Clinton County Circuit Court

CIRCUIT COURT
Judge Bradley Mohler
355 Courthouse Square
Frankfort IN 46041
Telephone: (765) 659-6345

Circuit courts are the only trial courts mentioned in the Indiana Constitution, but the Constitution did not create circuit courts. The 1851 Constitution granted the General Assembly the power to create circuit courts. The General Assembly divided Indiana into circuits, based on county lines. Each county in Indiana has at least one circuit court. Indiana has 92 counties, and 90 of these counties comprise their own circuit, with their own circuit court. The remaining two small counties (Ohio and Dearborn Counties) have been combined to form one circuit.

When Indiana first became a state, circuit courts were the only courts in each county. Therefore, circuit courts traditionally heard ALL civil and criminal cases. Today, circuit courts continue to have unlimited trial jurisdiction, EXCEPT when exclusive or concurrent (shared) jurisdiction is conferred upon other courts.

Jurisdiction of Indiana Trial Courts

Circuit Courts. Unlimited trial jurisdiction in all cases, except when exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction is conferred upon other courts.

Appellate jurisdiction over appeals from city and town courts.

Superior Courts. Trial jurisdiction and organization varies from county to county.

Appellate jurisdiction over appeals from city and town courts.

City/Town Courts. Jurisdiction varies depending upon the size of the city

In counties without superior courts, the circuit courts in addition to all other cases, also handle small claims cases, such as civil disputes involving less than $6,000 and minor offenses, such as misdemeanors, ordinance violations, and Class D felonies. Class D felonies are the lowest level (least serious) of felony charges. Circuit courts also have appellate jurisdiction over appeals from city and town courts.