Jurisdiction refers to the court's power to hear and determine cases. A court must have proper jurisdiction before it can enter a valid judgment. Proceedings held in a court without proper jurisdiction are void and unenforceable.
Alabama Municipal Courts have jurisdiction over a case if all three elements below are met:
- there is a valid city ordinance proscribing the conduct
- the alleged offense must have been committed with the police jurisdiction of the city
- and the accused must be properly brought before the court
A municipality's jurisdiction is territorially restricted according to the size of the city. In a city with less than 6,000 people, jurisdiction extends to all adjoining territory a mile and a half beyond the city's corporate limits. For a city with more than 6,000 people, police jurisdiction, and thus the jurisdiction of the municipal court, extends to three miles beyond its corporate limits.
So, if you get pulled over for a DUI in Homewood or Mountain Brook, you will be subject to their municipal code, and will be charged in that city.