Guardianship and Administration

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Assessing VCAT proceeding file

It is important to obtain all necessary paperwork from VCAT before the hearing.  The VCAT Act permits a party or other person to have access to documents held by VCAT upon written request (although VCAT does have the power to restrict access in circumstances (see e.g. VCAT Act, Sch 1, cl 11AI). 

The proceeding file contains all documents lodged in the proceeding in relation to the guardianship and/or administration orders (VCAT Act s 146(1)).  These may include a statement by the applicant, medical and other expert reports and submissions by interested parties.  With a signed authority from the client you can inspect the file or request VCAT to fax or mail a copy of the application form and supporting documents.  There is a fee for copying (VCAT Act s 146(2),(3)).  

Any orders issued in the past will have the client's guardianship reference number and the number of that particular order in a series of orders in the top right hand corner (for example, 'G 8900/01').  The guardianship reference number should always be cited in any correspondence with VCAT.

Requests should be made at the earliest opportunity but note that further documents may be filed after your initial request.

If the matter is a guardianship application and VCAT has asked the Office of the Public Advocate to investigate and provide a report, then advocates do not automatically gain access to this report.  You should contact the Office of the Public Advocate to discuss the contents of the report and also formally request the report from VCAT.  Generally, Office of Public Advocate investigators welcome such discussions.