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State of Indiana

Methods of Judicial Selection: Indiana

Limited Jurisdiction Courts

Superior Court
Jurisdiction: varies from county to county
Selection of Judges: partisan election*
Retention of Judges: reelection
Qualifications: circuit resident; admitted to practice law in state**
Tax Court
Jurisdiction: original tax appeals; small claims docket
Selection of Judges: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission
Retention of Judges: retention election
Qualifications: state resident 2 yrs; admitted to state practice 5 yrs
Probate Court
Jurisdiction: probate of wills; appointment of guardians, assignees, executors, administrators and trustees; settlements of incompetents' estates; adoptions; juvenile matters
Selection of Judges: partisan election
Retention of Judges: reelection
Qualifications: admitted to practice law in state
County Court
Jurisdiction: tort, contract, property cases < $10,000; landlord/tenant cases; class D felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions; violations of local ordinances; small claims < $6,000
Selection of Judges: partisan election
Retention of Judges: reelection
Qualifications: U.S. citizen; county resident; admitted to state practice
City Court
Jurisdiction: ordinance violations, misdemeanors, and infractions; civil cases < $500
Selection of Judges: partisan election
Retention of Judges: reelection
Qualifications: city resident; some cities require judges to be attorneys
Town Court
Jurisdiction: ordinance violations, misdemeanors and infractions; civil cases < $500
Selection of Judges: partisan election
Retention of Judges: reelection
Qualifications: some towns require judges to be attorneys
Small Claims Court
Jurisdiction: Marion County; tort, contract, property, and landlord/tenant cases < $6,000
Selection of Judges: partisan election
Retention of Judges: reelection
Qualifications: U.S. citizen; county resident; admitted to state practice; township resident 1 yr or elected as town court judge before 1999

*Elections for superior court judges in Vanderburgh County are nonpartisan. In Lake and St. Joseph Counties, superior court judges are appointed by the governor from lists of names submitted by local nominating commissions. Judges stand for retention in the first general election held more than two years after their appointment. Superior court judges in Allen County run without party designation in the general election, and vacancies are filled by the governor from a list of names submitted by the Allen County judicial nominating commission.

**Some counties impose addtiional qualifications.