Series S1385 - PLAINT RECORD AND MINUTE BOOK - LOCAL COURT - PERTH

Identity area

Reference code

AU WA S1385

Title

PLAINT RECORD AND MINUTE BOOK - LOCAL COURT - PERTH

Date(s)

  • 1864-01-13 - 1990-12-31 (Creation)

Level of description

Series

Medium

Format

Volumes

Status

Context area

Name of creator

AU WA A673 - PERTH LOCAL COURT (1864-01-02 - 2005-05-01)

Administrative history

At the time of settlement of Western Australia no special consideration had been given to the administration of justice in the Colony other than to give Stirling a Commission of the Peace as Lieutentant Governor. Eight Justices of the Peace were appointed in December 1829 to assist Stirling and heard both criminal and civil cases at Quarter and Petty Sessions. A Court of Quarter Sessions was formally established in March 1832 and a Civil Court in the same year, both based in Perth. However, with the population of the colony widely distributed throughout the South West of the colony, it was not cost effective to send all cases to Perth and Justices of the Peace in remote districts were allowed to hear cases for debt recovery, where the debt was less than 10 pounds, from 1836 onwards. Further reform of the legal system saw the establishment of a Court of Request in Perth and other towns and places appointed by the Governor, in 1842, again for cases where the sums involved were less than 10 pounds and in 1845 provision was made for the trial of criminal offences, where the death penalty was not involved, at Albany and other 'remote districts'. [4 of 1845].

The Acts relating to Debt recovery were amended in 1863, with the establishment of Local Courts, under local magistrates identified as such under the Magistrates Jurisdiction Act of the same year. Clerks and bailiffs were to be appointed for each court and and records of actions taken under the original 1836 and 1842 Acts were to be forwarded to the Supreme Court.

In 1904, Local Courts were established throughout the State at the Governor's decree, and were presided over by a magistrate. Although magistrates were assigned to a court, their jurisdiction was State wide. Courts could be discontinued by the Governor and the records of such courts were to be transferred to another court.

They exercised jurisdiction in civil matters up to a maximum claim of up to $10 000.

The court was administered by a Clerk of Courts who was appointed to sign and issue summonses and warrants, to register records and judgements and to keep minutes and accounts, which were to be audited. Bailiffs were also appointed to assist in the work of the court.

The Local and Petty Courts of the State were amalgamated with the Magistrates Court in May 2005. The amalgamation was the result of a long running review of the Court system based on a 1990 report of the Law Reform Commission and represented a significant change in the administration of justice in Western Australia.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Local Courts,deal with civil actions of a minor nature,e.g. suits arising from non payment of wages or failure to pay for goods and services.Also State Government agencies may use the Court to recover unpaid taxes or rates.Currently claims up to a ceiling of $10,000 are dealt with by these Courts.
The Plaint Record & Minute Book, prior to its amalgamation with the Plaint File in 1991,recorded the basic details of each case (parties involved, nature & course of action,amount of claim,fine imposed, and in the case of default, details of judgement summonses & warrants of execution).
See also AN 17/Perth Local Court,for Minute Books transferred to the State Archives prior to 1988.

Accruals

System of arrangement

Annual single number

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open

Conditions governing access (legacy)

Open

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Related units of description

Related units of description

Access points

Place access points

Description control area

Level of detail

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Archivist's note

AN Cross Reference = 17/Perth Range Control Symbol = 1/1864 -

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places