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Court Updates Rick Fernambucq & Heather Fann, Boyd, Fernambucq & Dunn, P.C. Court Updates House Bill 688, Act 2012-535, be- call a phone number to receive a recorded torneys will provide counsel and guidance came eff ective June 21, 2012. It increases message as to the “color code” of the day, on issues such as how the court system the fi ling fee for a Divorce Complaint which requires the test to be adminis- works, which form to fi ll out, what to do to One Hundred Ninety-nine Dollars tered the following day when your color once they have been served, which form ($199.00) and for post-divorce petitions is called. All drug screen results will be is needed for which action,  and what an to Th ree Hundred Two Dollars ($302). emailed to the Judge who signed the Re- individual needs to do to defend against Th e new fees for Jeff erson and Shelby quest for Drug Screening form. an action.  Volunteer lawyers will work in counties are shown below. two (2) hour shifts, either 8:30-10 a.m. or 10-12 noon. A BBVLP staff member Jefferson Jeffco- Shelby will always be present at the Help Desk Bessemer to assist with any issues. For more infor- DIVORCE mation, contact Libby Pilgrim, Deputy Complaint $199.00 $202.00 $280.00 Director of BBVLP at epilgrim@vlpbir- E-file Charge 4% $7.96 $8.08 $11.20 mingham.org. Total if e-filed $206.97 $210.08 $291.20 * * * POST-DIVORCE Complaint $302.00 $305.00 $383.00 Act No. 2012-266 became eff ective E-file charge 4% $12.08 $12.20 $15.32 July 1, 2012. It allows “Private Judging” Total if e-filed $314.08 $317.20 $398.32 in the Alabama Court System. It applies to all Domestic Relations cases, contract cases, tort cases, or combination of con- * * * * * * tract or tort cases. It does not apply to a Domestic Relations Judges may now Currently, the Domestic Rela- jury case, utilities case, or case in which refer involved parties for drug screen- tions Division handles an overwhelming the State of Alabama is a party. Th e “Pri- ing to TASC. In the past, random pri- amount of pro se litigants and  the vol- vate Judge” must have been a district or vate drug testing was sometimes diffi cult ume of repeated and unnecessary fi lings circuit Judge for six (6) consecutive years, to arrange. Th e initial drug screen will by pro se litigants places a burden on the not currently serving as a Judge, be admit- be conducted at the UAB TASC Drug Court.  Th e Birmingham Bar Association ted to practice law in Alabama, be an ac- Court Lab, criminal justice center room Volunteer Lawyers Program (BBVLP) is tive member in good standing of the Ala- 302. Subsequent screenings will be per- working to establish a limited-scope, ad- bama State Bar, and also be a resident of formed at the Juvenile TASC/ASAP Lab, vice only Domestic Relations Help Desk Alabama. Th e Private Judge must register Jeff erson County Family Court, room on Wednesday mornings in the Domes- with the Alabama Center for Alternative 104. All drug screens involve a 9-panel tic Relations building to help pro se liti- Dispute Resolution which will publish a screen. Th e referring Judge completes the gants navigate the court process and help roster of qualifi ed Judges from which the Request for Drug Screening form which reduce the burden pro se litigants place parties select a Judge. A Petition for Ap- is signed by both the Judge and the indi- on the Domestic Relations Court. Th e pointment signed by the parties as well vidual being ordered for drug screening. Domestic Relations Help Desk will uti- as a Consent to Appointment signed by Th ere is a Twenty Dollar ($20) charge per lize volunteer attorneys with family law the Judge will be submitted to the Cir- drug screen paid before the drug screen experience to provide limited advice and cuit Clerk in which the case is pending. is administered. Th ose ordered for drug assistance to pro se litigants in Domestic Form pleadings/documents are available testing are assigned a color, required to Relations Court.  In short, volunteer at- through the Administrative Offi ce of the 10 Birmingham Bar Association


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