The Hon JF Craig MLA Minister for Police and Hon AF Griffith MLC Minister of Justice originally opened Rockingham Court on the 10th April 1963 . At this time it was run by the Police department and the first clerk of courts was Sergeant Cyril Wilcox.
The building consisted of the police station, courtroom, magistrate's chambers and an office for the bailiff.
The court's registry office was added and the first public servant, clerk of courts Tom Murphy, was appointed. He was succeeded six months later by Sam Mason who remained the clerk of courts for 25 years. Lance Merrit followed Sam in 1991 - while Richard Stevenson the present clerk of courts commenced and subsequently supervised the planning and commission of the current justice complex.
In 1964, there was a total of 182 police court charges. Rockingham Court serviced a community of approximately 8,000 people in winter and 25,000 in summer as Rockingham's population tended to increase dramatically with holiday-makers in the 1960s and 1970s.
In 2000, the Rockingham Court dealt with 5,115 Petty Session charges with an estimated stable population of 75,000 people residing within the Rockingham area.
The court was expanded in the early 1970s and continued to serve the Rockingham community until the year 2000 when the new complex was completed and opened.
The new Rockingham Justice Complex was opened to the community of Rockingham on the 27th November 2000. The complex houses three courts including a jury court, remote and distressed witness facilities, together with the latest in technology and some of the most distinctive art work in the State.
Also residing in the complex is the bailiff, Community-Based Services, Juvenile Justice, Victim Support Services and a duty justice of the peace. The District Court was held at Rockingham for the first time on the 26th April 2000 hearing a variety of offences for sentencing.
With all these departments now resident in the one complex, and the sitting of the District Court, it provides a more effective resource to the community of Rockingham.
Last updated: 1-Sep-2015
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