Last updated:

What do I need to know?

Case summary details are all that is available for this period. All you need to know is the approximate year that the case was heard in the Supreme Court, Melbourne. The search below will return both

  • Record Series 5328 the Civil Case Action/Cause Books (which will contain most of the relevant information) and
  • Record Series 5327 the Index to Civil Case Action/Cause Books (which will contain little information about the case, but may help you establish whether a relevant entry exists in the Civil Case Action/Cause Books)

Note: for the period 1841-1852, the Index to Civil Case Action/Cause Books are available online at Ancestry - see our Tips section on right hand side.

Next Steps

What are in these records?

In the Action/Cause Books (Record Series 5328)

  • a summary of the case (2 or 4 pages)
  • plaintiff and respondent's names
  • dates when documentation was filed
  • outcome of the case.


In the Index to Action/Cause Books (Record Series 5327)

  • plaintiff and respondent's names
  • the case's action / cause number


TIP! You can view the Supreme Court Action Cause Index on for 1842 to 1924. 


  1. once you logon, at the top of the display is a year range list
  2. browse the pages by last name and note the action number
  3. return to this page and use the “order a civil case file by year and action / cause number” option to search for the record.

You can view these records on for free on computers at the Victorian Archives Centre or at many local libraries which provide free access to

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples