No More "Common Law" Marriage: Effective January 1,2017, Alabama has a new law that does away with "Common Law" marriage. This only makes sense as the Alabama Courts have made it increasingly difficult to prove a "Common Law" marriage. Also, it should impact only a small number of people who might go to the court to prove a "marriage".
New "Grandparent Visitation" Law: Alabama has passed it's sixth or seventh Grandparent Visitation law. All of the prior versions had been struck down by the Alabama Supreme Court. This "new" version makes it more difficult for Grandparents to prove that they should have visitation.
"One of the hardest issues in all of family law is grandparent visitation. In Troxel v. Granville, 503 U.S. 57 (2000), the US Supreme Court struck down a Washington state statute allowing the court to award grandparent visitation based only upon the best interests of the child, finding that such a broad standard violates the liberty interest of the parents in having custody of their children" - The Lawletter VOL.40 NO.12
Search and Seizure: The US Supreme Court recently stressed that seizure after a police observed traffic violation is unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time needed to issue a ticket. Rodriguez (v) US 135 S.Ct 1609 (2015).
This was followed by an Idaho case that threw out a dog search because the stop was extended only 2 1/2 minutes for the dog to sniff the car. State (v) Linza, (Idaho Ct.App January 8,2016).