Boone County was established in 1830, named after and in honor of Daniel Boone. The Boone County Circuit Court was established in 1832. Prior to that time a Circuit Court Judge served different counties and portions thereof and literally rode the Circuit from town to town. The first term of the Boone County Circuit Court was convened in a home in Jamestown, the next term of the Circuit Court was held in Thorntown. The decision was made to hold the third session in Lebanon at the home of A.H. Longley, (the benefactor of Abner Longley Park). In 1834, Circuit Court officially moved into the Courthouse in downtown Lebanon, although not the courthouse that exists today. B.F. Morris was the first Judge of the Circuit Court. There have been 25 different Circuit Court Judges in Boone County's history. Their terms of service have varied from 2 years to 26 years.
Judge J. Jeffrey Edens Magistrate Sally Berish
J. Jeffrey Edens was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels as Judge of the Boone Circuit Court December 29, 2010. Sally E. Berish is Magistrate of the Boone Circuit Court. She was appointed to the bench in 2005. Boone County Circuit Court has criminal, civil, and all of the juvenile jurisdiction in Boone County. Civil cases may be filed in the Circuit Court, or in Superior Court I or II, at the discretion of the person or entity filing the case. The two Superior Courts were established by the State Legislature within the past 25 years, as the county's population has continued to grow. Criminal cases are filed in the three courts pursuant to a local rule approved by the Indiana Supreme Court. The Boone County Circuit Court has exclusive jurisdiction of all Juvenile matters (Paternity, Children in Need of Services, and Juvenile Delinquency and Status offense cases). Boone County Superior Court I has exclusive jurisdiction over Estate cases and Boone County Superior Court II has exclusive jurisdiction over Small claims cases. All three courts have developed critical expertise in their subject matter jurisdiction. Judge Matthew Kincaid is the Judge of the Boone County Superior Court I and Rebecca S. McClure is the Judge of the Boone County Superior Court II.
The Indiana Constitution directs that the State be divided into several circuits by the General Assembly. Of the 92 counties in Indiana, 88 have circuit courts. The remaining four counties are divided into joint circuit courts of two counties each. There are 102 circuit court judges in the State of Indiana.
The circuit courts are vested with unlimited trial jurisdiction in all cases, except where exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction is conferred upon other courts.
Circuit courts also have appellate jurisdiction over appeals from city and town courts.
Superior courts are created by statutes enacted by the General Assembly. Though their jurisdiction may vary from county to county, for the most part they are courts of general jurisdiction.
City and Town courts may be created by local ordinance. Their jurisdiction is very limited, usually limited to city ordinance violations, infractions and misdemeanors. Boone County has five City and Town courts, located in Zionsville, Jamestown, Whitestown, Lebanon and Thorntown.