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October 1, 2021

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Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491

Attorney General Steve Marshall Announces Receipt of Madison County Payment for Violation of Memorial Preservation Act

(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Steve Marshall announced today that Madison County has paid the $25,000 owed to the State for removal of a historic monument in violation of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act. This finally resolves the Attorney General’s lawsuit against the County, filed in November of 2020.

The Memorial Preservation Act was passed in 2017 by the Alabama Legislature to
protect architecturally significant buildings, memorial streets and monuments located on public property for 40 or more years. The Act specifically charges the Attorney General with the duty of enforcement, much as he is authorized to prosecute all civil actions necessary to protect the rights and interests of the State.

On October 23, 2020, upon authorization of the Madison County Commission, the historic monument dedicated to Confederate soldiers was removed from the grounds of the Madison County Courthouse. The monument, which was originally erected in 1905 and was accidentally destroyed in 1966, was replaced with a replica in 1968.

Madison County was notified on October 27, 2020, of the Attorney General’s determination that the monument’s relocation violated state law. Rather than the County hired a private law firm to litigate a case in which there was no genuine legal dispute. On September 30, 2021, the State received Madison County’s $25,000 penalty payment for violating the Act.

The Alabama Supreme Court has held that any violation of the Act is punishable by a one-time fine of $25,000 per violation.

The State lawsuit can be read here.

[For links, click the PDF icon at upper right of press release]