Notes on Guideline 6 – appeal against Final Order of the Family Division of the Children’s Court or County Court

Guideline 6 – appeal against final order of the Family Division of the Children's Court or County Court

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) will generally provide a grant of assistance for a person to respond to an appeal in limited circumstances.

(a) Guideline guidance notes

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) will generally provide assistance to respond to an appeal from a final decision of the Children’s Court (Family Division) or of the County Court where the person was legally aided for the original proceedings and there are reasonable prospects that the original decision will be upheld.

(b) Other eligibility criteria

If person is a parent – the VLA means test and State reasonableness test must also be met. Ongoing satisfaction of these criteria is required.

If person is a child – the VLA means test does not apply. The State reasonableness test should be assessed as satisfied.

(c) Grants assessment process

An application for a grant of legal assistance for an appeal against a final decision of the Children's Court (Family Division) or of the County Court can be lodged via the ATLAS simplified grants ‘new application’ template. Note:

  • in the ATLAS ‘Matters’ screen, select the ‘Matter Group’ as ‘Children’s Court (Family Division)’, notwithstanding that the appeal will be held in another court
  • in the ‘Court Hearings’ screen:
    • ‘Are there any court proceedings’ – select 'Yes – Current'
    • 'Type of orders sought’ – select ‘Final Orders’.

(d) Documentary requirements

The lawyer’s file should include:

  • clear notes (in a worksheet or separate file note) of the basis on which guideline 6, and the State reasonableness test, are met
  • appeal documentation filed by both parties (proof of matter)
  • final order from original proceedings
  • any relevant reports (eg most recent DFFH report, court clinic report, medical reports)
  • details of orders sought by the parties.
  • all other relevant notes, supporting evidence and documents as identified in the documentary requirements section.

Lawyers are also encouraged to complete a Child protection worksheet for responding to appeals or judicial reviews.