What type of court deals with divorce

The classification of traffic violations as civil is one reason why the number of civil cases is so high. Criminal Cases Criminal cases involve enforcing laws. In criminal cases, the government here, the state of Indiana brings charges against the person accused of committing a crime, such as robbery, murder, or drunk driving.


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An example of a criminal case would be if Joe Citizen were arrested for suspicion of killing someone. The state of Indiana would bring criminal charges against Joe Citizen for murder. Joe Citizen would then go to court to stand trial on the charges. Generally in a civil case the person suing is seeking money. The person who files the lawsuit wants the court to order someone to pay them money. In a criminal case, the party pressing charges, the state of Indiana, is seeking punishment.

The state of Indiana wants the court to order the person who committed the crime to be punished, either by having to go to prison, or having to pay a fine for committing a crime. Which Courts Handle Which Cases? Once you determine whether a case is civil or criminal, the next step is to determine which civil or criminal trial court will handle that case.


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  • There are different civil and criminal courts that specialize in certain kinds of cases. Major felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile courts are examples of specialized criminal courts. Major felony courts only handle serious crimes called felonies, such as robbery or murder.

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    Misdemeanor courts only handle the least serious crimes called misdemeanors, such as shoplifting or trespass. Juvenile courts only handle cases involving children. Juvenile courts often hear cases involving crimes committed by children under age There are also a number of specialized civil courts. Small claims court, probate court, and family court are examples of courts that handle specific civil matters.

    Marion County, which includes the city of Indianapolis, is the only Indiana County that has separate courts in each of its nine townships that hear only small claims cases. In other counties, the circuit court hears small claims cases, or the superior courts have divisions within them that hear small claims cases. Probate court handles cases that involve the administration of the estates of people who have passed away, guardianships, and mental health hearings.

    Joseph County, which includes the city of South Bend, is the only Indiana County that has a separate court that only hears probate cases. The probate court in St. Joseph County also has exclusive juvenile jurisdiction. In the other counties, the superior or county courts have divisions within them that hear probate and juvenile cases.

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    Family court is where some of the most difficult problems facing a family are usually heard. Family courts specialize in domestic matters such as divorce, child support, and visitation. In Indiana, there are no separate family courts, so the superior courts have divisions within them that handle family law cases.

    General Civil Cases Civil Plenary. Contract cases, property cases, and cases seeking to start or stop someone from doing something. Civil Tort. Cases where someone is suing for a "wrong" that is not a crime, but has resulted in some injury or damage. Example: car accident. Small Claims. Domestic Relations. Divorce and related lawsuits.

    Reciprocal Support. Cases to force a parent to pay child support. Mental Health. Cases that involve having a person committed sent to a mental health institution. The juvenile and domestic relations district court hears all matters involving juveniles such as criminal or traffic matters. Juvenile delinquency cases are cases involving a minor under the age of 18 who has been accused of committing an offense that would be considered criminal if committed by an adult.

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    Other juvenile offenses may be referred to as status offenses. Status offenses are those acts that are unlawful only because they are committed by a minor. In addition, this court handles other matters involving the family such as custody, support and visitation. The court also hears family abuse cases, cases where adults have been accused of child abuse or neglect, and criminal cases where the defendant and alleged victim are family or household members. Judges and clerks of court may have a local practice that is not reflected on this website.

    Always check with your local court about its procedures. Please note that only an attorney representing you can provide legal advice. Skip to main content. What happens in a Divorce? What are the different kinds of divorce? What resources can help me understand the divorce process?

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    What about custody, visitation and support? Please visit the Custody and Support page. Table of Contents Circuit Court. Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.