Bringing a case

SACAT helps people in South Australia to resolve issues within specific areas of law, either through agreement at conciliation or mediation, or through a decision of the Tribunal at hearing. The Tribunal also conducts reviews of government decisions. 

Here we provide an overview of the general process many cases take at SACAT. To get a full understanding of how this might apply to you, ensure you check the specific information relating to your case in the 'Types of cases' and 'Reviews of Government decisions' sections of this website. 

1. Researching your options

Before you make an application, take a close look at the information available via this website to check that firstly, you can bring your issue to SACAT, and secondly, that it’s the best option for your situation. Read the pages in this section about ‘Bringing a case to SACAT’ and making an application, as well as the specific information about your type of case

2. Applying to SACAT

All applicants will be able to apply online for their case to be resolved by SACAT. Applicants who need further assistance can make their application over the phone.  Make sure you provide any documents required to support your case as early as possible.

Follow these links to see what type of documentation you should provide for housing & tenancies disputesguardianship, administration and mental health applications or where you seek a review of a government decision

Your application is active once the fee has been paid, or an exemption granted.  Read more about applying to SACAT.

3. Receiving a conference or hearing date

Most sessions at SACAT will be a conciliation, conference or full hearing. All parties will receive notification of their conference or hearing date. See the upcoming hearings and conferences.

4. Attending a conciliation conference

At conciliation conference the parties talk about their application or dispute, with the objective of resolution by agreement. Read more about conciliation conferences.

5. Attending a full hearing (if required)

If the parties are not able to reach an agreement during a conference, or if the Tribunal decides not to hold a conference, then the case or dispute will be referred to a full hearing. The outcome of a hearing is a resolution through the decision of the tribunal member. Read more about hearings.

6. Receiving a decision

The parties will receive a written decision from SACAT in the form of a Tribunal Order (for outcomes of both hearings and conciliations). This will include the findings of the tribunal member, and will also state what each of the parties is required to do. Read more about Tribunal decisions. If the parties have been able to resolve their case by agreement (in a conference), that agreement will be recorded in a consent order made by the Tribunal. In either case the order will bind the parties and can be enforced.

7. Enforcement, or dealing with non-compliance

In many cases, you may enforce the Tribunal’s decision if another party does not do what the Tribunal has asked. Read more about enforcement.