Sheriff's Department - Civil Division
The Civil Division of the Madison County Sheriff's Office is a multi-tasked divisional effort with a primary location on the third floor of the Courthouse. Responsibilities range from Courthouse Security to the maintaining of all criminal history files in the Records Unit plus other tasks.
The Records Unit maintains all criminal history files on persons arrested by any law enforcement agency where the arrested person has been processed through the Madison County Detention Facility from the present to several years in the past. At any given time there are approximately 167,000 active criminal history files being maintained. Due to there being a variety of reasons information contained in a criminal history file can be legally shared, the Sheriff's Office works closely with other agencies in providing data requested. In addition, once a criminal history file is created, all information on subsequent arrests goes into the same file. An accumulation of information in one place provides the best method of reviewing a persons criminal history. These files are used often by investigators with the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division during the course of a crime investigation. Not only are crime reports in a file, but also fingerprints and the most current photograph taken when a person is arrested.
The Records Unit provides the source of information needed by deputies assigned to all law enforcement responsibilities. The unit houses the ACIC (Alabama Criminal Information Center) and NCIC (National Crime Information Center) communications equipment. This allows a Records clerk to, in cases where a Patrol deputy has a citizen stopped for a traffic violation for example, check instantaneously throughout the state of Alabama for any criminal background including possible criminal warrants, and throughout the United States as well. With the NCIC system, the Records clerk also can link to Canada's computer system to check for any information. The information available through NCIC, in addition to a criminal history on an individual, also includes information on stolen property, including everything from diesel trucks to something as small as a watch provided there was a serial number that allowed the property to be entered.
In addition to the Records Unit, deputies assigned to the Civil Division serve all Civil Process papers received by the Sheriff's Office (over 60,000 per year) to serve on plaintiffs and/or defendants, provide court security during trials, transport prisoners to doctor's appointments, mental health court proceeding, and transport prisoners to and from state prisons and other correctional facilities for trials. Deputies assigned to the Civil Division also serve criminal arrest warrants, in addition to regular duties and assisting the Patrol Division or any other law enforcement agency when the need arises.
The Civil Division also manages the security of the Madison County Courthouse when it is open for business. There is one entrance to the Courthouse on the west side of the building. The basement entrance is for authorized personnel only. No weapons, including pocket knives, fingernail clippers, etc., are allowed to be brought into the Courthouse.