Judicial Vacancies

How judges are selected in Indiana

The judges in your local courthouse all serve 6-year terms, but how they earn their seat on the bench varies depending on your county. In most Indiana counties, judges run for election similar to a state legislator or a mayor. When a judge leaves office for any reason during their term, the Governor chooses a replacement. In circuit courts, the replacement must run in the next general election; in superior courts, replacements complete the remainder of the unfinished term. Lawyers may apply to the Governor to be considered for the position.

When there is a judicial vacancy in Allen, Lake, Marion or St. Joseph County, lawyers may apply to fill the seat rather than run in an election. A local judicial nominating commission reviews the applications, interviews the candidates, and selects the best as finalists. The Governor then appoints one of the finalists to fill the open position. After their first term, these judges then run for retention in the general election, allowing voters to decide whether or not to keep them on the bench. This is similar to how appellate judges are selected and retained in Indiana.

Learn more about judicial selection:

Current vacancies

Allen County

Applications available for judicial position in Allen County
(November 21, 2017 press release)

Application

Lake County

None

Marion County

Marion County Judicial Selection Committee to meet
(November 21, 2017 press release)

Policies and Procedures for the Marion County Judicial Selection Committee

Applications available for judges seeking retention in Marion County
(December 14, 2017 press release)

Marion Superior Court incumbent submission

Instructions for completing incumbent submission

St. Joseph County

None

All other counties

See the Governor's Judicial Appointments page

Appellate Courts

None