More help with your hearing or mediation

What to do if you can’t come or miss your hearing or mediation, help with phone hearings.

Who can I bring to VCAT?

You can bring someone with you to your hearing for support. This support person could be anyone you choose, including a friend or family member. They can’t usually speak on your behalf, but they can help explain what you need (for example, ask for a break). 

You can’t bring someone to translate for you.

If you need an interpreter you must ask us for a VCAT interpreter

Support for people affected by family violence

If you are a protected person or responding to a case and under a family violence intervention order, you can choose to bring a support person to VCAT. The support person can be anyone you choose, including a lawyer, social worker, family member or friend.

Find out more about support for people affected by family violence at VCAT

If you want someone to speak on your behalf, you must ask for it in writing.

Template of written authority for someone to represent you

Use this template to give someone authority to represent you. We call this person an ‘agent’.

I, <NAME> (or Your Company Pty Ltd, if a company), a party in the VCAT case reference number xxxxx/20xx wish to be represented at VCAT.

I give permission for <representative's name and occupation> (add 'employed by the company' if you're a company) to represent me.

The agent has sufficient knowledge of the issues in dispute and has my permission to bind me to any settlement.

Date xx/xx/xx

Signed:______________ Name:______________ Position:______________

Can I have someone speak for me?

If you want someone else to represent you, for example, a family member or friend, you must put this in writing and give it to them. They must bring this document to the hearing. 

You must make sure the person who represents you: 

  • has first-hand knowledge of the dispute so they can present your case
  • has your permission to agree on a settlement 
  • can make promises to VCAT relating to a decision.

The VCAT member decides if they can represent you.

In most cases you need to ask our permission for a lawyer or other professional to represent you.

Find out how to ask for permission

If you’re a company, you must nominate someone to represent the company. Put this in writing and have the director of the company sign it. They must bring this document to the hearing.

Template of written authority for someone to represent you

Use this template to ask to give someone authority to represent you. We call this person an ‘agent’.

I, <NAME> (or Your Company Pty Ltd, if a company),, a party in the VCAT case reference number xxxxx/20xx wish to be represented at VCAT.

I give permission for <representative's name and occupation> (add 'employed by the company' if you're a company) to represent me.

The agent has sufficient knowledge of the issues in dispute and has my permission to bind me to any settlement.

Date xx/xx/xx

Signed:______________ Name:______________ Position:______________

See also: Who can represent the owners corporation at VCAT?

Can I bring my own technology to the hearing?

You can use your own electronic device at a hearing, for example a laptop, tablet, smartphone or USB. 
 
There is no Wi-Fi at many VCAT venues, so if you need an internet connection you need to have your own. 

  1. Bring your device to the hearing 
    Bring your own device to the hearing, including a charger or power cord, and access to Wi-Fi. 
    If you want to use a USB, you need to bring your own laptop or tablet as private USB devices can’t be connected to VCAT equipment. 
     
  2. Bring an adaptor
    If your device is an Apple product, for example, an iPhone, iPad or MacBook, you need to bring a HDMI or VGA adaptor if you need to connect to VCAT’s equipment (such as a screen).
     
  3. Test your device
    If you want to connect to VCAT equipment in the room, test your device before the hearing to make sure it works.

VCAT also has projectors, DVD players, LCD screens and other equipment you can book to use at the hearing.

Contact us to book these facilities

Who can represent the owners corporation at VCAT?

If there is more than one applicant in an owners corporation case, one person can represent the others as their ‘agent’. 

A single agent can also represent multiple respondents. This agent must get written permission from the other applicants or respondents to represent them. You must bring this to VCAT. 

If you are a company, you must appoint an agent to represent the company. They must have written authority signed by the director of the company:

  • If you’re attending VCAT by phone or videoconference, email the signed document to us two business days before the hearing
  • If you’re coming to VCAT in person, the agent must bring the signed document to the hearing.

Give someone authority to come in your place
 

See also: What happens if I can’t come?

What if a witness won’t come to VCAT?

You may be able to force a witness to come to VCAT or give us a document if that person refuses. This is called a ‘summons’. 

Before you apply for a summons, you need to ask the person to give you the evidence or documents you need from them. If they refuse or aren’t able to, you can apply for a summons. 

Only summons a witness if that person is likely to give evidence or produce documents that are relevant to the case.

If you summons a person who can’t give relevant evidence or you do it for an improper purpose, VCAT we may set aside the summons and you may have to pay costs.   

There are costs to apply for a summons, including a VCAT fee and covering costs of the person summonsed. 

Find out more about how to summons a witnesses

Can I get the hearing venue changed in a case about guardians and administrators?

In a case about guardianship or administration, the interests of the person with a disability are the most important.

You can ask for the hearing venue to be changed. But when we make a decision the most important factor is making sure the venue is easiest to attend for the person the application is about (the represented person or proposed represented person). We don’t always agree.

Find out about VCAT locations