The laws relating to the power of the judiciary and functions etc. is governed by Title 33 of the Indiana code and the Constitution of Indiana. As per the constitution of the State the judicial power of the State shall be vested in one Supreme Court, one Court of Appeals, Circuit Courts, and such other courts as the General Assembly may establish.
THE SUPREME COURT
The Supreme Court of the state is the highest judicial authority. The Supreme Court may do the following:
- Frame, direct, and cause to be used all process, establish modes of practice that may be necessary in the exercise of the supreme court's authority, and make and publish regulations concerning all process and modes of practice.
- Establish regulations concerning bonds required in appeals to the Supreme Court, the amount of the penalties related to the bonds, and for approving sureties executing bonds.
- Establish regulations concerning giving notice to officers of inferior courts of the granting of stay of execution, or of supersedeas.
Establish regulations concerning proceedings that are requisite in the supreme court in the exercise of the Supreme Court's authority that are not specially provided for by law.
The Supreme Court has no original jurisdiction except in
- admission to the practice of law;
- discipline or disbarment of those admitted;
- the unauthorized practice of law;
- removal and retirement of justices and judges;
- supervision of the exercise of jurisdiction by the other courts of the State; and
issuance of writs necessary or appropriate in aid of its jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court shall exercise appellate jurisdiction under such terms and conditions as specified by rules except that appeals from a judgment imposing a sentence of death shall be taken directly to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall have, in all appeals of criminal cases, the power to review all questions of law and to review and revise the sentence imposed.
The Supreme Court has jurisdiction in appeals coextensive with the state and has jurisdiction as provided by the Constitution of the State of Indiana.
The Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to:
- admit attorneys to practice law in all courts of the state; and
issue restraining orders and injunctions in all cases involving the unauthorized practice of the law; under rules and regulations as the supreme court may prescribe.
THE COURT OF APPEALS
The court of appeals is the intermediate court between the circuit Courts and the Supreme court.
The Court of Appeals consist of as many geographic districts and sit at such locations as the General Assembly shall determine to be necessary. Each geographic district of the Court shall consist of three judges. The judges of each geographic district shall appoint such personnel as the General Assembly may provide by law.
The Court shall have no original jurisdiction, except that it may be authorized by rules of the Supreme Court to review directly decisions of administrative agencies. In all other cases, it shall exercise appellate jurisdiction under such terms and conditions as the Supreme Court shall specify by rules which shall, however, provide in all cases an absolute right to one appeal and to the extent provided by rule, review and revision of sentences for defendants in all criminal cases.
THE CIRCUIT COURT
A circuit court may do the following:
- Issue and direct all processes necessary to the regular execution of the law to the following:
- A court of inferior jurisdiction.
- A corporation.
- An individual.
- Make all proper judgments, sentences, decrees, orders, and injunctions, issue all processes, and do other acts as may be proper to carry into effect the same, in conformity with Indiana laws and Constitution of the State of Indiana.
- Administer all necessary oaths.
- Punish, by fine or imprisonment, or both, all contempts of the court's authority.
- Proceed in any matter before the court, or in any matter in which the proceedings of the court, or the due course of justice, is interrupted.
Grant commissions for the examination of witnesses according to the regulations of law
The circuit court has original jurisdiction in all civil cases and in all criminal cases, except where exclusive jurisdiction is conferred by law upon other courts of the same territorial jurisdiction. The circuit court also has the appellate jurisdiction that may be conferred by law upon it.
The superior court is divided into the following divisions:
- A small claims
The small claims docket has jurisdiction over the following:
- Civil actions in which the amount sought or value of the property sought to be recovered are not more than six thousand dollars ($6,000). The plaintiff in a statement of claim or the defendant in a counterclaim may waive the excess of any claim that exceeds six thousand dollars ($6,000) in order to bring it within the jurisdiction of the small claims docket.
- Possessory actions between landlord and tenant in which the rent due at the time the action is filed does not exceed six thousand dollars ($6,000).
- Emergency possessory actions between a landlord and tenant
The minor offenses and violations docket has jurisdiction over the following:
- All Class D felony cases.
- All misdemeanor cases.
- All infraction cases.
- All ordinance violation cases.
The court shall establish a traffic violations bureau
The Tax Court has exclusive jurisdiction over any case that arises under the Indiana tax laws and that is an initial appeal of a final determination made by the Indiana Department of State Revenue or the Indiana Board of Tax Review. In addition, the Tax Court has jurisdiction over certain appeals from the Department of Local Government Finance. The Tax Court also hears appeals of inheritance tax determinations from the courts of probate jurisdiction. Such cases are called original tax appeals.
Prior to its creation, the cases over which the Tax Court now has jurisdiction were heard in the Circuit or Superior Courts of the county of location of property in property tax cases or in the county of residence or place of business of the taxpayer in all other cases.
The probate court in the county for which it is organized has original, concurrent jurisdiction with the superior courts of the county in all matters pertaining to the following:
- The probate of wills.
- Proceedings to resist probate of wills.
- Proceedings to contest wills.
- The appointment of guardians, assignees, executors, administrators, and trustees.
- The administration and settlement of estates of protected persons and deceased persons.
- The administration of trusts, assignments, adoption proceedings, and surviving partnerships.
Any other probate matters.
The probate court has jurisdiction and shall proceed in the probate and juvenile causes. All proceedings in probate and juvenile causes in the court shall be conducted as proceedings are required, by law, to be conducted in the circuit court in the counties not having a probate court