Indiana Court Records
Indiana has a vast multicultural history with both German immigrant families and Native American tribes, enabling it to offer historical court records to the public from both of these cultures. Modern Indiana court records include court decisions and oral arguments, state and federal statutes and constitutions, current court rules and court forms for public use.
History of Indiana Court Records
In 1867, the state legislature established the Supreme Court Law Library and gave books from the State Library at the time to start its collection. Indiana court records held here are mainly used by justices and staff of the Supreme Court for research purposes when deciding a case. Other state agencies, the governor’s office, legislature, attorneys and citizens are also granted access to the library’s holdings.
Indiana Court Records Availability
Located in the state house in Indianapolis, the Supreme Court Law Library offers more than 70,000 volumes to the public. Selective federal government publications are also maintained at this location.
Indiana court records can be researched online, and can include legal periodicals and law reviews, appellate decisions, oral arguments, trial court dockets and other case records. Court rules are also maintained at the library and court forms necessary for the public representing themselves in court are other important Indiana court records found at the library.
Copies of the Indiana Constitution, U.S. Constitution, Indiana Code and Indiana Administrative Code are also maintained at the Supreme Court Law Library. Of other interest are recordings and transcripts of Indiana Attorney General Opinions.
Some of the most interesting Indiana court records found in the library include a 1565 book containing the laws of England, and a historical edition of Indiana statutes in German, dated in the 1850s. At that point in time, 13% of Indiana’s residents were of German heritage. Other interesting records include constitutions and codes for Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Osage Nation and Indian Territory Native American tribes.
Main Court Information
The Indiana Supreme Court was established in 1816 when the state’s first constitution was drafted. This is the court of last resort in the state’s judicial system, and hears appeals from all lower courts. A total of five justices serve the court, which is in session all year long at the state house in Indianapolis.
This court has jurisdiction over supervision of attorneys operating in the state, determining jurisdictions of other courts, petitions for cases questioning law, death penalty and life sentence appeals, as well as cases where the constitutionality of a statute comes into question.
Most of Indiana’s cases are resolved by lower trial courts, as only 1% of them ever reach the Indiana Supreme Court. Average caseloads are usually around 1,000. In 2007, there were 1,065 filings and 1,096 dispositions. In 2014 there were 995 filings and 970 dispositions.