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State of Indiana

Judicial Selection in the States: Indiana

Overview

News

The West Virginia Senate approved two big changes to the state s judiciary yesterday Judicial Budget Oversight Amendment SJR 3 as approved addresses funding for...

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Over the last several years bills have been introduced in the Rhode Island House to mandate more diversity in the state s courts (see here...

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A plan to give legislative leaders picks on the state s judicial nominating commissions, at the expense of the governor, cleared its first legislative hurdle...

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Courtesy of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of...

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The Indiana judiciary consists of three constitutional courts--the supreme court, the court of appeals, and the circuit court. Judges of the appellate courts are appointed by the governor from a list of three names submitted by the state judicial nominating commission, and judges of the circuit court are elected in partisan contests, with the governor filling mid-term vacancies through appointment. Appellate court judges serve ten-year terms, and circuit court judges serve six-year terms.

Other trial courts have been created by statute, including the superior courts, county courts, probate courts, town and city courts, and small claims courts. With the exception of some judges in four counties, the majority of these judges are chosen in partisan elections. In Vanderburgh County, elections for judges of the circuit and superior courts are nonpartisan. In Lake and St. Joseph Counties, superior court judges are chosen through a merit selection process; and in Allen County, elections for superior court judges are nonpartisan, and interim vacancies on the superior court are filled by the governor from a list of candidates recommended by a local judicial nominating commission.