Indiana State Courts

Courts – State Courts – Indiana

Highest Court

The highest court in Indiana is the Supreme Court of Indiana.  The Supreme Court consists of 5 justices. It has jurisdiction over (1) Final appellate jurisdiction, criminal appeals with penalty of death or life without parole, discretionary jurisdiction in all other cases. (2) Constitutionality of state or federal statute and habeas corpus appeals, arising out of criminal, extradition, or mental health proceedings. (3) Original jurisdiction over admission to the bar, practice of law, attorney discipline, and disbarment; judicial discipline, removal, and retirement.

Intermediate Courts

Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals consists of 15 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Civil and criminal appeals not heard by Supreme Court. (2) Reviews final decision of administrative agencies.

Tax Court
The Tax Court consists of 1 judge. It has jurisdiction over (1) Exclusive jurisdiction in original tax appeals. (2) Includes small claims docket for claims for refunds not exceeding $5,000 and appeals from State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs not exceeding $15,000. (3) Election cases.

General Courts

Superior Court
The Superior Court consists of 194 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Law, equity, domestic relations, and small claims in some areas. (2) Felonies, misdemeanors, preliminary hearings, and some minor criminal. (4) Juvenile in some counties.
Appeals de novo
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Circuit Court
The Circuit Court consists of 100 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Law and equity. (2) Domestic relations and probate (except Marion and Lake Counties). (2) Felonies, misdemeanors, preliminary hearings, and some minor criminal.
Appeals de novo
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Limited Courts

County Court
The County Court consists of 4 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Contract and tort actions $10,000 or less. (2) Possessory actions between landlord and tenant, and all actions for possession of property where the value of such property does not exceed $10,000, and small claims dockets.  (3) Misdemeanors, criminal with fine under $1,000 or sentence less than 1 year.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Probate Court
The Probate Court consists of 1 judge. It has jurisdiction over (1) In St. Joseph County. (2) Exclusive jurisdiction in probate, adoptions, and guardianship. (3) Juvenile.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

City Court
The City Court consists of 48 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Civil actions under $500 (varies to $1,500). (2) Misdemeanors with fines less than $500 and sentence less than 6 months. (3) City ordinance violations.

Town Court
The Town Court consists of 25 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Ordinance violations, misdemeanors with fine less than $500 dollars and/or sentence less than 6 months.

Additional Information

Judge’s Time and Attendance; Judicial Circuit of Two or More Courts
In a judicial circuit that has two or more courts, the judge of the circuit shall divide his/her time as the needed by the business of each courts.  (IC 33-23-2-3)

Power and Control over Judgments; Retaining After Rendering
All courts shall retain power and control of the judgments they made for 90 days after delivering the judgment.  This power and control shall fall under the same conditions as those during the court in which the judgments were rendered. (IC 33-23-2-4)

Application for Senior Judge Appointment
An application may be submitted to the supreme court by a circuit court, a superior court, a county court, a probate court, or a court of appeals for a senior judge.  The application must include the reasons for requesting a senior judge and an approximated time in which the senior judge will be needed. (IC 33-23-3-1)

Court Administrator
The court administrator shall be a full-time position and is forbidden to engage in any other profession for a profit. (IC 33-23-4-4)

Establishment of Ordinance Violations Bureau; Clerk
An ordinance violations bureau may be established by the legislative body of a municipal corporation. The legislative body shall appoint a violations clerk to be the administrator of the bureau.  The violations clerk may be the clerk or clerk-treasurer of the municipal corporation. (IC 33-36-2-1)

Appointment; Qualifications
A state public defender shall be appointed by the supreme court to serve as directed by the court for a term of four years.  The state public defender must be a resident of Indiana and a practicing attorney in Indiana for at least three years.  The supreme court may administer any test to acquire the most competent state public defender. (IC 33-40-1-1)

Gender of Appointee; Child of Judge
An official reporter cannot be denied eligibility due to gender.  A judge may not appoint his/her children as an official reporter. (IC 33-41-1-2)


Inside Indiana State Courts