Indiana’s Superior Courts are the original jurisdiction trial courts for the state. These courts also field appeals from Town and City Courts. They are organized differently per county. Superior Courts have 201 judges that are elected into office by voters for the district (except for four counties). They serve six-year terms then they run to be re-elected on a Yes/No ballot. Superior Courts handle both civil and criminal matters. In the four other counties, judges are appointed by a council or the Governor.
Superior Courts use jury trials for most everything except small claims, probate matters, estate cases, domestic relations, and juvenile issues. Other types of cases handled by Superior Courts are tort cases, contract disputes, criminal offenses, real property cases, mental health and commitment issues along with traffic violations. Superior Courts cover a lot of legal areas, and their website has lots of information to help patrons and self-represented individuals navigate the legal system.
The Indiana Judiciary website offers a lot of technology to help with things like paying fees and traffic tickets, searching through court records, finding out the status of a case, checking a lawyer’s license, getting help with a small claims case, downloading forms to file and researching aspects of Indiana law. Indiana offers users twelve vendors to choose from when e-filing. They also make it easy for residents to apply for a marriage license, lookup sex offenders and review appellate opinions as well as find an attorney or read biographies of each judge in their district.
Small claims (35.8%), collections (21.4%) and protective orders (8.4%) make up the majority of civil cases brought to Superior Court. Forty-four percent of the criminal cases are misdemeanors, 25.6% are for miscellaneous criminal infractions, and 22.1% are for felonies.