The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) operates this program in conjunction with the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. Suitable cases will be referred to DSCV at court for assessment or mediation. Interested parties can also contact DSCV without waiting for their matter to get to court.
This is a diversionary program for cases where there has been an application for an intervention order not involving a family member.
The aim of the program is to provide an opportunity for the parties to try to resolve the matter through mediation rather than going to a court hearing.
A Dispute Assessment Officer (DAO) is available at the Magistrates’ Court on the day the case is listed. The magistrate or sometimes the court registrar will refer the parties to the DAO for an intake interview to assess whether the case is suitable for mediation.
Many matters are resolved by the DAO on the same day. Where a matter is considered suitable for mediation this will be organised by DSCV at a date convenient to the parties. If the matter is not resolved through mediation it will be dealt with at a court hearing on a later date.
This program operates out of the following Magistrates’ Courts:
- Metro – Broadmeadows, Dandenong, Frankston, Heidelberg, Melbourne, Moorabbin, Ringwood, Sunshine, Werribee, and the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Collingwood
- Regional – Barwon South West, Grampians, Hume, La Trobe Valley, Loddon Mallee
DSCV does not deal with:
- disputes under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) involving proceedings currently before the Family Court or Federal Court. DSCV does not deal with disputes relating to parenting arrangements.
- disputes involving family members who have current Intervention Order proceedings in the Family Violence list of the Magistrates’ Court.
Children’s Court intervention order program
Every Wednesday a Dispute Assessment Officer attends the Children’s Court to interview parties involved in intervention order applications and assess their suitability for mediation. In suitable cases, the parties will be encouraged to try to resolve the matter through mediation rather than going to a court hearing.