The open records and meeting laws in Alabama were first initiated in 1923, 43 years prior to the federal Freedom of Information act of 1966. Open record statutes also known as sunshine laws were written into law to offer its citizens a transparent government of all levels. Exceptions to open record laws include personal information of an individual, a case under investigation and other sensitive data under the state's disclosure statutes. There are 67 counties in the state of Alabama and 460 towns and cities. Each county and city comprise of agencies ranging from law enforcement to its own judicial branches. The Alabama public records directory lists where records can be obtained directly from government agencies and its departments. Criminal records in Alabama can be obtained by requesting a background check from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Criminal Records and Identification Unit. Alabama's courts and departments provide the public with criminal case filings, bankruptcies, vital records which include births, deaths, marriage and divorces.
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