ELKHART — Four county judge seats are open in the 2014 Elkhart County Elections, and during primary elections voters will have to choose one of four candidates for the Superior Court 3 seat.
A superior court judge is usually elected at the general election every six years, according to this year's Indiana Candidate Guide.
The judge's term begins Jan. 1 after the election and ends Dec. 31, after the election of the judge's successor.
Here's what you need to know about the seats available this year:
The seats open in the judicial elections are for Superior Court 1, Superior Court 3, Superior Court 4 and Superior Court 5.
All county courts in Elkhart deal with criminal and civil cases, and each court is assigned different cases.
Superior Court 1 deals mostly with criminal cases that include sexual assault and battery cases, criminal recklessness and domestic cases, with the exception of child victim cases.
The court, which is in Elkhart, also deals with all civil filings with the exception of mental health cases and small claims.
Judge Evan Roberts, the current judge of Superior Court 1, announced Jan. 10 he plans on seeking re-election this year in the Republican primary election.
Superior Court 3 deals with all child victim cases except murder, half of the controlled substance sale and possession cases filed as Class A, B and C felonies, and kidnapping and confinement cases, among others.
The court in Goshen deals with civil filings that exclude guardianships and small claims.
Superior Court 3 Judge George Biddlecome announced in January that he will not seek re-election this year. Biddlecome said in a statement that he plans to pursue other interests. Biddlecome has served in the bench for 17 years over three terms.
“I have been blessed with a wonderful staff and colleagues on the bench and in other walks of life who have made the performance of my duties easier and more pleasurable," he said in the statement.
Superior Court 4 deals with half of all habitual offender cases and one-third of all other Class D felonies and misdemeanor cases, with the exception of non-support cases.
Civil cases filed in Superior Court 4 do not include guardianship, estates, mental health paternity and dissolution. The court is in Goshen.
Superior Court 4 Judge Olga Stickel announced in January that she plans to retire by the end of the year, after more than 26 years in public service.
“I am grateful to have had a chance to serve a wonderful community in a job that I loved,” she said in a statement. “I hope that over the years some lives have been touched in a positive way.”
Superior Court 5 deals with half of all habitual traffic offender cases and a third of all other Class D felonies and misdemeanors.
The court in Elkhart deals with all civil cases filed, with the exception of guardianships, estates, mental health paternity and dissolution cases.
Judge Charles Wicks, the current judge of Superior Court 5 announced in January that he plans to seek re-election. Wicks and Roberts are running uncontested in the primary elections.