Series VPRS 8665
Litigation File Registers
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series By 1899 - 1936
  Series in Custody 1899 - 1935
  Contents 1899 - 1935
Public Access: Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1899 - 1936 Office of the Victorian Government Solicitor (previously known as the Office of the Crown Solicitor) VA 667
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1899 - cont Office of the Victorian Government Solicitor (previously known as the Office of the Crown Solicitor) VA 667
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    How to use this series

    These registers are control records for litigation files, the majority of which have been destroyed in accordance with PRO Standard 88/004. However it is possible to use these registers to gain summary information about particular litigation by looking at the index located at the front or back of each volume by name of the " Crown's opponent ".

    If researchers are seeking information about particular files they should look at the records description list for VPRS 8664 Litigation Files [Sample Only Retained] in which all permanently retained files are listed in chronological order.

    Function/Contents

    The Victorian Government Solicitor's Office (previously known as the Crown Solicitor's Office) (VA 667) is responsible for the provision of legal advice and the conduct of civil proceedings on behalf of the Victorian Government. In the preparation of such proceedings, these files are compiled to record the transaction of such matters.

    This series appears to have been created by the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office to keep track of correspondence for litigation matters. The first several volumes are titled " Diary " and all volumes are maintained in chronological order by date of the first action taken in regard to each litigation.

    Against each entry the following details are recorded:

    case number - an annual single number, eg. 78/25 refers to the 78th matter in 1925;

    the name of the matter or case - eg. the will of William Pearson;

    the court in which the matter was first heard - eg. Melbourne Petty Sessions;

    list of dates against which actions are recorded - eg. receipt of brief, transmittal of account, hearing postponed.

    The details recorded in the registers are similar to those recorded on the cover sheet of the litigation files themselves.

    Even though the use of these registers had commenced by the late 1890s it was not until 1906 that the registers first record case numbers. This raises the question of how the files were controlled prior to this date. It is possible that the number of cases was so small that the files were arranged alphabetically. If this were so the alphabetical indexes contained in the registers could have been used to find the relevant file by title.

    All the litigation files permanently retained and created prior to 1906 have file numbers written on them in biro, obviously well after their creation date. It is not known exactly when this was done and on what basis the numbers were allocated. It is possible that the files were placed in chronological order at some later date with the numbers allocated to them. However if this had been done it appears inconsistent that these numbers were not also written into the registers. Officers from the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office are of the opinion that a great deal of work was done on these records by a former Crown Solicitor in the 1950s and 1960s and it is possible that the numbers were added by him.

    Previous Series

    From a file audit carried out in the 1960s it is suggested that one litigation file was created in 1853 but the whereabouts of this file are unknown and there is not enough evidence to suggest that the date range for this series or for the files should be placed prior to the 1890s. It is possible that the earliest litigation files were to be found in a general correspondence system but there is no evidence to suggest that such a system has survived.

    Subsequent Series

    The final unit in this series is the volume covering action in 1935. By 1936 the office had commenced using a card registration system upon which the details previously recorded in the registers were made. This card index (see VPRS 8664) was maintained in alphabetical order by name of the Crown's opponent. The end series date of this series has been artificially extended to allow a previous/subsequent relationship to be entered on the database.

    System of Arrangement and Control

    The Litigation Files (VPRS 8664) are controlled by the Litigation Registers for the period 1899 to 1935 and the Card Index to Litigation Files VPRS 8666 for the period 1935 to 1986. Annual single numbers were allocated to the files from the litigation registers, eg. the 20th file in 1908 would have an entry in the registers numbered 20/1908. This number would subsequently be transcribed onto the actual file. Against such an entry the Office would record the incoming and outgoing documents placed on the relevant file.

    In 1935 the Office ceased using the registers and replaced these with a card index system to track their Litigation Files. The cards contained the same information as the registers and the annual single numbering continued. It is not clear however, how the numbers were allocated as the cards were maintained in alphabetical order by the name of the Crown's Opponent. It is possible that another record was used to allocate the numbers and these were subsequently transcribed onto the cards and the files. Such a record, if used, was not transferred into archival custody.

  • Function / Content


  • Recordkeeping System


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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1899 - 1936 Litigation Files [SAMPLE ONLY RETAINED] VPRS 8664
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1936 Card Index to Litigation Files [RECORDS NOT TRANSFERRED] VPRS 8666
List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1899 - 1935 Open 13
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
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