St. Joseph County is the only county in Indiana with a Probate Court, which is a court of limited or special jurisdiction. The Probate Court consists of one Judge elected to a six year term and three magistrates appointed by the Judge.
The Probate Court has authority over estates, wills, trusts, guardianship, adoptions, and paternity disputes. It also has a family court that deals with domestic matters such as divorce, child support, and visitation rights. The Probate Court has jurisdiction over all juvenile matters, including the administration of the Juvenile Justice Center.