VCAT hearings during coronavirus restrictions
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have changed the way we hear cases so we can continue to provide this essential service to the Victorian community.
VCAT is still accepting applications that fall within our jurisdiction. Existing application time limits are still relevant.
Stage 4 restrictions
All Victorian courts and tribunals, including VCAT, are 'Permitted Work Premises' during the new business and industry Stage 4 restrictions. VCAT will remain open to hear urgent and priority cases.
All VCAT hearings are held by phone or videoconference. Cases that are currently listed over the next six weeks have been decided by the President to be urgent or priority cases and will be held.
VCAT will let parties know if there is any change to their case. Unless we tell you, you should assume your case will go ahead according to any notices or information that you have previously been given – there is no need to contact VCAT to check on your case.
Hearings listed on or after 18 May 2020
From 18 May, VCAT will only conduct hearings – where it is possible for them to proceed – using phone or videoconference. If we decided that your case can only proceed face-to-face, it will be postponed (adjourned) to a later date.
VCAT will contact parties to confirm whether they will attend on the scheduled date either by phone or videoconference.
The technology used will depend on the requirements of the matters such as their length, complexity and the number of parties.
Matters that can be decided ‘on the papers’ will continue to be determined in that way.
Mediations conducted by VCAT mediators will resume.
Email all documents before your hearing
Any documents you will use in your phone or videoconference hearing, must be emailed to VCAT and all parties 48 hours before your hearing to avoid your hearing being delayed.
If your hearing has been postponed
Where possible, matters previously adjourned as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will be rescheduled for hearing, if they can proceed using telephone or videoconference. We are managing the backlog of cases.
VCAT will contact parties to advise new dates to attend VCAT.
What happens if you miss your hearing
VCAT will inform you of your allocated hearing time in advance. If you cannot make this time you should request a change of hearing date. If you miss the hearing for your case, the member may make a decision and create orders in your absence.
Help and support
My case is being heard by phone or videoconference, what is the process?
VCAT will contact you to let you know the scheduled time for the hearing.
A phone hearing or videoconference is no different to a hearing in person, so ensure you are in a quiet location and have any relevant paperwork at hand.
Find out more information about what to expect on hearing day.
If you want more information or need to tell us about an alternative number or party name, call 1300 01 8228.
Make sure you check upcoming hearings to keep up to date with your hearing time. Due to capacity issues, we may not be able to remind you when your upcoming hearing is.
How to join a videoconference on Zoom
I'm experiencing financial hardship. How can I ask for a rent reduction?
VCAT suggests you contact your landlord via your agent (where applicable) to discuss what options may be available to you.
If you're experiencing difficulties visit Consumer Affairs Victoria for further information.
Is VCAT still accepting new cases?
You can still apply about any matter that falls in VCAT's jurisdiction.
Can I still ask for a summons for a person to attend a hearing?
We can issue a summons at your request. The person summonsed will be required to attend the hearing, give evidence or produce documents.
Temporary regulations made in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have brought changes to the way in which a person can respond to a summons. A person summonsed may attend a VCAT hearing by audio or audio-visual link, and may deliver summonsed documents to VCAT electronically (eg. by email).