Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
Show All Answers
The Adult Probation Department is open from Monday to Friday, 8:00 to 4:30 pm and is located at 227 W Jefferson Blvd, 4th Floor, South Bend, IN 46601. Click for map
The Adult Probation Department is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Adult Probation Department is on the 4th Floor of the County-City Building located at 227 W Jefferson Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601.
Drug testing is determined by your supervising agency, so you will need to contact them before reporting to the laboratory. If you are required to drug test at the CSAP lab, see information listed below. The CSAP Laboratory is open as follows: Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. The lab is located at 227 W Jefferson Blvd, 3rd Floor, South Bend, IN. You must bring a Photo ID and $15 with you. If you are testing for an agency other than Probation, CSAP or Problem Solving Court - you must bring documentation from your referring agency.
Investigators attempt to gather as much information as possible about the report. This may include contacting the person's care-giver(s), family member(s) and physician. If the adult appears to be endangered, an investigator will make an unannounced home visit to assess the situation and determine whether the case is substantiated.
A certified copy of a marriage license has the courts seal on it certifying that it is a true and legal copy of the marriage license, usually required for legal purposes, like getting your real id. A non-certified copy of a marriage license does not have any seal on it, usually used for personal purposes, like for genealogy.
To obtain a certified copy of your marriage license, please fill out the form /DocumentCenter/View/7119 and submit.
You can request the document from the Clerk's Office or from the Archives and Records Center.
We have Marriage Licenses from 1832 to 1988 from South Bend, and 9/9/1980 to 2/14/1998 from Mishawaka.
We have Marriage Applications from April 1905 to 1988 from South Bend, and 9/9/1980 to 2/14/1998 from Mishawaka.
A certified copy of a divorce decree has the courts seal on it certifying that it is a true and legal copy of the divorce decree, usually required for legal purposes. A non-certified copy of a divorce decree does not have any seal on it, usually used for personal purposes, like for genealogy.
To obtain a certified copy of your Divorce Decree, please fill out the form /DocumentCenter/View/7119 and submit.
We have Divorce Indexes from 1832 to 1984 in South Bend. We have a Divorce Index from 1980-1990 in Mishawaka. If you need Divorce records after 1984 in South Bend or 1990 in Mishawaka, please contact the Clerk's office.
For land record information you can contact the Assessor's Office or the Recorder's Office.
For Birth Certificates please contact the Health Department at 574-235-9750 x 2, or visit the Health Departments page .
A Marriage License gives you the date when the couple applied to get their marriage license, and the date, place, and who married them. The Marriage Application has the biographical information, date of birth, birthplace, parents information, if they have been married before, etc...
For Death Certificates please contact the Health Department at 574-235-9750 x 2, or visit the Health Departments page .
Please visit the Records Division at the St. Joseph County Jail located at 401 W. Sample St in South Bend between the hours of 8:00 am. and 4:00 pm.
If your company would like to get a pre-employment background check for a prospective employee, please contact the Records Division at 574-245-6535 between the hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.
Our cost for copies is $0.05 (five cents) per page. The cost is the same whether you stop in our office, and have us make a copy or if you have us scan and email it to you, or if we mail it to you.
Payments can be made by cash, check, money order, or online for payments more than $2.00.
Genealogy/Research requests are done on a first come first serve basis. The time it takes us to complete your request depends on how much information you provide and how much research we have to do. We try to complete most requests within 7 days, if we can not complete it in that time, we email you and let you know.
We ask that you contact the St Joseph County Clerk's office at 574-235-9635 because we do not release criminal information here.
Yes. A case may be opened in our office even if the children have emancipated or the child support order has terminated for another reason. However, if an extended period of time has passed, we may not be able to collect on your previous order due to the statute of limitations. Our office would need to review your court orders to determine if we would be able to assist you with collections on the arrears due.
If paternity has not been established or a paternity affidavit has not been signed, you may request a genetic test to determine if you are the biological father of the child(ren). You may request a genetic test at the time of the court hearing. Our office can also work with you and the mother to have genetic testing completed prior to the court hearing.
Child support is calculated using the Indiana Child Support Guidelines. A child support worksheet is prepared to determine what the appropriate child support order should be. The income of both the mother and the father is considered, as well as overnight parenting time, other biological children the parties may have, day care expenses, and health insurance. The Indiana Supreme Court offers a free Child Support Calculator you may use.
Once an employer has received an income withholding order, the employer must start withholding from the non-custodial parent’s earnings no later than the first pay period that occurs after 14 days following the date the notice was mailed. Typically, it takes around 4 weeks for the first payment to be remitted by the employer to the Indiana State Central Collection Unit (INSCCU). If you still haven’t received any payments 4-6 weeks after you’ve received the notice of withholding, please contact your caseworker.
Our office is prohibited by federal law from discussing the other parent’s taxes with anyone. We will not be able to tell you a date when the money would be released to your account.
You can contact your caseworker to see if your order can be modified. You must include a reason why you think the modification would be appropriate (such as job loss, change in daycare expenses, or change in overnight parenting time). Your caseworker will then notify you if our office can review your case for modification.
If we are unable to review your case at this time, you can request a modification from the court by filing pro se (representing yourself in court) or by hiring a private attorney.
In accordance with federal law, the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office Child Support Division is not involved in custody issues or visitation/parenting time disputes. You can request the issue be addressed in court by filing pro se (representing yourself in court) or by hiring a private attorney.
You may go to Courthouse 1 to pick up the Protection Order paperwork or you can file a petition online.
Contact the Community Service Coordinator
Parolees and Probationers must both abide by conditions set either by the sentencing court or the Parole Board. These conditions can include the payment of fines or court costs, participation in treatment for mental health or substance abuse, random drug testing, and regular meetings with a probation officer. Failure to comply with these conditions can result in sanctions, up to and including revocation. Revocation usually requires offenders to serve the remainder of their sentence incarcerated, either in jail or with the state Department of Correction.
DuComb Center currently houses both male and female clients within the facility. DuComb is divided into two housing units; one for male clients and the other for females. The male unit can house up to 88 men. The female unit can house up to 20 women.
The Auditor transfer fee is $10.00 per parcel. For instance: if you bring in a Warranty Deed that transfers three parcels, the Auditor's fee would be $30.00.
The only deduction that needs to be filed after a refinance is the mortgage deduction.
The deadlines are different for real estate and mobile homes. Real estate property tax deduction applications must be signed by December 31st of the year you are applying for and presented to the Auditor by the following January 5th. Mobile homes deduction applications (if you are the owner on January 1st) must be filed by March 31st of the year you are applying for.
Most commonly people file for the mortgage and homestead deductions. They are not the same deduction. If you are buying a property with a mortgage, you could apply for the mortgage deduction. If you own a property and it is your principle place of residency, you could apply for the homestead deduction. Please see /DocumentCenter/View/13440 for a complete list of available property tax deductions.
Yes. Indiana Code 6-1.1-12-17.8(d), as amended by HEA 1450, requires that if an unmarried individual receiving a homestead deduction marries and would like to continue to receive the homestead deduction, as long as they are still eligible for the deduction, they must reapply. As such, a change in marital status, even if there is no change to the deed, requires reapplying for the deduction.
We have a convenient map available for informational purposes only. The only way to confirm your lot lines is to have your property surveyed by a professional surveyor. Please click on this link maps.macog.com .
To obtain a copy of your marriage license, please fill out the form /DocumentCenter/View/7119 and submit.
Absentee Voting for the 2018 Primary Election begins Tuesday, April 10, 2018.
Or you may fax or mail a letter to one of our 3 locations (listed above). You will need to send a copy of your valid photo ID. Under your ID, you will need to print clearly your name, address, phone number and your request.
Most cases that are investigated by the Coroner's office are reviewed and closed within seven to 21 days. If a case is pending toxicology or microscopic examination, a cause and manner of death could take up to 10 weeks for final results.
The following is a list of death in which the Coroner's office is contacted: - Accidental poisoning ( food, chemical, drug, therapeutic agents) - All deaths of unidentified persons - All deaths where patient is under anesthetic - Death occurring within 24 hours of admission at a hospital or health care facility. - Drowning, fire, exposure, acute alcoholism, drug addiction, strangulation, aspiration or malnutrition - Following an accident or injury primary or contributory, either old or recent - Incarceration - Known or suspected contagious disease constituting a public hazard, excluding AIDS - Known or suspected homicide - Occupational disease or occupational hazards - Physician unable to state cause of death, after careful review of medical chart, or decedent does not have a physician - Related to or following suspected self-inflected or criminal abortion - Sudden death of a healthy child
The coroner will determine if the death will be investigated or if the death certificate can be routinely signed by the attending physician. For more information, contact us at 574-235-5038.
The Health Department issues Death Certificates. The Health Department is located on the 8th Floor of the County City Building. Phone-(574)235-9750
The public hearing meetings always start at 6:00 p.m.
To find out who your council person is visit our GIS MAP
Our public hearings are held every second Tuesday of the month with the exception of holidays. You may link to our 2018 schedule here for exact dates.
The County Council meets every first Tuesday of the month (with the exception of holidays) at 6:00 p.m. The public hearings are held 227 W Jefferson Boulevard South Bend, Indiana 46601 South Bend, IN 46601 on the 4th floor, Council Chambers.
You may link to the St. Joseph County code book here.
To pick up an accident report you may go to buycrash.com and purchase it from that site for $12.00 or you may visit the Records Division at the St. Joseph County Jail located at 401 W. Sample St. South Bend between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday. The cost to pick it up in person is $8.00 cash.
For an incident report, please visit the Records Division, these are not available online at this time. The cost is $1.00 per report.
Please contact our non-emergency dispatch at 574-235-9611 option #1 to request an officer to obtain a VIN check for the Indiana BMV. Payment is $5 cash for each vehicle.
Please visit the state’s website to begin the application process for your Concealed Carry Permit (CCW). After you complete the state portion of the application process and get your fingerprints done please visit the Records Division at the St. Joseph County Police at 401 W. Sample St. South Bend between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm to complete the local portion of your application. For any other questions regarding your application, please call the Records Division at 574-245-6535.
Please visit our Records Division at the St. Joseph County Jail located at 401 W. Sample St in South Bend between the hours of 8:00 am. and 4:00 pm. The cost for a background check is $8.00 cash. You must have a photo ID to compete the request.
To put money on an inmate's commissary or "books" you may send a money order to the St. Joseph County Jail at 401 W. Sample St. South Bend, IN 46601 with your inmate's name on the bottom of the envelope. You may also come into the jail lobby between the hours of 7 am and 9 pm and use our kiosk. (The jail does not accept cash at the counter, only in the kiosk).
Bond or bail money can be accepted between the hours of 7 am and 9 pm at the County Jail, located at 401 W. Sample St. South Bend, IN. To find out the amount of the bail you may call 574-245-6501 or visit Jailtracker . You may also pay a bond or bail online at govpaynet.com. You will need the inmate's OCA number and the amount of the bail or bond which you may obtain by calling the jail or from our inmate lookup.
Please visit the Records Division at the St. Joseph County Jail which is located at 401 W. Sample St. South Bend, between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm to fill out a noise ordinance request.
By County Ordinance 130, loud music and construction noises are allowed between the hours of 7 am and 10:00 pm. The Sheriff has the authority to approve or deny a request on a case by case basis. The cost is $5.00 per day, due in cash at the time of the approval by the Sheriff.
The Recorders Office is open daily 8-4:30 Monday- Friday. We remain open during lunch hours.
There is free 2 hour street parking available on most downtown streets, 6 am- 6pm. If you think you will need more time there are a couple parking garages that charge a fee.
For tax penalty information, please
You will receive one mailing each year, which will include both Spring and Fall Installment billings.
Understanding Your Tax Bill
Categories include Homestead Credit and Mortgage, Blind or Disabled, Over 65, Energy System, and Disabled Veteran.
View all list of deductions and how to file.
Most taxpayers can view a tax history of their property on our website. Once you locate your property you will see general information, billing information, tax overview and tax history.
227 W Jefferson Blvd South Bend IN 46601
Yes, by visiting enoticesonline.com/index.php/stj
Indiana law requires the appointment of either a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) or a trained Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in abuse and neglect cases under certain circumstances and provides for discretionary appointment in others. If a child is alleged to be a Child In Need of Services (CHINS) because he presents a risk to himself or others, is born with drugs or alcohol in his system or is at-risk as a result of pre-natal substance abuse, is not receiving appropriate medical care or the whereabouts of his parent is unknown, the court should appoint a Guardian Ad Litem or CASA. The Court has the discretion to appoint a GAL or CASA if the petition alleges other statutory standards for a Child In Need of Services, but shall appoint if the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child denies the allegations of a petition. Moreover, if a child becomes the subject of a petition to terminate the parent/child relationship and the parent objects, the court must appoint a GAL or CASA for the child. In addition to abuse and neglect cases, Indiana law allows for, and some Indiana courts are now appointing CASA volunteers in custody and paternity cases. Although the number of volunteers who provide an invaluable service to Indiana trial courts is remarkable, the need for more volunteers is still unmet.
CASA volunteers undergo a thorough training process conducted by the local CASA program. Locally, volunteers receive 35 hours of training offered by a variety of professionals who contribute their training services to the program. Training topics include: Introduction to the Child Welfare System, Juvenile Court System, Child Development, Cultural Competence, Effective Communication, Sexual Victimization and Perpetration, and an ongoing emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of the CASA volunteer. Additionally, the local program follows the National CASA Association Volunteer Training Curriculum.
"CASA volunteers serve as the eyes and ears of the Court. They are to be commended for their interest and dedication in advocating for children. Protecting the best interest of the child is the overriding concern of every CASA volunteer." (Hon. Peter J. Nemeth, Judge, St. Joseph Probate Court) "The CASAs services are very much needed for the welfare of these children. Thank you for your dedication to these children. I can certainly understand why you want the CASA back in St. Joseph County to be reassigned to another family. She has done an outstanding job and certainly has the children’s interest at heart." (Hon. Michael D. Cook, Former Judge, Marshall Circuit Court) Local Facts: During 2020, 895 children were served by 157 volunteers who contributed tens of thousands of hours. Locally, the CASA Program of St. Joseph County is administered by the St. Joseph Probate Court.
In order to do any work on a regulated ditch, you need to have the approval of the Drainage Board
No permanent structure shall be built within the right-of-way.
You need to notify the County Surveyor of your intent and then we will make a determination if the regulated drain can accept your water.
You can call or come into the County Surveyor’s office and fill out a drainage investigation form. An investigation will be made and the tile will be fixed if necessary. You can also call the Drainage Board at 574-235-7800.
Contact the County Surveyor’s office at 574-235-7800.
The County’s economic development staff helps to set the growth and development plan for the Department of Infrastructure, Planning & Growth team and serves as a liaison to coordinate development opportunities with our local cities and towns, the South Bend Regional Chamber, the South Bend-Elkhart Partnership, the State of Indiana’s Economic Development Corporation as well as the private development community and existing, local businesses to help facilitate growth and development within the four corners of the County. Staff works with the development community to help navigate internal and external processes to help advance projects and match incentives, when needed, to help projects to completion. Staff works with local businesses that are seeking to expand or relocate within the County and aids and coordinates to help these businesses grow. Staff also works proactively with State and Federal partners to find resources that can be used locally to leverage development or infrastructure projects.
The Division of Economic Development staff works with our regional economic development partners to promote our region to the local, regional, national, and international development community and to help prospects navigate local and regional development rules to complete their projects. Our team’s goal is to take St. Joseph County to the world and to bring the world to St. Joseph County!
The Division of Economic Development staff aides and assists the Towns by serving as supplemental staff to the local government units as they prepare economic development plans, assist with business retention and expansion projects and coordinates as needed when prospects are interested in developing within their Town limits. Staff also works with the development offices in the cities of Mishawaka and South Bend on an as-needed basis.
Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, is a financial tool that collects new property tax increment generated by new development within a legally defined area. The collected increment helps to pay for infrastructure improvements (streets, sewers, parking lots) in the area near a new development and for targeted property acquisition to support redevelopment purposes. A TIF district sits within an Economic Development Area (EDA) which is a legally defined area managed by the local Redevelopment Commission. Further information about the St. Joseph County Redevelopment Commission or the Commission’s four economic development areas can be found in this section of the website.
An economic development area (EDA) is a legally defined geography that is established to facilitate economic development or redevelopment. An EDA is managed by the local redevelopment commission. Presently, the St. Joseph County Redevelopment Commission manages four (4) EDA’s and is considering the designation of two additional EDAs.
In Indiana, tax abatement is technically defined within state law as an economic revitalization area (ERA) deduction. The process begins by designating a certain piece of real estate as an ERA. Subsequent investment on that property, within state guidelines, is then eligible for tax abatement. Two types of investments can receive tax abatement - real estate and personal property improvements.
Regarding real property, the purchase of land does not qualify for a deduction; only a structure or building. Abatement is only for the increase in assessed value which means it cannot be applied to the value of existing structures. Activities eligible for abatement include the construction of new structures, additions to existing structures, and the remodel or repair of a structure that results in an increase in assessed value. Deductions for real property can be approved for a period up to ten years, during which, new taxes are phased in, hence the term tax phase-in.
Personal property abatements are for equipment or machinery used for the production, manufacturing, fabrication, assembly, or processing of other personal property. In addition, equipment used for research and development, information technology systems and on-site logistical equipment are eligible for abatement. Used equipment can qualify for abatement if not previously used and taxed in Indiana. Like the real property abatement, deductions for personal property can be granted for a period up to five years with additional years of abatement based upon the size of the project.
The tax abatement program is managed by the St. Joseph County Council. The Division of Economic Development plays a support role to the Council and works with the prospects and assists them through the various interviews and meetings required for approval. Tax abatement information can be found at: https://www.sjcindiana.com/taxabatement.
Eminent domain refers to the power of the government to take private property and convert it into public use, following the payment of just compensation. The Fifth Amendment provides that the government may only exercise this power if they provide just compensation to the property owners. Private property is taken through condemnation proceedings, in which owners can challenge the legality of the seizure and settle the matter of fair market value used for compensation. The most straightforward examples of condemnation involve land and buildings seized to make way for a public project.
The County and the Redevelopment Commission are both granted the right to use condemnation through State law to further public projects. The County has used condemnation in the past to acquire land for roadway, infrastructure, and drainage projects.
Partner Agencies will begin accepting applications March 17th, 2021.
Interested households should go to SJCIndiana.com/ERA to locate partner agencies accepting applications for rental and utilities assistance.
Assistance is available to renters for rent, utilities, home energy, and internet expenses. Utilities include gas, electric, water, sewer, and trash. Home energy expenses include fuel oil propane, firewood, or coal.
Twelve months of assistance is available to each qualifying household. This includes past due rent, utilities, home energy, internet expenses, and forward-facing rent.
Yes. A renter household may have received LIHEAP during the 2020-2021 program year and still be eligible to receive assistance through the ERA program in 2021.
Yes. If a qualifying household received assistance from either RAF or ESG the household may be eligible to receive ERA assistance. The assistance provided ERA cannot duplicate the months of assistance provided by the prior program. If a household received rental assistance in November, December, January, and February they may receive ERA assistance beginning in March.
Yes. A household may receive ERA assistance for the tenant’s portion of rent, however, ERA may not duplicate the rental assistance/subsidy that the household receives. The household may also be eligible for utility/home energy and internet assistance.
The amount of rental assistance is based on the size of the apartment. Below are the maximum rental benefit amounts:
At this juncture, the application process will not proceed.
Tenants will not be taxed for ERA assistance payments.
Income Regulation for Emergency Rental Assistance Program
St. Joseph County, Indiana
If outreach attempts have been unsuccessful or the landlord provides written correspondence they do not want to participate, the payment will issue to the tenant as a two-party signature. One signature being the tenant and one signature being the landlord.
Landlords should review the regulations and guidance with their accountants. Until further guidance is established by Treasury, it is assumed that Landlords will treat ERA assistance payments as rental income, however this is an issue that we are unable to give an opinion on.
The ERA program can still help eligible tenants, even if they have received other assistance. The program does not allow for duplication of services, however, if a previous rental assistance program left a portion of tenant-owed arrears, those amounts can be included in this assistance. The number of months assistance will count towards the maximum allowed and arrears are paid before considering future payments.
There are 2 options:
Option 1: Navigate to http://www.sjcindiana.com/1743/GIS--County-Mapping and choose the County Layers tab to download stripped down mapping layers.
This option is for those that just need the line work (no data included).
Option 2: Navigate to Online GIS Data Request Form and fill out the form with requested information to obtain mapping services.
This option is for those that need line work and the data fields (if for entire county a fee of $200 and a signed Provisional Data Usage Agreement is required
before layer is delivered).
Fill out form with requested information to obtain printed map Online Mapping Requests.
The Regional GIS website it maintained by MACOG (Michiana Area Council of Government).
If you have questions pertaining to this website please contact them directly via phone (574) 287-1829
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Base maps of St. Joseph County can be found at: http://www.sjcindiana.com/785/Base-Maps
Quick Access Maps
In 2015, the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Growth GIS staff created the St. Joseph County GIS Quick Access maps.
These maps are designed to give you answers to basic county information quickly.
There is a total of 37 informational maps (layer specific) and 4 story maps (mapping presentations).
St. Joseph County Quick Access Maps
St. Joseph County Quick Access maps
For additional information please contact: FEMA Flood Map Service Center
For all zoning classifications for County addresses (five digit addresses), New Carlisle, Roseland, Osceola, Lakeville, and North Liberty: St. Joseph County Zoning Classifications
For all South Bend addresses (2,3,4 digit addresses): City of South Bend Zoning Map
For the town of Walkerton (2,3,4 digit addresses): Walkerton Zoning Classifications
Locate the closest Vote Center to you for the 2020 General Election: St. Joseph County Quick Access Maps
The soil is the system. As such, the area for the soil absorption field must be protected before and after installation. As stated in Indiana State Department of Health Rule 410 IAC 6-8.3, “No construction on the residential sewage disposal system may take place if the residential sewage disposal system site is disturbed or altered after the on-site evaluation by the addition of fill material, (other than construction necessary for the residential sewage disposal system) or by cutting, scraping, compaction, or the removal of soil, until a new evaluation has been conducted and a modified permit has been issued.” According to the rule, all Indiana septic systems must discharge into the soil. For soils to be suitable for a septic system absorption field, they must not be compacted or have fill. Compaction reduces the ability of a soil to disperse and treat wastewater effluent and can lead to system failure. Septic systems cannot be placed in fill due to the inability to predict permeability from the disruption of structure and the variability of the soil. The more natural and undisturbed the soil on your lot, the better your septic system is likely to perform. Do not put any structure on top of or immediately down slope of the soil absorption field. This office recommends a set-aside area for another soil absorption field in the event of system failure or future additions to the home.
Establishing a vegetative cover, such as native grasses, is beneficial to the proper function of your septic system and critical for mound systems. Plants with good root systems can stabilize the soil to prevent erosion, loosen the soil to allow air movement, and even draw water. While trees and some shrubs can remove a significant amount of water from the area, their roots can occlude sewer lines, damage septic tanks, and invade distribution lines. Aggressive water-loving trees such as poplar, willow and maple should be avoided near the soil absorption field. Most trees root systems are about the same size as the leaf canopy at maturity. A good rule of thumb is to plant trees at least this distance away. Even if you plant non-aggressive types, the potential for damage to the system exists. Before planting trees or shrubs, consult with a tree nursery professional or Purdue Cooperative Extension agent.
Septic systems in Indiana may function for 20 years or more. The Department of Health's responsibility is to make sure the system is properly sited, designed, and installed, but the homeowner is responsible for the use and maintenance. If the system is not maintained, the system will fail prematurely. For more information, you can contact the Department of Health at 574-235-9721.
This is a much debated question. According to information from the Indiana State Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency:
There are well over 1000 different septic tank additives on the market, but there is no standard for testing them.
There is no evidence proving that a septic tank that is designed, operated, and maintained properly needs an additive to work effectively.
There is no product available that will allow a homeowner to escape regular pumping of the septic tank.
Some additives may actually harm your septic tank and/or absorption field.
There are products that can cause groundwater contamination.
As a rule, tanks should be checked for solids buildup every year and pumped every three to five years, more often if you have a garbage disposal which can increase solids buildup by 50%. In practice, however, how often solids should be removed depends on the lifestyle of the family using the system and the size of the tank. If you wait until wastewater begins to back up into your home, solids have already started over-flowing from the septic tank and into your absorption field. This can cause some very expensive damage to the soil absorption system. When choosing a company to remove solids from your tank, ask if they thoroughly clean the tank and remove all solids. It is not very useful to just pump the liquids without removing the solids. To effectively clean the tank, the removed liquids should be flushed back into the tank to thoroughly agitate and remove settled solids. In addition, the baffles on the tank should be checked to make sure they are functional and the tank’s effluent filter (if installed) should be cleaned. A riser installed on your septic tank makes solids removal easier, and septic tank maintenance companies may charge less if the tank is easy to access. If your tank has an effluent filter installed, it can be inspected and cleaned through the riser. A properly functioning tank effluent filter protects the soil absorption field much more effectively than a baffle. If your tank does not currently have one, consider installing one the next time you have your tank cleaned. Note: a septic permit is required for any alteration or repair to the system. If you have questions about what is required, contact the Department of Health.
There are many things you can do to reduce water use throughout your home without reducing your quality of life. Generally, don’t let the water run and fix leaky faucets. The more water and waste down the drain, the less time there is for settling of solids in your septic tank and the more effluent the absorption field must treat. Either of these can cause a system to fail prematurely, but together you have a recipe for failure. If your home has a septic system, you should be doing most of these even if you system is functioning normally.
Wash only full loads of dishes in the dishwasher. However, wash them by hand during problem times.
If you rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, fill your sink instead of letting the water run. You can do a quick rinse with clean water when finished.
Fill a bowl with water to wash vegetables, and do a clean-water rinse when finished.
Fill a jug with water for the refrigerator rather than letting the water run until it is cold each time you get a glass of water.
Do not let the water run while brushing your teeth or shaving.
Secure the tub stopper, then take your shower. You’ll be surprised to see how much water you use. Take a bath or a shorter shower.
Install a new low-flush toilet.
Install a low output shower head, preferably with a shut-off option.
Never install a multiple head shower.
Wash only full loads of clothes.
Replace your old washing machine with a water-saving model.
Don’t water the septic system.
A sprinkler system should never be installed over the septic system.
Only water the lawn around the septic system when it NEEDS it. Most of the year, a sprinkler system set on a timer will over-water the lawn.
Direct sump pump lines and downspouts away from the septic system and never connect these or other clean water drains into the homes plumbing.
The Department of Health has records of septic permits starting in 1970. Some of the information is incomplete, but a search can be made. A completed Schematic Request must be submitted to the office, but you can call ahead with as much of the following information as possible to see if we have the record:
Name of original applicant
Year the home was built
Address of home
Subdivision and lot number
You may sometimes hear gurgling in your drains, see bubbling in the toilet, or an occasional damp/wet spot in the yard, or after a large rain the plumbing seems… slow. These are all signs that your system may be “ailing” and headed for replacement. It is possible there may be a simpler solution, such as obstruction or your tank may need pumped. However, if the symptoms return after the tank is pumped, your system is headed for failure. You won’t know until it is evaluated. It will not go away by ignoring it! If you have an “ailing” septic system that is limping along, DON’T WAIT until it is a full blown FAILURE to start the process. The symptoms will get worse! If you complete as much of this process as possible, you can plan. Remember, once the “ailing” goes to “failing,” it disrupts the whole household.
If you have a septic system problem, you should immediately contact the Department of Health and review all the information available in this website, including: procedures, soil scientists, registered septic installers, schematic request, etc. Reduce water usage in your home, check the septic tank for accumulation of solids, and have it pumped as necessary to keep sewage from surfacing on the ground.
Septic systems are now designed specifically for the site based upon daily design flow, soil borings, and an on-site study of the property. The reason your replacement system must now have a bigger absorption field, a system with a dose tank and pump, a larger septic tank, or a mound system is because that is what the soil and conditions on your property qualify for. Most likely, if the existing system has been in use for many years, it was not designed; it was just the standard version of septic systems at the time of installation. Furthermore, due to lack of space, water wells, the addition of fill, compaction, and landscaping, soil and site conditions are different than when the property was developed. If you have questions about system sizing or type, contact an environmental health specialist at 235-9721 for further explanation.
Because of past negative experiences, both for us and the unfortunate homeowners, we recommend that you leave septic system design and installation to the professionals. The Department of Health maintains a list of registered septic installers for you to choose from. However, if you want to pursue your own installation, please be aware of the following:
The septic application and associated paperwork, while as straightforward as possible, will not be familiar to you, and incorrect submittal of paperwork often delays permit approval.
The Department of Health cannot design the system for you. Rule 410 IAC 6-8.3, Residential Sewage Disposal Systems, and County Code 51, will be provided to you for standards of installation and design.
You must submit plans with detail and accuracy showing how you are going to meet minimum specifications.
A homeowner design is seldom of sufficient clarity, accuracy, and completeness to receive approval on the first submission.
A pre-construction conference is required prior to installation of the system.
Many times, space is limited for system repair, and an installation mistake could damage the site beyond use.
You must do the work yourself.
The Department of Health will inspect your system and require corrections if it is not installed correctly.
An onsite septic system or any component thereof must be properly abandoned or removed when the useful life of the system or component has been exceeded or when it is to be abandoned. The property owner is responsible that it is done in compliance with the following:
Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5 pm Office hours are subject to off site field work. Please call ahead to schedule appointment 574/235.9371
Office Location: County City Building, 227 W Jefferson, Suite 1400 S, South Bend, IN 46601
Initial notification you will receive from the courts will be a bright pink postcard that is titled Official Juror Notification. Once you receive this pink postcard you should read and follow the directions on how to complete the questionnaire. There are three ways to complete this questionnaire
1. LOG ON TO: http://www.sjcjury.com and follow the instructions to enter your Juror ID Number
2. TEXT: email@example.com from your mobile device and text your juror ID Number (Text response time varies per cell phone carrier).
3. CALL: The automated phone system at (574) 413-6349 and enter your Juror ID Number using the touch tone phone.
PLEASE NOTE: Your Juror ID Number and your Electronic Signature Number will be listed on the bright pink postcard you receive in the mail. These are needed to log on to, text, or call the jury system.
You will receive a paper summons in the mail that will include all of your reporting instructions. You can also opt in to receive text and/or email notifications that pertain to your potential jury service. PLEASE NOTE- electronic devices are not permitted in any of the St. Joseph County courthouses.
No. Cell phones, cameras, personal digital assistants (PDA's), electronic books, beepers, and any devices that are capable of audio and/or visual recording are not permitted in the courthouses within St. Joseph County. For a complete list of prohibited items please see the Local Rules for St. Joseph County, Indiana
The court shall determine if the prospective jurors are qualified to serve, or, if disabled but otherwise qualified, could serve with reasonable accommodation. In order to serve as a juror, a person shall state under oath or affirmation that he or she is:
(a) a citizen of the United States;
(b) at least eighteen (18) years of age;
(c) a resident of the summoning county;
(d) able to read, speak, and understand, the English language;
(e) not suffering from a physical or mental disability that prevents him or her from rendering satisfactory jury service;
(f) not under a guardianship appointment because of mental incapacity;
(g) not a person who has had rights to vote revoked by reason of a felony conviction and whose rights to vote have not been restored; and
(h) not a law enforcement officer, if the trial is for a criminal case.
A person may claim exemption from jury service only if the person (1) has completed a term of jury service in the twenty-four (24) months preceding the date of the person's summons, or (2) is exempt from jury service pursuant to an exemption expressly provided by statute.
The judge or judge's designee may authorize deferral of jury service for up to one (1) year upon a showing of hardship, extreme inconvenience, or necessity.
Administrative Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8am - 12pm, 1:00pm - 4:30pm. The office is located at St. Patrick’s County Park50651 Laurel RoadSouth Bend, IN 46637.
Where do I go for zoning information and help for property in the St. Joseph County (unincorporated) or the Towns of Lakeville, New Carlisle, North Liberty, Osceola, and Roseland?
Properties with five digits (and sometimes four digits) are in St Joseph County (unincorporated). Properties with less than five digits and addresses in Lakeville, New Carlisle, North Liberty, Osceola, and Roseland are in their respective towns. St Joseph County (unincorporated) and these towns are served by the Area Plan Commission, the Area Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Department of Infrastructure, Planning, and Growth Division of Planning and Zoning staff. Webpages and links on this website can help you with any planning and zoning related issue in these areas. You can also contact our staff by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 574-235-7800.
Additionally, each town has their own zoning administrator who handles zoning code enforcement and related issues. Unincorporated County properties have their zoning code enforcement handled by County Planning & Zoning staff. The Executive Director of the Area Plan Commission is also the County Zoning Administrator, per County Zoning Ordinance.
Where do I go for zoning information and help for property in the City of South Bend?
South Bend addressed properties with less than five digits are usually in the City of South Bend. Planning and zoning for property in the City of South Bend is handled by the City’s Department of Community Investment. Please see southbendin.gov/zoning, or email email@example.com, or call 574-245-6022.
Where do I go for zoning information and help for property in the City of Mishawaka?
Mishawaka addressed properties with less than five digits are usually in the City of Mishawaka. Planning and zoning for property in the City of Mishawaka is handled by the City’s Department of Planning and Development. Please see mishawaka.in.gov/planningdevelopment, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 574-258-1625.
Where do I go for zoning information and help for property in the Town of Walkerton?
Walkerton addressed properties with less than five digits are in the Town of Walkerton. Planning and zoning for property in the Town of Walkerton is handled through their Building Commissioner. Please see walkerton.org, or email email@example.com, or call 574-910-0820.
Where do I go for zoning information and help for property in the Town of Indian Village?
The Town of Indian Village contact information is listed in our directory. They can help you with and planning and zoning issues you may have in their Town.
There are two online Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping apps available to lookup property and zoning information:
maps.macog.com – The MACOG mapping app is probably the most well known and well used of these two options. (You need click the “St. Joseph Planning” box in the layers list to see zoning districts.)
stjocogis.maps.arcgis.com – This ArcGIS Zoning Map app has the zoning map layer already active. If you are looking for what a parcel of property is zoned you can use this one. (You will need to check the “PARCEL” box in the “Layers” tab when you are zoomed in closer to see property lines and click on parcels for more information.)
You can also contact our staff by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 574-235-7800.
Zoning ordinances list permitted uses for each zoning district. In addition to the primary uses listed, each zoning district also has a list of uses permitted with a special use permit (see below for more information on this). Zoning ordinances are available online.
Rezonings, development standard variances, special exceptions/special uses require a public hearing in front of a decision-making body, such as the Area Plan Commission and the Area Board of Zoning Appeals. Property owners adjoining or near the subject property receive notice of that public hearing so that they can have their voice(s) heard in favor of or opposition to the issue at hand. The meeting agenda with application and staff report are available ten calendar days before the public hearing, go to our agendas page.
If you have any questions on that matter you are encouraged to contact us prior to the hearing (email@example.com or 574-235-7800).
If you have comments in favor or opposition to this matter you are encouraged to make them in writing via mail (227 W. Jefferson Blvd, County City Bldg., 11th Fl., South Bend, IN 46601) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and to attend the public hearing itself.
The Area Plan Commission has a policy of placing “Zoning Hearing” signs at properties scheduled for a rezoning public hearing ten calendar days before hand. The meeting agenda with application and staff report are also available ten calendar days before the public hearing, go to our agendas page.
Do I need a building permit to install a fence?
Building permits are not required for fence installation in unincorporated St. Joseph County. However, all fences must meet the location and height development standards in the zoning ordinance. The standards can be found in starting in the lower part of page 3 in this Zoning Ordinance chapter.
Where can fences be located/what is the setback?
Fences can be placed right at the property line. In other words, there is no setback for fences. Please note that the front property line is usually never at pavement, but rather at the edge of the County owned right-of-way which extends beyond the street surface (see "How can I determine where my property lines are located?" below).
What is the maximum height for a fence?
The maximum height of a fence depends on the type of fence and its location on the lot. There are additional regulations for corner lots.
For fences where greater than 70% of the fence is open, such as a chain-link fence, the maximum permitted height is 8’- however, if the fence is placed along the front property line or along the side property line within the front building setback (typically 35’ from the front property line for residential lots), the fence shall not exceed 4’ in height.
For fences where less than or equal to 70% of the fence is open, such as solid privacy fences, the maximum permitted height is 6’-however, if the fence is placed along the front property line or along the side property line within the front setback (typically 35’ from the front property line for residential lots), the fence shall not exceed 3’ in height.
Corner Lots. On a corner lot containing greater than 9,000 square feet, both property lines along the street are considered front property lines when it comes to determining maximum fence height. For corner lots less than or equal to 9,000 square feet, one front property line, as determined by the Zoning Administrator, may be considered a side property line and therefore allow for a taller fence. For all corners lots, fences along the two property lines abutting the streets cannot exceed 3’ when they come within 10’ of the right-of-way of the perpendicular street. This area is known as the clear sight triangle, and nothing taller than 3’ may be erect there to protect driver visibility at intersections.
Does it matter which way a fence panel faces (i.e. can the posts/"ugly side" face outward)?
There are no development standards in St. Joseph County regulating which way a fence panel faces.
How can I determine where my property lines are located?
The only way to determine the precise location of a property line is to hire a land surveyor.
Aerials provided by Planning & Zoning staff or online GIS sources can only provide the approximate location of property lines, and may be several feet off.
Can I place a fence in an easement? How do I know if there is an easement on my property?
Easements, such as those reserved for drainage or utilities, are to remain free of structures, including fences. To determine if there is an easement on your lot, first contact the Division of Planning and Zoning. If the parcel was part of a subdivision recorded after 1964, Planning staff will be able to provide you with a subdivision plat which includes all easements in existence at the time of recording. If the parcel was not part of a subdivision, or was part of an earlier subdivision, staff will advise you to contact the County Recorder’s Office to determine whether any easements are present.
Residential Health Care is a level of services available for people who are capable of taking care of themselves, but who need assistance with medications and the support of a regular meal schedule.
Learn more by contacting San Juana Tijerina @ 574 272 9100 ext 111
To find out more about becoming a resident at Portage Manor, call the Admissions Coordinator, Monday through Friday at 574-272-9100 ext 111. We can schedule a tour for you.
You must fill out our admission packet. The admissions committee will review this packet, the financial records and medical records. If the application is accepted, an overnight visit will be authorized and arranged.
Our private pay rate is $60.00 per day and financial assistance is available for those whose monthly income is less than $1501.06 and whose total assets are less than $1500.00. Indiana’s Assistance to residents in County determines these guidelines. You show proof of income and assets and we help you apply for assistance.
Washers and dryers are provided for those of you who do your own laundry. You may choose what you want to do each day. We have a wide variety of activities scheduled because we have people with so many different interest and abilities. We encourage everyone to do as much for him or her selves as possible.
Visitors are encouraged and welcomed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. After a two-week orientation, residents may come and go as you wish. “Passes” from the nursing staff let us know when to expect you back and what medications you need to take with you.
Residents do not keep cars here, but the city bus (Transpo) comes by every half hour.
Portage Manor offers a variety of health, community, financial and personal care services. Our goal is help our residents grow through the variety of services we offer.
A wide variety of people live here. St. Joseph County residents over age 65 find that Portage Manor is a supportive retirement home. People between 18 and 65 with a physical or mental disability also make their home with us.
Social Security Card
Insurance card/ Medicaid card
TPQY/Award Letter/ income verification from Social Security Administration
Recent Psychiatric Comprehensive Evaluation
Most recent Progress Notes
History and Physical from Primary Care Provider
If your child is arrested the police will bring them to the Juvenile Rapid Evaluation Center (JREC) to see if they qualify for detention or not.
Once at the JREC an intake officer will assess your child based on the alleged offense, the child’s legal history, any aggravating factors, and any mitigating factors. A determination will be made if the juvenile should be detained, placed on an alternative to detention (ATD), or just released to a parent or guardian.
If the juvenile qualifies for detention, the juvenile will be taken into the detention center and processed. During the detention intake process, a detention officer will try to call you and inform you of your child’s whereabouts. Then you will be allowed to have a short phone call with your child. A probation officer will be assigned to your child’s case at the next business day, and will contact you as soon as they are able. You can call the main probation number, (574) 235-5400, during business hours 9 am to 5 pm, if you have immediate questions.
If your child is assessed and qualifies for an Alternative to Detention (ATD), an officer from JREC will try to contact you and inform you of your child’s location and the next steps. Juveniles that qualify for an ATD are released to their parent or guardian and the juvenile is placed on an alternative to detention which consists of some type of special release conditions that stay in place until the child comes before the court. These release conditions could consist of things like trust house arrest, no contact with victims, bans on visiting particular places, etc. A violation of these release conditions may result in the juvenile being placed in detention. Both the juvenile and parent or guardian will sign an Order to Appear Form. This form assigns the juvenile and parent a court date within 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays. Failure to appear for this hearing may result in body attachments (warrants) being issued for the juvenile and parent or guardian.
If your juvenile is assessed and qualifies to be released, an officer from the JREC will try to contact you and inform you of your child’s location and the next steps. Juveniles that qualify for release are not placed on special release conditions, however, the juvenile and parent or guardian will need to sign a Promise to Appear. The Promise to Appear form is the agreement that the juvenile and parent or guardian will appear if ever summons by the court for this offense.
If you are called to the JREC to pick up your child, be sure to bring some type of photo identification.
The juvenile probation department is open:
To pay probation fees, you must come down to the front desk in the Probation Department at the Juvenile Justice Center. You must provide cash or a money order.
The Juvenile Justice Center is always in need of volunteers to mentor a child, assist in tutoring detainees in detention, or to provide the appropriate religious services to detainees while in detention. In addition, a limited number of practicum experiences for students is also provided in the Mental Health and Probation Departments. Please contact Ms. Jennifer Coffman, Director of Human Resources, if you are interested in volunteering or wanting to be considered for practicum experience. Ms. Coffman can be reached at (574) 235-5338.
Please see the Indiana Odyssey online court management system website at My Case
A traffic ordinance, approved by the Board of Commissioners, is required for all Regulatory signs (Stop and Speed Limits). Public Works may approve and arrange the installation of all other types of signs (Street ID, Warning, Informational, etc.)
Any work completed within the Right-of-Way requires a permit. This includes driveway construction for a new home and any work performed on an existing driveway. For more information visit the online driveway permit application.
Utility permits cover any construction work performed in the Right-of-Way, that isn’t for driveway construction. This may include utility work, ditching, installing yard drains, signs, etc. For more information call 574-235-7800.
Any new construction or renovation to an existing residence must get a permit from the Building Department. Additional permits may be required including, but not limited to: Septic permit from the Health Department and Driveway permit from Public Works. For more information visit our permits and forms center
"Chip and Seal" is a necessary and cost effective preventative maintenance tool, that protects the roads from confined water and freeze/thaw cycles. Annually, our Highway Division chip and seals various roads. Similar to the Paving Program, Public Works makes recommendations to the Board of Commissioners to select these roads annually. For more information visit our Chip and Seal Program page.
Current Design Standards can be found on the Public Works
To purchase or view County Maps, please contact the
The Board of Commissioners will consider and approve all special event requests. Insurance is required. For more information and to submit a request, please call 574-235-7800.
Yes. Over-sized Loads require advance notice, and may require special assistance and/or bonding. For more information call 574-235-7800.
You may contact Public Works at 574-235-7800 and a staff member will be assigned to investigate the problem or you can fill out a Report a Concern.
For potholes on city streets or county roads, you may contact the proper city or county maintenance department. The Highway Division maintains all county roads in unincorporated St. Joseph County and can be reached at 574-235-7800 or by filling out a Report a Concern. State Roads, Interstates and U.S. Highways are maintained by the
You may contact the Highway Division to remove and properly dispose of a dead animal within the Right-of-Way at 574-235-7800, or fill out the
The Highway Division makes every effort to provide the same level of service to all residents. If you believe additional snow plowing is required, you may contact the Highway Division or fill out a
The Highway Division is responsible for all mowing along County roads within the Right-of-Way. To request mowing along your road please contact the Highway Division or fill out a
The Highway Division can remove any tree, which is deemed unsafe to the traveling public, within the Right-of-Way. The Right-of-Way varies for each road and can be determined by contacting Public Works at 574-235-7800. If the tree is outside the Right-of-Way and on private property it is the responsibility of the home owner. To request someone to investigate, you may contact the Highway Division or fill out a
As you approach a roundabout slow down and yield to pedestrians, bicyclist and vehicles. If there is no traffic in the roundabout, don't stop. If traffic is present, stop, wait for an opening and then enter. Proceed with care at your exit. If you happen to miss your exit, simply continue around. Please remember the vehicles circulating in the roundabout have the right-of-way. For more information visit
Submit all completed vendor forms to the Purchasing Department located at:227 West Jefferson Blvd 7th Floor Purchasing Dept.South Bend, IN 46601
If you would like additional information regarding bidding please contact Purchasing at 574-235-9776 between the hours of 8am and 4:30pm.
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Our office is in the Law Building across the street from the County-City Building. We are on the second floor. Our mailing address is: 125 S. Lafayette Blvd., Second Floor, South Bend, IN 46601.
The office number is 574.235.9605.
Yes it is called Purdue Extension
If your relationship with the Respondent is not described above, the Court will not grant your petition for a Protection Order.
No. Cell phones, cameras, personal digital assistants (PDA's), electronic books, beepers, and any devices that are capable of audio and/or visual recording are not permitted in the courthouses within St. Joseph County. For a complete list of prohibited items please see the
Indiana Self Service Legal Center
As to other civil matters, there are ways that legal representation may be available at little or no cost to people with limited financial resources. To see if you qualify, contact of the following resources:
Indiana Legal Services – South Bend, 574-234-8121Volunteer Lawyer Network, 574-277-0075
Also, the St. Joseph County Bar Association has a lawyer referral service. The telephone number is 574-235-9657. Referrals by that service are not necessarily free or discounted. But many members of the bar are often open to discussing reduced fees and/or payment plans for persons of limited financial means.
A mediation service, the ADR Mediation Plan, is also available in divorce and family law matters, such as child custody, property division, paternity, parenting time (visitation), and support. Mediation costs are determined on a sliding-fee scale which is based on income. For information, contact the ADR Mediation Plan at 574-235- 9551.
Consult your paperwork or your attorney. Or you can look for your case information at:
Court fees can be paid at the St. Joseph County Clerk’s Office. The office is located at 101 South Main Street, South Bend, IN 46601. You can contact them by phone at: (574) 235-9635.
You can have your property surveyed to determine where your corners are supposed to be.
Private land surveyor's can be found on the internet via the "yellow pages".
No, the County Surveyor does not do private surveys.
Prior to 1990, the only surveys that were located in the County Surveyor's office were those that were given to us voluntarily.
Since 1990, it is a state requirement that all surveys be recorded in the County Recorder’s office.
The cost to survey your property will depend on the private land surveyor that you contact.
No, we can only direct you to contact one of the state licensed land surveyor's that can be
found on the internet via the "yellow pages".
The office of the Surveyor does not perform any private survey work.
A plat of your property, which shows dimensions of your property, may be obtained
in the Recorder's office, located on the 3rd floor of the County-City Building.
If lot corner irons were set, you can find them with a metal detector.
If you are going to erect an improvement close to the property line,
you would be best advised to call a private land surveyor.
All County addresses are five digits (ex. 12345 Main Street).
Any two, three and four digit addresses will correspond to a City or Town.
You may register to vote by applying at a variety of places: - Any license branch or public assistance office or other sites - By mail on a simple, pre-addressed card that you pick up at libraries, license branches, local school corporations with public secondary schools or local government office. - Your county voter registration office For more information, or to register online,
You can call our office at 574-235-9520 or check online
You can also register online
Simply draw a map on the voter registration application indicating where you live (where you usually spend the night) and list a mailing address within your county that can be use to mail your notification that you are registered.
For more information, please visit the Voter Registration Process and Forms page.