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State of Indiana

Judicial Selection in the States: Indiana

Overview

News

The Montana House State Administration Committee yesterday approved a bill to require judges recuse from cases due to campaign contributions. Under HB 157 as approved...

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A plan to require Wyoming judicial nominating commission members to be subject to senate confirmation appears to have died. Wyoming s top courts use a...

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This is proving to be an unprecedented year in terms of the number of efforts to either switch from partisan to nonpartisan judicial elections or...

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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.