury trials in criminal or civil proceedings. In some instances, district court judges can decide cases without a jury. This procedure is known as a Bench Trial.

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    Alan Colvin

  • Zack Moore

Biographical Information

What courtroom experience(s) have you had that qualifies you to serve as a Mobile County District Court Judge? Please be detailed with the specific courts you reference.

Do you think changes in sentencing guidelines would help alleviate back logs in court dockets? Please explain your response.

What is the solution(s) to the under-funding crisis in the courts in Alabama?

Education Murphy High School 1993 University of South Alabama BS 1998 University of Alabama School of Law 2001
Age 44
Twitter @ColvinFor
In eighteen years practicing law in Mobile, I have represented hundreds of indigent criminal defendants in Mobile County District Court. This included conducting trials, preliminary hearings, and plea hearings. I have also represented plaintiffs and defendants in numerous civil cases, many leading to trials in District Court (Mobile and Baldwin). These cases include injury claims against insurance companies, credit card debt collection cases, and landlord tenant disputes. Further, in my private practice, I have handled and resolved hundreds of personal injury disputes with insurance companies, many of which would have fallen within the jurisdiction of the District Court had they been filed. District Court Judges preside over both criminal and civil cases, so this combined experience makes me uniquely qualified to serve as a District Court Judge.
Complicated sentencing guidelines may very well be one small contributor to Court backlogs due to continuances of sentencing hearings to collect information relevant to the applicable guidelines. This is only relevant to felony criminal cases, and therefore would not affect District Court, where only misdemeanor criminal cases are adjudicated. All felony cases are adjudicated and sentenced in Circuit Court. However, other factors such as excessive resets, witness no-shows, staffing shortages, and too many petty crimes are more likely to contribute to District Court backlogs. That is one reason I support Mayor Sandy Simpson’s administration’s 2017 attempt to turn several petty arrestable offenses into ticketable offenses that would not require a Court appearance. Simple possession of marijuana is a prime example of a petty offense that should not take up the Court’s time.
It’s difficult in light of our state budget issues, but the state legislature must allocate sufficient funds to operate our state Courts. Just last year, our city and county governments in Mobile entered into an arrangement to provide $3 million over three years to our local state courts. Representative Barbara Drummond introduced legislation last year to get some court funding from tax revenues raised by internet retail sales, but that bill died in the Senate. However, these measures are merely temporary. We are currently anticipating a five-year court funding plan to be issued by Chief Justice Tom Parker of the Alabama Supreme Court. The bottom line is the state legislature must allocate sufficient levels of funding for our State Courts. A properly and efficiently operating Court system is what makes our civilized society civilized.
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