Proposed Rule Change
Local Rules - Civil - Family Law - Superior Criminal
Vanderburgh Superior Court, like all Superior Courts in Indiana, is created by a statute (I.C. 33-5-43-1) enacted by the General Assembly. Article 7 of the Indiana Constitution authorizes the General Assembly to establish Courts other than the Indiana Supreme Court, the Indiana Court of Appeals and Circuit Courts which are Constitutional Courts. The General Assembly established Vanderburgh Superior Court in 1877.
Vanderburgh Superior Court is a Court of general jurisdiction and has seven (7) elected Judges and five (5) Magistrates who are appointed by the elected Judges. The Court has exclusive juvenile jurisdiction and all matters pertaining to the probate and settlement of estates, trusts, guardianships and wills. Additionally, the Court has a standard small claims and misdemeanor division.
There are currently approximately 70 employees in Vanderburgh Superior Court including court reporters, riding baliffs, bailiffs, probation officers and a court administrator among others.
The Judges of Vanderburgh Superior Court are elected to six year terms. Vanderburgh County is one of a few counties in Indiana where the judges are elected in non-partisan elections, i.e. without party designation. In 2002, over 50,000 cases were filed in Superior Court. This included over 1300 petitions for dissolution of marriage, 3700 civil cases of various types, 1800 protective orders, 11,000 small claims complaints, 950 felony cases, 8,000 misdemeanors and 18,000 infractions.
The Judicial officers and staff take pride in the fact that despite the volume of cases, matters are adjudicated promptly. Typically, small claims cases are tried within two months of filing; misdemeanors and divorces within four months. The Court resolves felony cases typically within six months and generally much more efficiently than similar courts throughout Indiana and the United States. Civil cases can almost always be set for trial within one year from when they are filed.