The Indiana Supreme Court is the highest state court in Indiana. It is responsible for interpreting the State and Federal Constitutions, writing procedural rules for the Indiana state courts, and overseeing the practice of law for lawyers and judges across the state. The Supreme Court Courtroom is the only room in the Statehouse that looks much as it did in 1888 when the Indiana Statehouse was built. Most of the furniture in the room is original, and pictures of all but two of the 108 Justices who have served on the court hang on the Courtroom walls. The Courtroom has recently undergone a facelift so that it may continue to serve as the timeless treasure it is.
We hope that your visit is pleasant and informative.
Public Supreme Court proceedings are called "oral arguments," which provide the Justices with the opportunity to ask attorneys questions about the cases. Usually, oral arguments last 40 minutes to an hour. The Sheriff of the Supreme Court calls the court to order. Each side has 20-30 minutes to argue. An electronic timer with green, yellow, and red lights keeps track of time for each argument. Typically the appealing party will open the argument, the other side then responds, and then the appealing party has the last word.
Members of the public may attend Supreme Court oral arguments, and seats are provided on a first come, first served basis. Large groups may request special seating arrangements for a particular oral argument by contacting the Supreme Court Sheriff at least one week in advance at 317-233-9064 or gary.miller@courts.IN.gov.
The Courtroom doors are closed a few minutes before an oral argument begins, and no entry into the Court is permitted once the doors are closed. If you must leave the Courtroom at any time during an argument, please be courteous and do so as quietly as possible. We also ask that you speak softly in the lobby immediately outside the Courtroom when court is in session. A video monitor is stationed in the lobby area for real time viewing of oral arguments outside the Courtroom.
Pictures may be taken before or after the argument but not when the argument is in session. No video or audio recordings may be made during a Supreme Court oral argument. All pagers, cellular telephones, cameras and other electronic equipment must be turned off or silenced during oral arguments. The Supreme Court does allow the quiet use of personal computing devices (e.g., laptops, iPads, smart phones, etc.) in the back row of the gallery with authorization by the Supreme Court Sheriff at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of the hearing, although they may not be used to make a recording of any kind or to send or receive a telephone call.
For more information about the Supreme Court's media policies, see Information for Members of the Press.
The Courtroom is handicap accessible. Assisted hearing devices are available for the hearing impaired. Please request assisted hearing devices from the Courtroom staff.
Supreme Court of Indiana
315 Indiana State House
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm