We provide legal advice, referrals and casework for civil law issues.
The VALS Civil and Human Rights practice can assist you. We provide casework and advice in the following areas:
- Discrimination (State and Commonwealth jurisdictions) and Human Rights.
- Some Personal Safety Intervention Order (PSIVO) matters.
- Coronial Inquest and inquiries with the Coroners Court.
- Credit, debt and consumer law issues.
- Working with Children Check suspension or cancellation.
- Telling your story to the Disability Royal Commission.
- Spent conviction applications to the Magistrates’ Court.
- Mental Health Tribunal matters.
- Employment (termination and some unpaid wages matters only).
- Infringements (through our clinic).
- Victims of crime (through our pro bono clinic).
Please note the eligibility criteria for our services.
Sometimes, we provide advice only. In other instances, we will open a file to conduct ongoing casework. If we cannot assist directly, we can usually provide people with information and/or referrals to other services for civil matters.
What we can do in relation to most types of civil law areas
|TYPE OF MATTER||INFORMATION AND/OR REFERRALS||LEGAL ADVICE||CASEWORK|
|ARTWORK/INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY||Yes – referral only||No||No|
|BANKRUPTCY||Yes – referral only||No||No|
|CENTRELINK||Yes – referral only||No||No|
|COMMERCIAL/BUSINESS||Yes – referral only||No||No|
|COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS AND CLUBS||Yes – referral only||No||No|
|CONVEYANCING||Yes – referral only||No||No|
|DEBTS AND DEBT COLLECTION||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|DEFAMATION||Yes – referral only||No||No|
|EMPLOYMENT||Yes||Yes – only in relation to termination of employment||Yes – only in relation to termination of employment|
|GOVERNMENT COMPLAINTS||Yes||Yes||Yes – only in certain circumstances|
|GUARDIANSHIP AND ADMINISTRATION||Yes||Yes||Yes – only in certain circumstances|
|HEALTH COMPLAINTS||Yes||Yes||Yes – only in certain circumstances|
|INFRINGEMENTS||Yes||Yes||Yes – only with special circumstances applications.|
|INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE AND REDRESS||Yes||Yes||No|
|MEDICAL AND PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE||Yes – referral only||No||No|
|MENTAL HEALTH TRIBUNAL||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS||Yes||Yes||Yes – only in certain circumstances|
|MOTOR VEHICLE IMPOUNDMENT||Yes||Yes||No|
|NATIVE TITLE||Yes – referral only||No||No|
|OWNER’S CORPORATION DISPUTES||Yes||Yes – in limited circumstances||Yes – only in certain circumstances|
|PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS||Yes||No||No|
|PERSONAL SAFETY INTERVENTION ORDERS||Yes||Yes||Yes – only in certain circumstances|
|PETS AND ANIMALS||Yes||Yes||No|
|POLICE COMPLAINTS||Yes||Yes||Yes – only in certain circumstances|
|POWERS OF ATTORNEY AND MEDICAL AUTHORITIES||Yes||Yes||No|
|PRISONER ISSUES||Yes||Yes||Yes – only in certain circumstances|
|PRIVACY AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION||Yes||Yes||Yes – only in certain circumstances|
|TRANSPORT ACCIDENT COMMISSION (TAC)||Yes||No||No|
|VICTIMS OF CRIME (VOCAT)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|WILLS||Yes||Yes – only in certain circumstances and not in relation to disputes||No|
|WORKER’S COMPENSATION (WORKCOVER)||Yes||No||No|
|WORKING WITH CHILDREN CHECKS||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Can VALS help with my fine?
We can help with your infringements/fines if you have been given a non-court based fine and were experiencing any of the following at the time you received the fine:
- Mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness
- A serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance
Victim of family violence
If you were experiencing any of the special circumstances on the list above at the time of your fine, then you may be eligible to have your fines waived through a special circumstances application to Fines Victoria.
The VALS Infringements Clinic completes these applications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have any of the special circumstances described above or have received a COVID infringement.
Community organisations and groups that would like to share information about how VALS can help with fines can download the following resources:
Not sure if we can help or want to get in touch to discuss options?
Community members should always feel free to call the VALS Civil and Human Rights practice team on 03 9418 5999 for a yarn about their legal issue. If its not something we can assist with, we will do our best to link you with someone who can.