FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
1. The spelling of the name I have is correct, but the listing shows a slightly different spelling
Our data is taken directly from published official court websites and what is shown here is how it appeared on that site. It's possible the original data could have had a typo, but it's also possible the data is as it was spelt and they are two separate persons.
2. How can I be sure the listing shown is for the same person I am interested in?
No Australian Criminal Court website records a DOB or a person's address, so it is not possible to match any additional data that isn't already shown.
3. How can I find additional information about a court attendance other than what is shown here?
The ACCR Database provides information on which type of court the person attended (e.g. in a Magistrates/Local, District or Supreme Court) as well as that court's location and the date of appearance.
You will then need to contact that particular court directly and inquire whether any additional information is available. For example, some courts allow persons to apply for a copy of the Certificate of Conviction - usually there is a fee involved with such an application.
Qld Magistrate Court matters: The type of matter can sometimes be determined by the court room number. See "qld additional information" under the "more" heading in the main menu.
4. I'm certain the person has been before the courts, but the name doesn't come up
Depending on the state being searched, not all court attendance records published daily by some courts contain a full name. For example, some listings in the Brisbane District and Supreme Courts (Qld) only contain a surname (or a surname and initial) and this data is not included in the ACCR database. But, that said, other District and Supreme Courts in Qld, such as Hervey Bay, Rockhampton and Cairns (to name just a few) do include full names.
Please check the "our data" page for a full break-down of which courts in various states contain specific data types.
5. How far back does the online data go?
The online database contains court attendance data from the following dates per state:
• NSW - August 2014 + Searchable PDFs going back to 2012
• QLD - November 2012
• VIC - September 2014 + Searchable PDFs going back to 2012
• TAS - February 2015
• SA - March 2013
• WA - March 2013 (District & Supreme Courts)
• WA Magistrates Courts - August 2016
• NT - July 2014
• ACT Supreme Court - 2012 & 2013, then from September 2016
6. What time are the daily records added?
On most days between 9.00 am and 10.00 am. To quickly check whether the database as been updated on that day, search for the letters CO in the surname field (C and O together are one of the most common two letter combinations for names). If one or more of the records shows that day's date, then they will have been updated.
NSW court listing are collected twice per day - once at around 9.00 am and again at around 4.00 pm. There are usually around an additional 200-300 records from the afternoon update.
7. Why have I been charged twice?
We get this question every now and again. In every case so far, it has come down to a misreading of an online credit card transaction list.
Look closely at what you think are two separate transactions. Does one say "Pending" and the other "Completed"? If so, you haven't been charged twice - it's simply how your credit card provider lists transactions. PayPal and your credit card provider handle each transaction totally separately and this is not something over which we have any control.
However, if you thought a transaction didn't go through properly and repeated the transaction with PayPal and then find both have gone through, please let us know and we'll will be happy to immediately refund the second payment.
8. How do I obtain my own police criminal history?
To obtain an official Police Criminal History Check, you will need to go to a local police station, fill in the applicable form/s and pay the applicable fee. Be sure to take adequate ID. The procedure varies from state to state so it might be a good idea to conduct some searches first for your particular state.
A number of online services are also available. Some examples are provided below:
9. The ACCR database -v- an official police criminal history
The ACCR database and an official police criminal history check will both provide information that the other does not provide.
An official police criminal history check ONLY records details of whether someone has been CONVICTED of an offence. It does not show court attendances before an Australian court for a criminal related matter. Therefore, if someone is before the courts and has been charged for say, multiple assault or drug related charges, but has not been convicted of those offences, then this information will not appear on a police criminal history extract.
The ACCR Database on the other hand, WILL show all court attendances. But, it won't show convictions in any of the database records for any Australian state.
You might feel that (ideally) information from both sources will provide better all-round information.
However, it is also important to note that, just because someone has been charged by police and has been before the courts (but not not necessarily convicted of an offence) that this information should necessarily be seen or viewed as being detrimental towards that person. A person is considered innocence of an offence until they have been convicted of that offence.
10. Can I obtain a police criminal history on someone else?
In most circumstances, you can't and it would be illegal to even try and do so. Note: no private investigator in Australia has legitimate access to a police criminal history check.
The only exceptions would be where, for example, a court order could be sort as part of a litigated matter or where an FOI (Freedom of Information) request would be appropriate - such an example would be researching a now deceased family member.
11. Does the database contain records of businesses or companies that appear before the courts?
No. Only names of people appearing before the various criminal courts are recorded.
However, a separate Civil Court Records database is available at no cost for civil court attendance matters. Individuals as well as companies and organisations can be searched. See: www.civil-court-records.com.au
12. I used the free names search, but the paid search didn't provide much additional information
The Free Name Search ONLY provides name matches. Nothing else.
However, a paid-access search always reveals:
• The state
• The date
• The full name of the actual court listing
• The type of court - e.g. Magistrates, District or Supreme
• The location of the court
The above information can often be enough to then apply to the particular court for additional information - note: different court and states have different requirements.
In addition to the above, the following information is also sometimes available:
• The listing type - e.g. trial, sentence, mention, etc.
• The court room number
• The case file number
• Additional information - such as the relevant offence/s for SA, NT and TAS, or the magistrate/judge hearing the matter.
The ACCR website has extensive information about what is and isn't available in all courts and in all states. There are also links to the "What information is available" webpage on the Home page as well as a link to "our data" in the top menu bar.
There is a highlighted section on the Home page that clearly identifies the ACCR Database is NOT a police criminal history search and also provides additional information on the different between the two data sources.
Information and additional resources are also supplied, including information on such things as how Qld court room numbers in certain magistrates courts can assist in identifying the type of matter being heard in that court room on that day.
At the very top of the ACCR Database Purchase Access page is the following:
"Before making a purchase, please check the 'What information is available' and 'FAQ' sections - links are in the page footer."
The ACCR website and database is very transparent and detailed as to the information that can be expected. But, unfortunately we can't make people read it.
13. Where would I be able to obtain information on court matters that are say, 10 years or older?
Older matters are likely to be stored in State Archives, or perhaps might even be available from the State Library. You will need to check with both in the relevant state.
14. Do you have a refund policy?
Yes, we do. It is mentioned in the 'paid access' page and states: "Refunds are only issued if the data provided in the ACCR database differs at all from that described in this website."
There is also a reminder to check the 'our data - what information is available' page before making a payment.