FAQ - Court Records

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This page contains information about Courts and their records.


What type of Court Records do you have?

Public Record Office Victoria holds the records of many Courts. The most commonly accessed court records are:-

  • Supreme Court of Victoria (VA 25490) 1852 - ct
  • Registrar of Probates (VA 2620) 1960 - ct
  • Master in Equity, Supreme Court (VA 2624) 1852 - 1948
  • County Court (VA 686)1852 - ct
  • Court of Insolvency, Melbourne (VA 2304) 1871 - 1928
  • Licensing Court of Victoria (VA 2955) 1917 - 1954
  • Children's Court (VA 4597) by 1942 - ct*
  • Melbourne Children's Court (VA 4190) 1907 - ct*
  • Coroners Courts (VA 2263) 1840 - 1986

Many of these records will be subject to closure under S9 of the Public Record Act 1973.

There are also other types of court records held by PROV and the most valuable of these to researchers are:- Divorce records, Wills and Probation Administration Files and Civil Court Records.

PROV also holds the records for many courts in various localities throughout Victoria. To discover what records are available for a particular court (e.g. Sale), click on the "Advanced Search" box under "Searching" in our Online Catalogue   select the Agency button, type "Sale" in one of the fields and click on "search" and a list of Sale Agencies will appear. Select the link for Sale Courts (VA 4009). A page will be displayed which allows you to discover all the Sale Court records held by PROV.

Can I get a copy of a Court Transcript for a Court Case from the early 1900's?

Public Record Office Victoria does not hold any Series of transcripts to court cases although they can be found in some Criminal Trial Briefs (VPRS 30 1841 - 1996), Capital Case Files (VPRS 264 1852 - 1985) and Capital Sentence Files (VPRS 1100 1889 - 1975) from the 20th Century onwards. (See Series Description Text). Transcripts generally were not created for many cases in the legal system and none have been created for the Court of Petty Sessions or the Magistrates Court.

It is worth noting that newspaper reports, particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries, were written by newspaper journalists without reference to transcripts.

My great-grandmother was convicted of blackmail - how do I get information on the court case?

If your grandmother was convicted of blackmail, the information may be noted in the Police Gazettes. Blackmail is a serious crime and information may be held about the court case in VPRS 30, Criminal Trial Briefs, which are available in our North Melbourne Reading Room on open access for the years 1841-1935. A very detailed and comprehensive guide to 1841 - 1861 Criminal Trial Briefs can be found on our PROV Wiki at Uhl Index to Criminal Trial Briefs. For a description of accessing and ordering Trial Briefs from 1862 until 1934, please read the Series Description found by searching "Find by Number" and inserting the number 30 in the VPRS field. To search for criminal trial brief records you need to know the name of the accused, if you do not know the name of the accused, you may find the information by searching newspapers available at the State Library of Victoria.

How do I get a copy of my Police Record?

Please note that you do not have to make an FOI request to obtain a police record check or accident report.

For a police record check or copies of your police record, contact:
Email: publicenquiryservice@police.vic.gov.au
Tel: 03 9247 5907

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you or your lawful representative can obtain a copy of the accident report by contacting:

Accident Records Unit
Victoria Police
PO Box 415
Melbourne 3005
Email: accidentrecords.imd@police.vic.gov.au
(make sure you include details about the accident)

Please note: fees are payable for police record checks and accident reports.

Can I find out about Child Maintenance Payments for child support for my great-grandfather?

Court records relating to the payment of child maintenance are generally found in Court registers of the Court where the case was held. If you are able to determine the possible location of the Court case, you could search for records from that Court in our holdings. Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) holds records from Victorian Government Departments so if the case was held in another state, the records will not be held with PROV. Please note that not all records from Courts in Victoria have been transferred to PROV. For information on more recent child maintenance payments, requests will need to be made through Department of Human Services.

Can I get a copy of a Supreme Court Decision from 1975?

Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) holds records from Victorian Agency (VA) 2549 Supreme Court of Victoria, which may be a useful starting point for your research on PROV's online catalogue at www.access.prov.vic.gov.au.

Searching using an Agency number From the Searching menu select Find by Number, then select Agency. Enter the VA number 2549 into the VA text field and click on Search. The catalogue page for the Supreme Court of Victoria is displayed. Select the Related Series tab to display a list of records from this Agency. You can read a description of each of these Series (VPRS) by selecting the VPRS number hyperlink. If the records are open they can then be ordered via PROV's online catalogue. Once ordered, records can be viewed in the specified reading room. Records are available for 10 working days from the date ordered.

Please consult PROVguide 21 Ordering Records available at www.access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/PROVguides/PROVguide021/PROVguide021.jsp  for further information.

I am looking for a record of a Court Case held at Prahran Court in 1885. Can you help?

Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) holds records from Victorian Agency (VA)4101 Prahran Courts 1856 - 1998. To find records from this court in our Online Catalogue click on "Find by Number" under the "Searching" box, select "Agency" and put 4101 in the field then click "Search". A page will be displayed showing a description of the Agency. Selecting the "Records" tab will display a list of the Records Series held by PROV of the Prahran Courts. Click on the VPRS links to explore further.

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