Alcoholics Anonymous does not use attendance sheets because it guarantees the anonymity of its members. However, individuals who attend court-mandated meetings usually must submit validation of attendance to an officer of the court. Typically, a caseworker or probation officer supplies the attendee with this card.
A court-mandated attendance card lists the dates, times and locations of the AA meetings the individual attended and contains a space next to this information for a signature. Since Alcoholics Anonymous meetings have no leader or facilitator, anyone in attendance is allowed to sign the slip. However, some AA groups refuse to do this because they believe it violates the principle of anonymous participation, which is a cornerstone of AA. These groups also believe that voluntary participation and a strong personal commitment to the program are the only path to recovery.
The issue of mandatory, court-ordered attendance of AA meetings has been challenged in the courts. As of 2015, three federal circuit courts and several appeals courts have ruled that legally mandated participation in 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous is a violation of First Amendment protections regarding the free exercise of religious beliefs. The rulings were based on the legally accepted belief that AA and NA are faith-based groups that place a heavy emphasis on God and prayer.