Series VPRS 2204
Court Of Petty Sessions Record Books
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series ? 1875 - 1878
  Series in Custody 1875 - 2014
  Contents 1875 - 1878
Public Access: Closed
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical/Digital
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1875 - 1878 Beechworth Courts VA 3073
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1989 - cont Melbourne Courts VA 518
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    There are no name indexes to this series. Researchers will need to know the approximate date of a case to find the relevant entry in the appropriate record book.

    VPRS 2204/P1, unit 1 is held at the Robert O'Hara Burke Museum, Beechworth. It has been digitised and can be viewed online via the P2 consignment.

  • Function / Content
    Courts of Petty Sessions, or Magistrates' Courts as they have been called since 1971, dealt with a very large range of minor court matters and provided the lowest level of redress in civil and criminal matters. By the 1850's, an authoritative record of all decisions and orders made by these Courts was required to be kept, known as the Record Book. Usually civil and criminal matters were recorded in the same volume, although the largest and busiest courts may have created separate civil and criminal books.

    Unlike the Court of Petty Sessions Cause List Books that ultimately replaced them from 1858, record books were not generally created in a common format. This means that the information recorded for each case can vary within a given book or between different courts. The following details were usually recorded:

    - name of the Court and date of sitting
    - name of the accused (in criminal cases)
    - names of the complainant and defendant (in civil cases)
    - the cause (i.e the criminal charge of nature of the civil complaint)
    - the decision, and
    - any remarks.

    Record books appear to have been replaced by Cause List Books, which were introduced in late 1858 and which were created in a common format. In some Courts a record book and cause list book were maintained simultaneously for a time, essentially detailing the same information for each case. In some Courts, it is possible that the record book after 1858 performed the same function as a Deposition Book.

  • Recordkeeping System
    Cases were recorded in chronological order by the date of sitting of the court.

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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0002 1875 - 1878 Open N/A
U0000 - Closed 1
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