Indiana Legal Resources

Overview of the Indiana Court System

The Indiana court system has four tiers of courts: the limited jurisdiction courts, the general jurisdiction courts, the intermediate appellate courts and the court of last resort. There are two different limited jurisdiction courts: the town courts and the city courts. They handle similar matters, including traffic infractions, city ordinance or code violations and minor misdemeanors.

The general jurisdiction courts are the circuit and superior courts. Both courts handle civil and criminal affairs, but the circuit courts tend to handle more severe matters while the superior courts take care of matters that the circuits don't get to.

The intermediate appellate courts are the Court of Appeals and the Tax Court. The Court of Appeals hears appeals of decisions made by the lower courts and may reverse or uphold the lower court decisions. The Tax Court has original jurisdiction over appeals of decisions made by state or local governments over how much tax you owe, for instance.

The court of last decision is the Supreme Court, which hears appeals of decisions made by the intermediate appellate courts. It also handles administrative tasks for the Indiana court system.

Indiana Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Indiana attorney by location and by practice area. We have Indiana attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.

Indiana Legal Forms

LawInfo offers free Indiana legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own. Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.

Homeowners in Indiana may seek to rent their property to help pay down the mortgage or make some extra cash on the side. While this can be a sound business decision, it requires the proper legal preparation to protect your assets. LawInfo provides free Residential Lease Agreement to create legally binding Indiana rental agreements between landlords and tenants.

Last Will and Testament forms may also be found on LawInfo. If you die without a last will, you are said to be "intestate" and forfeit the ability to decide on the passage of your estate. When you file a Last Will and Testament, you can choose who gets which assets, heirlooms and possessions and ensure that your belongings pass according to your wishes.

It may also be prudent to fill out a Power of Attorney document, which is available for free on LawInfo. A Power of Attorney dictates who will have control over your health, finances and legal affairs if you are mentally or physically incapacitated. Because you don't know if or when an accident might happen, it is a good idea to have Power of Attorney documents safely filed away.

Starting an Indiana Business

When beginning an Indiana business venture, it is important to consider the legal consequences as well as the great potential for profit. You need to follow the rules and regulations through the process of starting your company.

The first step is deciding what kind of company you want to have. There are multiple options, from a more informal sole proprietorship to a highly regulated limited liability company or corporation. Your choice will depend on your future goals for your business. The next step is deciding on your company's name. You will need to look up existing companies at the Indiana Secretary of State website to make sure that you aren't using another company's name.

If you are creating a more formal business structure, you will need to file the appropriate articles, such as Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization. All companies will need to register for a state tax ID as well as any relevant local taxes.

Indiana Business Statistics

Small business is a key driver in the Indiana economy. About 488,000 small businesses employed 1.2 million workers in 2010, accounting for 48.2 percent of the workforce in the state. According to the BLS, unemployment hovered around 8.4 percent for most of 2013. Meanwhile, large companies, defined as companies with more than 500 Indiana employees, represented 2.6 percent of all companies in the state.

Some notable larger business organizations headquartered in Indiana include Fortune 500 companies Eli Lilly (LLY), WellPoint (WLP) and Steel Dynamics ( STLD).