Changing or cancelling an order

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Changing or cancelling an order

You may not be happy with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) making a guardianship order or an administration order about you. 

If you want to change or cancel an order you can ask VCAT for a: 

  • rehearing if it is less than four weeks since the order was made
  • reassessment hearing. 

Major changes to Victoria’s guardianship and administration laws began on 1 March 2020. You can read more about these changes on the Office of the Public Advocate website. See Guardianship and administration from 1 March 2020.

Asking for statement of reasons

If VCAT has just made a guardianship order or an administration order, you can ask for a statement of reasons. This is an important written document which explains the reason why the VCAT member made the order. It can help you decide if you want to challenge the order.

If you want a statement of reasons, you must ask VCAT for this within two weeks of your hearing day. You should ask for this in writing.

Rehearings

A rehearing is where a more senior VCAT member will hear your case again. The senior VCAT member will decide your case as if it was the original hearing.

You and anyone else involved in your case will have another chance to have a say about what should happen. You can also say or give things to the senior VCAT member that you did not say or give at your original hearing.

The senior VCAT member will then make a decision. This could include:

  • keeping the order in place
  • changing the conditions of the order
  • cancelling the order.

You can only ask VCAT for a rehearing within four weeks from the day of your hearing. If you ask for a statement of reasons, you can ask for a rehearing within four weeks from the day you receive the statement of reasons.

You can ask for a rehearing in writing or in person at VCAT.

Reassessment hearings

If VCAT makes a guardianship order or an administration order, it must have another hearing to decide if you still need a guardian or administrator. This is called a reassessment hearing.

VCAT will specify when the reassessment hearing must take place when it makes the order. This must take place within a year of the initial order being made, but it can be at an earlier time determined by VCAT. After this first year, a reassessment must be held at least once every three years.

When your reassessment hearing is due, VCAT will organise a hearing and let you know when that will be.

However, you can ask VCAT for the reassessment hearing to take place at an earlier time. You must explain to VCAT why this should happen.

If VCAT does not think there is a good reason to organise an early reassessment hearing, it can refuse your request. Therefore, you must have proof to back up your case. Giving VCAT any documents that support your case may help. This can include a report or letter from your doctor, social worker, family member or friend.

You may want an early reassessment hearing if you want:

  • a different guardian or administrator
  • different conditions in the order
  • VCAT to cancel the order.

VCAT will decide if any of these things should happen.

Asking for a different guardian or administrator

You can ask for a different guardian or administrator if you believe that the person is not taking into account your will and preferences such as:

  • they are making bad decisions about your finances or lifestyle matters
  • they do not speak with you to find out what your wishes are
  • there is a conflict between your interests and their interests
  • you do not get along with them at all

If you have someone in mind to be your guardian or administrator, you must show why that person should be your new guardian or administrator.

When VCAT holds a reassessment hearing, they must also consider whether your guardian or administrator has performed their duties in the way required by law.

Asking for different conditions in the order

If you are unhappy with particular conditions of your guardianship order or administration order, you can ask VCAT to change those conditions.

A VCAT member will decide if the conditions should be changed.

Asking for your order to be cancelled

You can ask VCAT to cancel (revoke) the guardianship or administration order completely. This could be because your personal circumstances have changed since the time the order was made.

To cancel your guardianship order, VCAT must decide that is no longer satisfied that:

  • you have a disability
  • you do not have decision-making capacity about your personal matters
  • you need a guardian to manage your personal matters or
  • a guardian will promote your personal and social wellbeing.

To cancel your administration order, VCAT must decide that it is no longer satisfied that:

  • you have a disability
  • you do not have decision-making capacity about your finances
  • you need an administrator to manage your finances or
  • an administrator will promote your personal and social wellbeing.

How to ask for a reassessment hearing

You can apply for a reassessment hearing via the VCAT website.

If you have any documents that you intend to rely on to support your case, you should send them to VCAT with your application.

Appealing VCAT’s decision

You can appeal to the Supreme Court. This means asking the Supreme Court to override VCAT’s decision. This must be done within four weeks of VCAT’s decision.

You cannot appeal just because you do not agree with VCAT’s decision. The Supreme Court will only be able to help if VCAT did not follow the law properly when making or continuing a guardianship order or an administration order.

Supreme Court appeals are complicated and expensive. Get legal help if you are thinking about an appeal.

Get help

Find out how you can get help with guardianship and administration.

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