Agency Details

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Agency ID802
TitleCourt of Petty Sessions, Townsville
Agency TypeMagistrates Court
Start Date 1/2/1866
End Date 31/12/1964
Date NotesN/A
Abstract

Held original jurisdiction in minor criminal cases.

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Series

Series IDTitleFromTo
11823Deposition Books 30/6/1875 1/9/1905
11817Registers of Fines 3/10/1876 21/2/1910
11829Registers of Licence Fees 1/3/1877 28/2/1910
11810Cash Books 3/4/1877 28/2/1910
11820Registers of Fees of Office 4/6/1877 28/2/1910
11828Registers of Licences [Townsville] 1/1/1881 31/12/1903
11837Registers of Writs of Fi Fa (Fieri Facias) 1/4/1885 31/5/1923
11830Register of the Service of Summonses 9/4/1885 13/7/1916
11839Registers of Professional Costs and Costs of Court. 9/10/1885 5/10/1906
11826Registers of Proceedings in Licensing Court re Billiard and Bagatelle Licences [Townsville] 1/4/1886 4/4/1900
11836Register of Bills of Sale 30/12/1891 8/3/1946
11835Registers of the Issue of Bailiff Summonses 7/1/1893 29/4/1919
6808Stock Mortgages Register 1/1/1895 31/12/1937
9275Bench Record and Deposition Book 11/1/1895 6/9/1895
11840Register of Proceedings 3/4/1895 14/12/1945
11815Cash Book, Collections Account 1/6/1896 31/10/1903
11827Register of Steam Packet Licences 1/12/1896 31/10/1904
11809Cash Books 11/12/1900 30/6/1914
11834Registers of the Registration of Firms 1/1/1903 31/12/1922
11833Australian Register of Judgments 30/1/1903 15/11/1963
6807Liens on Crops Register 1/1/1904 31/12/1940
11832Register of Deferred Payments 29/9/1904 19/10/1906
11831Register of Levy and Distress Warrants Issued 1/11/1904 15/11/1906
11825Police Summons Sheets 16/6/1905 13/8/1917
11819Maintenance Order Book 26/10/1906 9/12/1910
11838Register of Old Age Pension Claims 13/6/1908 26/5/1909
6806Register of Firms 1/1/1911 31/12/1948
11816Bench Record and Summons Books 23/8/1912 3/3/1921
6809Maintenance Cases Register 1/1/1917 31/12/1929
11824Bench Record and Summons Books 14/8/1917 24/5/1940
9294Registers of Liquor Licence Applications [Townsville] 25/11/1935 31/12/1964
9293Registers of Liquor Licences and Licensed Premises [Townsville] 25/11/1935 31/12/1964
9271Bench Record and Summons Books 26/7/1938 31/12/1964
9283Register of Licences [Townsville] 3/1/1940 31/3/1964
11814Court Record for the Townsville City Council Valuation Appeal 1/1/1947 31/12/1947
11813Register of Applications under the Landlord and Tenant Act 23/9/1948 18/11/1948
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Controlling Agencies

Agency IDTitleFromTo
107Colonial Secretary's Office 1/2/1866 29/7/1896
123Home Secretary's Office 29/7/1896 27/1/1904
19Department of Justice (I) 27/1/1904 31/12/1964
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Controlled Agencies

Details of controlled agencies do not exist or are unavailable.
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Previous Agencies

Subsequent Agencies

Related Agencies

Agency IDTitleRelationship
620Coroner's Court, TownsvilleMagistrates Court
1825Small Debts Court, Townsvilleminor court
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Finding Aids

This agency has no finding aids.
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Publication Notes
This agency has no publication notes.
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Remarks

Information Sources

Imperial Act 27 George III
An Act for regulating the police in the towns of Parramatta, Windsor, Maitland, Bathurst and other towns respectively and for removing and preventing nuisances and obstructions and for the better alignment of of streets therein (2 Victoria, No 2)
An Act to adopt and apply certain Acts of Parliament passed for facilitating the performance of duties of justices of the peace and for protecting them from vexatious actions and to prevent persons convicted of offences from taking undue advantage of mere defects or errors in form (14 Vcitoria, No 43)
Justices Act 1886
Justices Act Amendment Act 1964
Penberthy Fry, T., Australian Courts and Administrative Tribunals, University of Queensland, 1946, p. 139
Queensland Government Gazette 1866, Vol VII, p. 160
Queensland Government Gazette 1964, vol CCXVII, No 41, p. 827
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Legislation

Establishing N/A
Abolishing Justices Act Amendment Act 1964
Administered An Act for regulating the police in the towns of Parramatta, Windsor, Maitland, Bathurst and other towns respectively and for removing and preventing nuisances and obstructions and for the better alignment of of streets therein (2 Victoria, No 2)
An Act to adopt and apply certain Acts of Parliament passed for facilitating the performance of duties of justices of the peace and for protecting them from vexatious actions and to prevent persons convicted of offences from taking undue advantage of mere defects or errors in form (14 Victoria, No 43)
Criminal Code Act 1899 (including Criminal Code)
Criminal Code Amendment Act 1922
Criminal Law Amendment Act 1892, 1894, 1945
Evidence (Attestation of Documents) Act 1937
Evidence and Discovery Act 1867
Imperial Act 27 George III
Justices Act 1886
Oaths Act 1867
Profiteering Prevention Act 1948
Recording of Evidence Act 1962
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Description
ESTABLISHMENT:
Under the First and Second Charters of Justice (proclaimed in 1787 and 1814 respectively under the authority of Imperial Act 27 George III) justices of the peace appointed by the Governor were granted summary jurisdiction to hear petty criminal matters in the first instance without a jury.

The powers of justices of the peace and of police magistrates to sit as petty sessions were ultimately codified in the New South Wales Acts of 1835 (2 Victoria 2) and of 1850 (14 Victoria 43). This latter New South Wales Act ultimately formed the basis of the Queensland "Justices Act of 1886", which legislated for the appointment by the Governor in Council of districts for the holding of courts of petty sessions. The Court of Petty Sessions, Townsville was proclaimed by the Governor in Council on 1 February 1866.

Under the "Justices Act Amendment Act 1964", from 1 January 1965 onwards: all courts of petty sessions districts were deemed to be magistrates courts districts, all places previously appointed for the holding of courts of petty sessions were deemed to be places for the holding of magistrates courts, all clerks of petty sessions were deemed to be registrars of magistrates courts.

FUNCTIONS:
Under a number of further Acts, the establishment of a place for the holding of a court of petty sessions was deemed to establish a number of further courts, for example, magistrates courts, fair rents courts, small debts courts. This agency definition will however be concerned purely with the court of petty sessions sitting as this court.

Courts of petty sessions had petty criminal jurisdiction and jurisdiction for summary actions of ejectment between lessors and lessees. Petty criminal jurisdiction is a complicated matter of law involving numerous Commonwealth and State statutes but can be briefly described as jurisdiction over summary trials of simple offences and committal proceedings for indictable offences sent to the Supreme Court.

In practice, if not in statute, courts of petty sessions were divided into three courts: police court (prosecutions commenced by police), summons court (prosecutions and proceedings for ejectment commenced by private prosecutors) and traffic court.

PORTFOLIO CONTROLLING:
Colonial Secretary 1 Feb 1866 - 6 Aug 1896
Home Secretary 6 Aug 1896 - 27 Jan 1904
Attorney General 27 Jan 1904 - 19 Nov 1907
Minister of Justice 19 Nov 1907 - 18 Feb 1908
Attorney General 18 Feb 1908 - 22 Oct 1919
Minister of Justice 22 Oct 1919 - 7 Apr 1920
Attorney General 7 Apr 1920 - 14 Nov 1957
Minister for Justice and Attorney General 14 Nov 1957 - 31 Dec 1964

NOTE:
Magistrates Courts were already in existence when Courts of Petty Sessions ceased to operate in 1964 and they took over most of the functions formerly carried out by the Petty Sessions Courts.
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Preferred Citation

Queensland State Archives Agency ID802, Court of Petty Sessions, Townsville
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Last updated 9 September 2016
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/ )
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