The Moorabbin Justice Centre opened on 29 October 2007 as part of a Victoria State Government commitment to increase access to justice in the south-eastern suburbs. It is located at: 1140 Nepean Highway, Highett, Victoria 3190.
The Justice Centre includes a Magistrates' Court, Children's Court, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Corrections Victoria, Sherriff's Office and Police Prosecutions Unit. The Centre draws cases from the municipalities of Kingston, Glen Eira, Bayside and parts of Monash.
Children's Court criminal matters were heard from the opening of the Moorabbin Justice Centre in October 2007. Moorabbin Children's Court, Family Division commenced in June 2009.
Children's Courts in Victoria are specialist courts with two divisions dealing with cases involving children and young people.
The Family Division hears applications relating to the protection and care of children and young persons at risk, and applications for intervention orders.
The Criminal Division hears matters relating to criminal offending by children and young persons.
By 2011 Judicial registrars had begun operating at the Moorabbin Justice Centre. Appointed by the Governor in Council, judicial registrars are independent judicial decision makers who assist the Magistrates' Court in dealing with a variety of matters that come within the court's criminal and civil jurisdictions. Their responsibilities in criminal matters include, but are not limited to:
- hearing and determining all criminal offences where the maximum penalty is not imprisonment, and all offences for which an infringement notice can be issued
- licence restoration and interlock removal applications
- consider and determine applications to adjourn criminal proceedings to allow offenders to undertake the court's diversion program.
For civil matters responsibilities include:
- exercise powers under the Magistrates' Court Civil Procedure Rules with some exceptions
- hear and determine civil arbitrations where amount sought is less than $5000
- determine civil interlocutory, rehearing and other
- applications, both in chambers and in open court and
- industrial mediations.
The Magistrates' Court carries out a number of functions including hearing criminal and traffic offences, civil disputes, family law, family violence and intervention orders, committal hearings and fines and penalties.
The Magistrates' Court is established by Section 4 of the Magistrates' Court Act 1989. Its civil and criminal jurisdictions place it below the County Court and Supreme Court to which all of its decisions may be appealed.
The Magistrates' Court has no appellate jurisdiction related to the decisions of another Court or Tribunal.
Moorabbin Magistrates' Court moved from the Melbourne region to the Frankston region, effective July 2011.