VCAT Hearings & Disputes
What is VCAT?
The Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal (commonly known as VCAT) handles minor as well as specialised legal disputes. Some matters allow for legal representation and some do not.
Our firm represents clients in the Guardianship List at VCAT. This includes matters dealing with:
- guardianship issues, for example, care, lifestyle choices etc.;
- matters dealing with administration, for example, financial management; and
- Power of Attorney disputes.
Making an application to the Guardianship List can be a complex process, and if you’re unsure if you are entitled to be represented by a lawyer at your VCAT matter, get in touch with us and we can guide you through your options.
Our team of VCAT lawyers can either appear with you at a hearing or provide advice so that you can prepare for your self-represented hearing as best as you can.
VCAT matters involving a person with a disability
If someone you care about has a disability which impairs their judgement to make reasonable decisions about either their financial affairs or lifestyle, an application may be made to the Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) seeking a Guardianship or Administration Order to make decisions on their behalf.
Likewise, matters may be referred to VCAT when a person with a disability is taken advantage of by others; for example, their relatives, or guardians or even their Attorneys.
As mentioned above, the VCAT processes can be complex, and it can also be a very emotional time. At David Davis, we work with VCAT matters all the time, and we’re able to assist in a number of areas including:
- whether a person has capacity to make decisions of a financial nature or about their health and wellbeing;
- advising on Guardianship and Administration Orders;
- preparing VCAT applications;
- reassessment hearings;
- appearing at mediations, compulsory conferences and VCAT hearings;
- breaches of duties by Guardians and Administrators; and
- recovery of misappropriated funds.
We are also able to assist if you are concerned that a person who is an Attorney or Administrator for someone with a disability, is taking advantage of that power for their own gain. All Attorneys and Administrators must act in the best interest of the person they represent.
VCAT Guardianship Orders
Guardianship Orders are legal decisions made after a hearing, that appoint people to be ‘Guardians’ and/or ‘Administrators’. These people make decisions on behalf of those who have lost the ability to look after themselves because of physical or intellectual disability, mental illness or brain trauma.
For Guardians, the types of decisions to be made include matters around lifestyle choices, accommodation needs, health care decisions and more. For Administrators, the types of decisions to be made include legal and financial matters.
Because these types of VCAT orders often involve complex issues, having legal representation at a hearing is common. Being involved in a guardianship hearing is often a stressful and difficult time for all involved. Our team of lawyers can help with advice, preparing documents and guiding you through the entire process to make it as stress-free as possible.
If you have been involved in a recent VCAT Guardianship hearing and wish to dispute the decision, it is important to move quickly and get the right advice for an appeal. Because of strict time limits, successful appeals need to be well prepared and done quickly.