FAQs About Our Court

General Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check the status of a federal (CVB) ticket?

Contact the Central Violations Bureau by calling (800) 827-2982.  Use option 4 to hear an automated recording with the status of your ticket.

What is the Central Violations Bureau?

The Central Violations Bureau (CVB) is a national center responsible for processing violation notices (tickets) issued and payments received for petty offenses charged on a federal violation notice. This includes violations that occur on federal property such as federal buildings, national parks, military installations, post offices, Veteran Affairs medical centers, national wildlife refuges, and national forests. The Central Violations Bureau processes violation notices for violations of federal law that occur outside federal property as well. For example, migratory bird offenses that occur on private property.

How do I know if I received a federal ticket?

If the ticket you received does not say "U.S. District Court Violation Notice" across the top, then you did not receive a federal ticket. Federal tickets are issued by law enforcement personnel from agencies such as the U.S. Park Police, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Department of Defense Police, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Provost Marshal, Airforce, Marines & Navy Security Forces, U.S. Postal Police, U.S. Customs, U.S. Border Police, and V.A. Police.

The Central Violations Bureau is designed to allow online payments of FEDERAL TICKETS ONLY.

This is a SAMPLE federal ticket.

How can I pay a federal (CVB) ticket?

You can pay online or you may also make a payment by calling the Central Violations Bureau during normal business hours at (800) 827-2982 or mail a check or money order to:

Central Violations Bureau
P.O. Box 71363
Philadelphia, PA 19176-1363

Make sure to include the location code and violation number on your payment.

Where is the Clerk's Office located?

Our street address:

United States District Court
Middle District of Alabama
One Church Street, Room B-110
Montgomery AL 36104

What are the hours of operation?

The Clerk's Office is open from 8:00AM until 5:00PM, Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.

Where do I file pleadings?

Pleadings may be filed electronically by attorneys registered with our Court. Electronic filing is not mandatory in our court; all attorneys must be registered for electronic noticing.

Pleadings may also be filed conventionally by mail or at our counter.

United States District Court
Middle District of Alabama
One Church Street, Room B-110
Montgomery AL 36104

Can I file documents/pleadings after the office is closed?

Registered users in ECF may e-file 24 hours per day. To secure the filing date, the original document must be e-filed prior to midnight, and all other rules of procedure for the Alabama Middle District must also be followed. Documents which are not subject to electronic filing may be filed at the Clerk's Office between 8:00AM and 5:00PM, Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.

What is the ALMD mailing address?

The mailing address for the Alabama Middle District:

United States District Court
Middle District of Alabama
One Church Street, Room B-110
Montgomery AL 36104

How do I file pleadings under seal?

Any document submitted for filing under seal, except a response or reply to a sealed motion, must be accompanied by a motion and proposed order authorizing such filing. The motion to seal will be filed as a public document in civil cases.

How can I get a copy of the Local Rules?

You may download copies of the Local Rules of Practice for the Alabama Middle District for free. They are also available for free at the counter in the Clerk's Office. If you wish them mailed to you, please provide a check for the postage amount in advance, and we will then mail you a copy. Call (334) 954-3600 for more assistance.

How do I get copies of a case?

You may obtain copies of a document from the file either by coming to the Clerk’s Office counter or sending a written request. (If you have access to a PACER account, you may print copies there.)

The fee for copies through the Clerk's Office is 50 cents ($0.50) per page.

If you need a copy of the docket or an order in a case, it may be available through the public computer terminal in our Clerk’s Office lobby. The charge is 10 cents ($0.10) per page if you come to the courthouse and print the document(s) from the public computer terminal.

If you do not know the case number, you can look up the case number using the party name on the public terminal located in the Clerk’s Office lobby.

If you are unable to look up the case number in our office, you may submit a written request for a name search, along with the appropriate fee per name. Payment must be made in advance.

If a file has been sent to the Federal Records Center for off-site storage, you may order it from the Clerk’s Office either in person or by mail. The retrieval fee is on our website and must be made in advance, to the Clerk, United States District Court. Please provide the complete case number, date filed and any other information you may have to ensure proper file retrieval. You will be notified when the file is available in the Clerk's Office for viewing.

Where do I find information on court statistics?

Various information is available through the Statistics & Reports section of the United States Courts' website.

Does the U.S. District Court provide assistance to the hearing impaired?

If you are a participant in a court proceeding and you have a communication disorder, please contact the Clerk’s Office for information on:

  • Who is eligible to receive assistance?
  • What assistance is available?
  • Interpreters/Foreign Languages
  • American Sign Language/Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
  • Assisting devices and listening (enhancing) equipment

Advance notice is greatly appreciated and will facilitate proper handling of your request.

What if I can't afford an attorney?

Please review this list of legal services organizations.

If you are unable to find an attorney to assist in your case, you may file on your own behalf. See Representing Yourself for more assistance.

How do I file a complaint on my own behalf (Pro Se)?

Please refer to the Representing Yourself section for a complete explanation of the procedures. You may also call the Clerk’s office at (334) 954-3600 with further questions.

How do I file a Notice of Removal?

The party seeking removal from another court shall file a Notice of Removal (which includes all pleadings filed in the state court), along with the appropriate fee. The filing party shall also file a notice to the state court of the removal to federal court.

What is the filing fee?

The filing and administrative fee for a civil action, suit, or proceeding is $402.00. Please refer to the Fee Schedule for a complete list of fees that the Alabama Middle District charges.

Is there a charge for an answer/counterclaim?

No, the United States District Court does not charge a fee for answers/counterclaims. Please refer to the Fee Schedule for a complete list of fees in the Alabama Middle District.

How many copies are needed when filing?

All attorneys are required to electronically file documents through the ECF system unless the document is an exception to electronic filing. Regardless of whether or not an original document is filed electronically, a paper courtesy copy is required for certain electronic filings. To verify electronic filing, a copy of the Notice of Electronic Filing must be appended to the last page of the courtesy copy. The courtesy copy must be either post-marked and mailed directly to the judge or hand-delivered to the judge's mail box located in the courthouse.

How much time do I have to serve a summons?

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Rule 4(m) Time Limit for Service.

If a defendant is not served within 90 days after the complaint is filed, the court—on motion or on its own after notice to the plaintiff—must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time. But if the plaintiff must show good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period. This subdivision (m) does not apply to service in a foreign country under Rule 4(f) or 4(j)(l) or to service of a notice under Rule 71.1(d)(3)A).

The Clerk will issue each summons, unless prior arrangement has been made to return them to the filer for personal service.

How do I get a subpoena issued?

For a complete explanation on how to issue a deposition subpoena in a civil case, please refer to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Rule 45. Trial subpoenas (civil and criminal) may be issued in blank by the Clerk's Office and provided to parties/attorneys for completion and service. Criminal subpoenas for anything other than trial must be issued by the Clerk's Office.

What does the case number mean?

Below are examples of how you may see criminal, miscellaneous and civil case numbers.

[division #]:[two-digit year]-xx-[case #]-[presiding Judge's initials]

03-CR-0010-WKW-CSC or 2:03cr0010-WKW-CSC
2          Northern Division
CR        Criminal Case
03        the year the case was filed
0010    the 10th criminal case filed in that year
WKW   the initials of the assigned District Judge
CSC     the initials of the assigned Magistrate Judge

01-MC-0021-WKW or 3:01mc0021-WKW
MC      Miscellaneous case
01        the year the case was filed
0021    the 21st miscellaneous cased filed in that year
3          Eastern Division
WKW   the initials of the assigned judge

02-CV-0099-WKW-CSC or 1:02cv0099
CV        Civil case
02        the year the case was filed
0099    the 99th civil case filed in that year
1          Southern Division
WKW   the initials of the assigned District Judge
CSC     the initials of the assigned Magistrate Judge

The case number allows easy reference to specific civil and criminal cases. The case number assigns a unique reference to each case and is also used to identify the year the case was filed, the office in which it was filed, and the judicial officer to whom it is assigned. The use of case numbers allows for a uniform way to access case information within the federal system. Every document filed with the court must contain reference to the proper case number. This will assist in the proper routing of documents within the court.

How can the Clerk help me?

We are happy to help you if we can. However, we are allowed to help you only in certain ways, since we must be fair to everyone. We have a worksheet detailing how our office can and cannot assist you.

Where is the Clerk's office located?

The Clerk’s office is located on the first floor of the new curvilinear building of The Frank M. Johnson Jr Federal Building and Courthouse Complex at One Church Street, Montgomery, Alabama.

How can I determine the post-judgment interest rates?

The post-judgment interest rate is the weekly average one-year constant maturity Treasury yield for the calendar week preceding the date of entry of the judgment. Effective December 21, 2000, the rate of interest that may be added to a judgment, subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §3612, 28 U.S.C. §1961, and 40 U.S.C. §258(e)(1), shall be equal to the weekly average 1-year constant maturity Treasury yield.

To obtain the most recent rate, the Federal Reserve provides a table of Selected Interest Rates. The applicable rate may be found by scrolling down to the section entitled: "US government securities - Treasury constant maturities - 1-year."  The most recent rate is found under the column headed ""Week Ending ____."  Historical rate data as published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System are available by clicking here.


Where should pleadings be filed?

Pleadings are electronically or conventionally filed. Pleadings can be conventionally filed over the counter in the Clerk’s Office at One Church Street.

Pleadings cannot be filed in our Dothan or Opelika locations.