Circuit Court
Ann Knox Bauer, Honorable Judge

Circuit Court Judges are elected on a nonpartisan basis for a six-year term at the April election. The term of office begins in August following the election. The Circuit Court has original jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters. The judge is responsible for all probate,  guardianship and mental health cases, as well as child and juvenile matters. Family Court Commissioner Bonnie Wachsmuth performs quasi-judicial duties and directs the family court counseling services, working under the direction of the circuit court judge. Typical duties are conducting stipulated divorce hearings; hearings on temporary orders in divorce; enforcement of physical placement hearings; child support hearings; revision of support, placement and custody hearings; and injunction hearings. The FCC also facilitates the appointment of mediators and the mediation process that is required in any case where placement or custody of a minor child is contested.