Change a hearing date (adjournment)
A change to the date of a directions hearing, mediation, compulsory conference or hearing is called an adjournment.
Make your request as early as possible
Make your request for a change of date as early as possible. Clearly state the reasons for your request. The reasons need to be exceptional and unexpected, such as a sudden serious illness or bereavement in the family. You must provide documents to support your request, for example a medical certificate.
In certain cases, we must receive your request no later than 4.00pm two business days before the scheduled hearing date. Cases where this deadline applies include residential tenancy, goods and services, owners corporation, human rights, and guardianship applications.
For example, for a hearing scheduled on Friday we must have your request by no later than 4.00pm on Tuesday.
How to make a request
To request a change of date:
- submit an Adjournment application form, clearly stating the reasons and providing supporting documents
- ask the other parties if they consent to the change of date. If they do, ask them to give us written confirmation or complete a Request for consent to an adjournment form and return it to us immediately by email.
Do not assume the date has changed. Your hearing will go ahead as originally planned, unless we contact you to confirm a new date and time.
Cases cannot be adjourned indefinitely.
A change of date may not be possible
VCAT may not agree to change the date, even if all the parties consent. While we try to meet such requests, it may not be possible to change the date.
Three month adjournments in residential tenancy cases
If you’re a landlord or agent, you can apply to delay the date you come to VCAT for three months if you’ve applied for a possession order on the grounds of unpaid rent.
This is usually done when the tenant pays the rent arrears or the landlord and the tenant come to an agreement as to how and when the unpaid rent will be paid. The landlord or agent can renew the application and come back to VCAT within three months, and the application will go to a hearing.
If you don't ask for another hearing within three months, your application will be considered to be withdrawn.
To request a three month adjournment:
- submit an 3 month Adjournment application form
- tell the tenant about your request.
If your application is not received within the time limits your case will go to a hearing and your adjournment request will be considered then.
When you come to the hearing, you need to bring evidence in support of your adjournment request.