Areas of the Magistrates’ Court
The criminal jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria hears and determines all summary offences and some indictable offences. The Court also conducts committal hearings in relation to serious indictable offences that must be finally determined in the County or Supreme Courts.
The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria hears and determines many different traffic offences ranging from parking violations, exceeding the speed limit to drink driving offences. The Court also hears applications for licence eligibility orders for people who have been disqualified from obtaining a licence for offences such as drink or drug driving. The Court also hears applications for a reduction in time between assessments and applications to remove an alcohol interlock condition from a licence.
The Magistrates' Court can order a fine when a person has been found guilty in a criminal proceeding. A registrar can assist with options available to pay court fines. If you have a query about paying an infringement notice, please visit fines.vic.gov.au
The Civil Jurisdiction of the Magistrates' Court hears disputes arising from debts, claims for damages, other monetary disputes or equitable relief.
Cases in the Civil Jurisdiction fall into three broad categories: General, Workcover and Industrial.
The Magistrates' Court can determine most disputes over money or property up to the value of $100 000, however in certain circumstances the Court can hear cases with an unlimited value.
The Magistrates' Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine matters related to state laws and some federal matters. The Family Law Act 1975 gives the Magistrates' Courts certain powers to deal with family law matters.
The Magistrates' Court of Victoria has the power to hear a similar range of matters related to children, property and intervention orders as the Federal Magistrates' Court however its powers are limited by the legislation and developed court procedures.
If matters heard before the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria are defended, they must be transferred to the Family Court of Australia.
The Magistrates' Court does not deal with divorce proceedings.
The court can make intervention orders to protect people who have experienced violent, threatening or abusive behaviour.
There are two types of intervention orders:
- a family violence intervention order helps to protect you from a family member who is violent to you
- a personal safety intervention order helps to protect you from someone, other than a family member, who makes you feel unsafe
See the related Support and Assistance Services page for details of the services that can help you feel safe and assist with your intervention order application. If you are in danger and need urgent help, call the emergency number 000 and ask for the police.
The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria offers a range of programs and services which improve the Court’s responsiveness to Victoria’s diverse and growing community.
Specialist Courts seek to identify and address the complex issues that may have led to a person’s contact with the justice system with the aim of reducing re-offending. This promotes a safer and fairer community.
Specialist Programs include the Drug Court, Koori Courts, Court Integrated Services Program (CISP), Credit/Bail Support (CBS) and the Assessment and Referral Court List (ARC).
In this section you will find information about Court Costs, Fees , Protocols setting out various court procedures and Proper Venue for filing of court documents, searchable by postcode or suburb/town throughout Victoria.
The Chief Magistrate's Practice Directions, Court forms and a full list of the legislation governing court procedures can be accessed through the links on the navigation bar at the top of the page.
Further procedural information can be found under the headings for the different areas of the Jurisdictions.