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Superior Court Office
What we do:
The Superior Court serves all of the citizens of Adams County as one of the two existing trial courts. The Court has jurisdiction over all felonies, but primarily focuses on misdemeanors and Class D Felonies. This Court, likewise, has jurisdiction over all civil matters involving all amounts, but the primary focus is in small claims ($6,000.00 or less). All traffic cases are filed in this Court as well, although many are administered through the traffic violations bureau at the clerk’s office. The Court also has jurisdiction over landlord/tenant issues, dissolution of marriage, title and possession of real property and all other cases except for juvenile offenses (under the age of 18).
About the Judge:
Pat Miller is a 1988 graduate of Indiana University and a 1991 graduate of Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. Pat Miller has presided as Judge of Adams Superior Court since January 1, 2009.
A civil action requesting a money judgment for $6,000.00 or less can be filed as a small claim. Typically, these cases involve demands for paying debts, back rent, unpaid medical bills, failure to make payments in accordance with agreements, etc.
A current small claims manual is available at www.in.gov/judiciary/selfservice/info.html
The forms for filing are available at the clerk’s office in the main courthouse.
NOTE: The filing of the claim occurs in the main courthouse, but any hearings are held in the Superior Court Building at 122 South 3rd Street (next to the library).
Almost all of the misdemeanors and Class D Felonies in Adams County are filed in this Court. If a police officer or a jail officer has given a criminal defendant a notice to appear in Court, the hearing ordinarily would be held at 8:15 each day and the defendant is required to attend. At that time the person will be advised of his or her legal and constitutional rights, as well as the procedures and future hearing dates. Failure to attend said hearing could result in an arrest warrant being issued or (in traffic cases) suspension of driver’s license until the person appears in Court.
Note: Minor traffic violations (for example, speeding, unless otherwise noted, stop sign violations, seat belt violations, etc.) can be processed through the violations bureau at the clerk’s office. Information about the violations bureau of available on the purple card that was perhaps given to you by a police officer, on the clerk’s website or by contacting the clerk’s office at (260) 724-5300, Extension 2106.
Dissolution of marriage:
If there are children involved in a dissolution of marriage, a decree will not be issued by the Court unless it is shown that both of the parties have successfully completed a program called “Families in Transition.” You may enroll by calling (260) 824-8574. Likewise, all parents should be aware of the presumption of the application of the parenting guidelines.
These guidelines can be found at www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/parenting/index.html
Basically, these guidelines illustrate the customary allotment of time between the two parents often called “visitation.” Likewise, the Supreme Court has issued guidelines in determining the amount of support to be payable by the non-custodial parent.
These guidelines can be found at www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/child_support/index.html
Finally, a dissolution of marriage cannot be granted until at least 60 days have expired after the date of filing.
In the past, these orders were called restraining orders. Not everyone can obtain a protective order. The petitioner must be a victim of domestic or family violence, stalking or a sex offense.
The forms are available at www.in.gov/judiciary/forms/po.html
Carefully read the instructions. The forms and instructions are also available at the clerk’s office in the main courthouse.
- 122 S. 3rd Street
- P.O. Box 569
- Decatur, Indiana 46733
- Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Closed 12 - 1)
Judge, Adams Superior Court
Court Administrator (Carrie Freeman is the court and office manager and serves as the jury administrator and handles all venue cases and all administrative duties.)
Court Reporter (Karrel Adams records and transcribes the proceedings in the Court, responds to telephone inquiries and schedules criminal and civil matters.)
Court Reporter (Jan Scott records and transcribes the proceedings in the Court, responds to telephone inquiries and schedules criminal and civil matters.)
Bailiff (Brooke Hindenlang is bailiff during all jury trials and handles all small claims and collections of judgments entered by the Court.)