Select a State:

State of Indiana

Methods of Judicial Selection: Indiana

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court: 5
Court of Appeals: 15
Circuit Court: 102
Superior Court: 196
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court: --
Court of Appeals: 5*
Circuit Court: 90
Superior Court: 71
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court: statewide
Court of Appeals: district
Circuit Court: county
Superior Court: county
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission
Court of Appeals: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission
Circuit Court: partisan election**
Superior Court: partisan election***
Length of Term
Supreme Court: at least 2 yrs
Court of Appeals: at least 2 yrs
Circuit Court: 6 yrs
Superior Court: 6 yrs
Method of Retention
Supreme Court: retention election
Court of Appeals: retention election
Circuit Court: reelection
Superior Court: reelection***
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Court: 10 yrs
Court of Appeals: 10 yrs
Circuit Court: 6 yrs
Superior Court: 6 yrs
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment from judicial nominating commission
Court of Appeals: gubernatorial appointment from judicial nominating commission
Circuit Court: gubernatorial appointment
Superior Court: gubernatorial appointment***
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Court: next general election after 2 yrs in office
Court of Appeals: next general election after 2 yrs in office
Circuit Court: next general election
Superior Court: next general election
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: judicial nominating commission selects
Court of Appeals: peer vote
Circuit Court: varies by circuit
Superior Court: varies by county
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: 5 yrs
Court of Appeals: 3 yrs
Circuit Court: varies by circuit
Superior Court: varies by county
Qualifications
Supreme Court: U.S. citizen; state resident; admitted to state practice 10 yrs or served as judge of trial court 5 yrs; mandatory retirement age of 75
Court of Appeals: U.S. citizen; state resident; admitted to state practice 10 yrs or served as judge of trial court 5 yrs; mandatory retirement age of 75
Circuit Court: circuit resident; admitted to practice law in state****
Superior Court: circuit resident; admitted to practice law in state****

Selection and retention methods and term lengths for appellate judges and circuit court judges are prescribed by Article 7 of the Indiana Constitution. For superior court judges, see Title 33 of the Indiana Code.

*There are three geographic districts and two statewide at-large districts.

**Elections for circuit 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 (except judges of the county division of the Lake County superior court, who are elected). 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 additional qualifications.