How it all started
In 2012 I commenced collecting (mostly PDF based) data from the daily court lists published by the courts. At the time I had been running an investigation agency for well over 20 years and believed this data was potentially of significant value. I also knew that unless it was collected daily it would disappear with each days court list replacing the previous days data.
So, for the next several years, I'd spend at least a couple of hours each day downloading and collating all the available daily court lists. As additional courts also started publishing daily court lists, they too were also collected. I really didn't know where things would end up - was I just wasting my time? I had no clue. But, I guess it's a good thing I've got a very stubborn streak.
In 2014 I set up a very rudimentary online database. At the time I knew very little about databases and it was all a very steep learning curve. Things progressed and in late 2015 there were over 2 million records. A year later I had a purpose-built database created called ACCR (Australian Criminal Court Records) and this gradually improved over the following years with new features and new records from additional courts. In early 2017 civil records were also added to the database. Constant improvements were made and in early 2018 plans were underway for a new/better database.
In 2020 the current CDA database went live with almost 20 million criminal and civil records.
Current and future plans
I'm fully committed to contributing back to the community and CDA currently donates a minimum of 5% of all income (not profit) to various Australian charitable institutions - see this Insights link for more information. CDA is also carbon positive.
I'm currently working on extending CDA's reach into the corporate world and hopefully can significantly increase our community donation commitment.
On a final note, I have also been collecting New Zealand court data since 2018 and plans are underway for a Court Data New Zealand database. Strangely, with the New Zealand database I feel a little like I'm back in 2012 in that I don't really know how things will work out. That stubborn streak is still there though.
For a detailed 'Timeline' of events since 2012, see this link.
CEO | JFA (Aust) Pty Ltd t/a Court Data Australia