Alabama Supreme Court

Retired Alabama Supreme Court Justice Hugh Maddox dies

Dec 14, 2020
The Birmingham News file

A former member of the Alabama Supreme Court died last Friday. Retired Associate Justice Hugh Maddox was 90 years old.

Maddox died in his home and no cause of death has been given. 

The former justice was first appointed to the court in 1969 and won five more terms before retiring in 2001. Maddox also served as a legal advisor to three governors and a colonel in the Air Force Reserve.

He is survived by his wife and two children. A private graveside service is planned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Birmingham News file


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court says judges in two rural counties were wrong to dismiss lawsuits filed by the state seeking to have three casinos declared public nuisances. 

The decision means the state can resume cases challenging operations at VictoryLand in Macon County and White Hall Entertainment and Southern Star Entertainment in Lowndes County.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former powerful Alabama House speaker has reported to jail to begin a four-year prison sentence for his 2016 ethics conviction.

Mike Hubbard reported Friday to a county detention center to begin the sentence after an  unsuccessful effort to overturn his conviction. The Alabama Supreme Court this spring overturned five of the counts in Hubbard’s ethics convictions while upholding six others.

Alabama Supreme Court
Chris Pruitt / Wikimedia


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court says a two-hour hearing before the state's utility-regulating agency wasn't a public meeting under state law. 

The decision came Friday as the court rejected a challenge by an audience member who was ejected for recording the gathering last year.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court is refusing to reconsider its decision upholding the 2016 ethics conviction of former House Speaker Mike Hubbard. 

Justices on Friday turned down Hubbard’s request to rehear his case.

The Alabama Supreme Court this spring overturned five of the counts in Hubbard’s ethics convictions while upholding six others.  

William McKinley Branch Courthouse
Wikimedia Commons


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An appeals court says it doesn’t have the power to decide whether to dismiss an employee lawsuit claiming a west Alabama courthouse is infested with rodents and bats. 

The Court of Civil Appeals ruled Friday that the Alabama Supreme Court needs to consider the lawsuit involving the Greene County Courthouse at Eutaw.

Alabama Supreme Court
Chris Pruitt / Wikimedia


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court will decide whether Public Service Commission hearings are public meetings in a case that began after a candidate was kicked out for recording a proceeding. 

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that justices heard arguments Wednesday in the appeal brought by Laura Casey. Casey, a candidate for Public Service Commission president, was escorted out of the commission hearing for recording the proceeding.


ATHENS, Ala. (AP) — A north Alabama judge accused of misusing court funds and stealing money from clients has resigned from his post. 

Former Limestone County District Judge Doug Patterson announced in a letter to the Alabama Supreme Court that he would be stepping down effective July 3. Patterson said the move shouldn't be viewed as an admission of guilt.

Sweet Heat Golden Flake


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The heiress to the Golden Flake potato chip empire is for now back in control of her fortune after a ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court. 

The court voided a 2019 probate order granting an emergency conservator that came after two employees claimed that 88-year-old Joann Bashinsky has dementia and is mentally unfit to handle her vast estate.

Alabama Supreme Court
Chris Pruitt / Wikimedia


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Lawyers for former House Speaker Mike Hubbard are asking the Alabama Supreme Court to reconsider a decision upholding his ethics conviction. 

Hubbard’s attorneys are seeking a rarely granted reversal of a court decision. His attorneys argued that state prosecutors stretched the meaning of the Alabama ethics law and that parts of the law were unclear.

Alabama Supreme Court
Chris Pruitt / Wikimedia


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the suspension of jury trials  through the summer because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

In an administrative order, justices said in-person court proceedings can resume beginning May 15 at the discretion of presiding local judges. However, jury trials shall remain suspended until Sept. 14.

Alabama Supreme Court
Chris Pruitt / Wikimedia


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court ehas upheld the dismissal of lawsuits challenging the use of red light cameras in several cities.  

The lawsuits were filed by motorists who received tickets from traffic cameras in Midfield, Center Point and Opelika. The suits challenged the use of automatic traffic-enforcement cameras. Justices upheld decisions to dismiss the lawsuits.  

Mike Hubbard
Associated Press


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court has finally ruled in the corruption case against the state's former House Speaker Mike Hubbard. 

The all-Republican court overturned five counts but upheld six others against the once-powerful Republican speaker.

The Alabama Supreme Court won't reconsider a ruling that prohibits Birmingham from obscuring, or taking down, a Confederate monument in a city park.

Justices on Friday turned down a rehearing request without comment.  

The court in November ruled that Birmingham violated a state law protecting Confederate monuments when it put plywood panels in front of a towering obelisk in a downtown park.

Greg Griffin
Mickey Welsh / Montgomery Advertiser

A judge says a lawsuit filed by the longtime chair of the Alabama Democratic Party challenging a newly elected leader can continue, at least for now.

Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin said Thursday he will wait for a decision by the Alabama Supreme Court before deciding whether to dismiss the lawsuit filed by party chair Nancy Worley. The justices are currently considering an earlier appeal in the dispute. State Rep. Chris England and Worley each claim to be the properly elected state party chair.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court has upheld a state law barring cities from moving or altering Confederate monuments.

Justices on Wednesday reversed a circuit judge’s ruling that declared the law unenforceable because it violates the free speech rights of local communities.

The 2017 law prohibits removing and altering memorials that have been standing for more than 40 years. The legislation was enacted as some Southern states and cities began removing Confederate monuments and emblems.

Alabama Supreme Court
Chris Pruitt / Wikimedia

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court has sided with the Selma City Council in a power struggle with the mayor over who can appoint department heads.

Justices on Friday upheld a judge's decision dismissing the lawsuit filed by Selma Mayor Darrio Melton that challenged the city ordinance approved by council members.

The Selma City Council in 2018 passed an ordinance removing Melton's authority to appoint a police chief, fire chief and tax collector.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Republican state Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster announced Monday that he's running for Alabama Supreme Court.

Ward said he will run for associate justice in 2020. This is his first run for statewide office. The seat is currently held by Justice Greg Shaw.

A prominent member of the Alabama Senate, Ward is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is best known for spearheading prison and criminal justice reform efforts and advocating for the autism community.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An attorney for former House Speaker Mike Hubbard is asking the Alabama Supreme Court to overturn his 2016 conviction on ethics charges.

Justices on Tuesday heard oral arguments in Hubbard's appeal.

Hubbard was convicted of improperly taking consulting contracts and business investments during his time as speaker.

Defense attorney Sam Heldman told justices that Hubbard didn't break the law, and prosecutors are trying to stretch the intent of the ethics statute. Heldman argued the transactions were aboveboard business dealings.

Christopher Lee Price

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — A man convicted of killing a country preacher during a 1991 robbery was put to death by lethal injection in Alabama on Thursday, weeks after he avoided another execution date amid disagreements between U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Christopher Lee Price, 46, became the second inmate put to death in Alabama in two weeks . The execution was carried out at Holman prison, where he was pronounced dead at 7:31 p.m.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next month in former House Speaker Mike Hubbard's appeal of his ethics conviction.

The court said Thursday that oral arguments will be held June 4.

Hubbard was one of the state's most influential Republicans, but his political career ended with his 2016 conviction on ethics charges. The allegations included that he improperly asked lobbyists and company executives for work and investments in his businesses.

Justices announced in March that they would review the case.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Attorneys for former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard have asked the state Supreme Court to toss out his 2016 conviction on ethics charges, arguing prosecutors stretched the intent of the law when they charged him with using his office to benefit his businesses.

Hubbard's defense team this week filed their opening brief after the Alabama Supreme Court this month agreed to review the case. His attorneys asked justices to issue a judgment of acquittal or at least grant Hubbard a new trial.

Alabama Supreme Court
Chris Pruitt / Wikimedia

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favor of the state's teacher's lobby, which argued a 2016 health insurance premium increase was illegally approved.

Justices upheld a Montgomery judge's decision that a state insurance board in 2016 violated the Open Meetings Act by discussing the increases in a closed-door meeting they called an "education session" before voting in public.

Justices said that the "closed morning session did not meet exceptions to the definition of a meeting required to be open to the public."

A former Alabama sheriff has pleaded guilty to giving an inmate a gun and the keys needed to escape jail. reports former Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark also pleaded guilty Monday to promoting prison contraband, including allowing an inmate to run a drug operation from behind bars.

Seventeenth Circuit District Attorney Greg Griggers says his office dropped human trafficking and perjury charges against Clark in exchange for the guilty plea.

Alabama Supreme Court
Chris Pruitt / Wikimedia

Six former members of the Alabama Supreme Court, including three Republicans, have signed a letter urging voters to pick Jefferson County Circuit Judge Bob Vance as the state's next chief justice.

The former justices endorsed Vance, a Democrat, over Republican Associate Justice Tom Parker in the Nov. 6 election. Parker is a current member of the court.

In the letter endorsing Vance, the justices wrote he is "clearly the most qualified candidate for this high office."

AL Supreme Court Stays Smith Murder Trial

Aug 9, 2018

The Alabama Supreme Court has stayed the trial of a Montgomery police officer facing murder charges.

Aaron Cody Smith was scheduled to go to trial Monday on murder charges for the 2016 shooting of 58-year-old Greg Gunn. Yesterday, state Supreme Court justices stayed the trial to consider his appeal on a number of issues.

Smith's attorneys argue he should be immune from prosecution because he was acting in self-defense.

They also argue the trial judge tainted the jury pool with comments about the case.

GOP Runoff Rundown

Jul 17, 2018

Republican voters in Alabama are heading to the polls once again to set the final tickets ahead of November's general election.

They'll be taking part in several heated Republican runoffs for statewide office and in the race for a U.S. Congressional seat in south Alabama.

Armed with an endorsement from President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is trying to stave off a challenge from former congressman Bobby Bright and a voter backlash over her criticism of Trump during his Presidential campaign.

Justice Glenn Murdock is stepping down from the Alabama Supreme Court.  

Murdock announced his resignation Thursday in a letter to Governor Kay Ivey. Murdock said his resignation will be effective on Jan. 16.

Execution Date Set for Terminally Ill Man

Dec 14, 2017

The state of Alabama has set a date for the execution of a terminally ill man. reports the Alabama Supreme Court ordered yesterday that 60-year-old Doyle Lee Hamm is scheduled to be put to death on February 22. Hamm has spent 30 years on Alabama’s death row.

He was convicted in the murder of Patrick Cunningham, a hotel employee in Cullman, Alabama. Cunningham was killed during a robbery that apparently netted just over 400 dollars. Hamm confessed to the murder, and two other men agreed to testify against him in exchange for lesser charges.

Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall has filed lawsuits against several casinos in Alabama, saying they are operating illegal slot machines under the guise of electronic bingo.

Yesterday, Marshall’s office filed lawsuits in five counties seeking to shut down the electronic bingo operations. Marshall says the Alabama Supreme Court has made abundantly clear that the machines are illegal.