Applying for review for non-attendance
When can someone apply for this kind of hearing?
- SACAT has made an order or decision (the original decision) and you are named as a party;
- You were unable to attend or participate in the hearing (the original hearing);
- You were not represented at the original hearing; and
- You can satisfy SACAT that you had a reasonable excuse for not attending, participating and being represented at the original hearing;
Then you can apply for SACAT to review the original decision.
Applicable hearings are those where a decision was made or which preceded the making of the decision. This includes hearings and compulsory conferences, however does not include mediation.
How do you make an application for a review for non-attendance?
- Complete an application form (usually within 7 days of the original decision);
- Pay the application fee (or apply for a fee waiver); and
- Lodge any supporting documents with SACAT.
The application must include details of the relevant proceedings and decision, when and how you became aware of the Tribunal’s decision and your reasons for not appearing or being represented at the relevant hearing.
You may only make one application for a review for non-attendance in respect of the same matter without the permission of the Tribunal.
Requirement of a reasonable excuse
SACAT must be satisfied that you had a reasonable excuse for not attending and not being represented at the original hearing. Supporting documentation is to be lodged with the application.
Examples of what may constitute a reasonable excuse include:
- The party was ill and therefore unable to attend, or a member of the party’s immediate family was ill resulting in the person being unable to attend (supported by a medical certificate or evidence of hospital admission);
- The party did not receive notice of the hearing;
- The party was overseas or interstate and was unaware of the hearing (supported by a copy of an itinerary or airline tickets);
- The party was working in a remote location and was unable to be contacted (supported by a pay slip or roster);
- The party was attending a funeral;
- The party was incarcerated.
Examples of what may NOT constitute a reasonable excuse include:
- The party has work;
- The party has a routine dentist appointment;
- The property manager or agent has pre-booked property inspections;
- The property manager or agent has taken sick leave or annual leave.
What is the SACAT process for dealing with a request for a review for non-attendance?
Once you have lodged your application, paid the fee and lodged any supporting documents, SACAT will list your application for a hearing. If possible the hearing will be conducted by the Tribunal member who made the original decision.
The Tribunal member will conduct the hearing in two stages: first, the Tribunal member will decide whether or not you had a reasonable excuse for not attending the original hearing. Second, if the Tribunal member decides that was the case (ie. that you did have a reasonable excuse for not attending the original hearing); the Tribunal member will then review the original decision. If the Tribunal member decides it is appropriate to do so, they can change or revoke the original decision.
If you simply disagree with a decision made by SACAT, it would not be appropriate to make such an application – you should consider lodging a request for an internal review of a SACAT decision.