The first session of the Marion County Circuit Court met on September 26, 1822, the same year the county was organized. The circuit court initially had jurisdiction in all civil and criminal causes and probate matters. From time to time other courts were created in Marion County with responsibility over various phases of county judicial business, but the circuit court remained at the center of the local judicial system throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
In 1829 a probate court was established with exclusive jurisdiction over probate matters. It was abolished in 1852 and probate duties transferred to other courts. In 1907 a new “Probate Court of Marion County” was created.
There have been two courts of common pleas in Marion County. The first, created in 1849, was the “Marion Court of Common Pleas.” It had concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit court over civil causes. It was replaced in 1852 by the “Court of Common Pleas of Marion County.” This court had exclusive jurisdiction over probate matters and shared responsibility for civil and criminal causes with the circuit court. It was abolished in 1873 and all its jurisdictions transferred to the circuit court.
In 1865 the Marion County Circuit Court was divided into separate civil and criminal courts. The criminal circuit court became the “Criminal Court of Marion County” in 1881.
To relieve the crowded docket of the civil circuit court, the Superior Court of Marion County was established in 1871 with concurrent civil jurisdiction.
The surviving paper documents from these courts were transferred to the Indiana State Archives in the early 1960s prior to demolition of the second Marion County Court House. Besides case documents from the various courts (including bonds issued, lists of licenses issued, summonses, subpoenas, jury lists and other miscellaneous documents), there are Marion County Coroner’s Inquests from 1826 to 1895. Volunteers at the Indiana State Archives have processed these paper documents and created this name searchable database from these records only.
Researchers should bear in mind that not all the Marion County court documents survive; many gaps in dates were found during processing. Although Marion County court order books and complete record books are available at the Indiana State Archives, many names in these books are neither in these documents nor in the searchable database created from these documents. Marion county court documents created after 1930 are not processed and names appearing there are not in this database.
The results returned in the search that follows will offer a summary of the cases on file in the Indiana State Archives. Files sizes may range from one page to numerous records. To inquire about copy fees for a particular file, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Also visit our website at http://www.in.gov/icpr/2722.htm.