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Hi guys,

Does anyone know what the procedure is when one COA has gone to the SSAT and a new COA is being filed? CSA apparently does not process a new COA application while the last one is at SSAT. Can't find anything about this one in the Guide. Any info would be appreciated.
As far as I can see, another COA with SSAT is not grounds for a refusal to not make a determination. Section 98F of the child support assessment act, sets out the grounds for a refusal to make a determination.

They are :-

Child Support Assessment Act said
98F  Application disclosing no grounds etc. for making determination how dealt with
      If the Registrar is satisfied, after considering the application, that:
   (a)   there are no grounds for departing from the provisions of this Act relating to administrative assessment of child support in relation to the child concerned; or
   (b)   that it would not be:
   (i)   just or equitable as regards the child or either party to the application; or
   (ii)   otherwise proper;
      to make the determination;
the Registrar may refuse to make the determination without taking any further action under this Part.

Section 98J, I believe, reinforces, the grounds that the registrar (CSA) should make a determination and that a prior application :-

Child Support Assessment Act said
98J  Subsequent applications
   (1)   A person who has made an application for a determination under this Part in respect of an administrative assessment of child support is not, for that reason, precluded from subsequently making another application in respect of that assessment if, because of circumstances existing at the time when the subsequent application is made, there are grounds for departing from the administrative assessment.
   (2)   If:
   (a)   a person has made an application for a determination under this Part; and
   (b)   the Registrar has refused to make a determination on the application; and
   ©   the person subsequently makes an application for a determination under this Part; and
   (d)   the Registrar is satisfied, after considering:
   (i)   the application last made and the documents (if any) accompanying it; and
   (ii)   the previous application and the documents (if any) accompanying it and any matter taken into account by the Registrar in refusing to make a determination in relation to that application;
      that no new matter has been submitted in support of the claim that there are grounds for departing from the provisions of this Act relating to administrative assessment of child support in relation to the child;
the Registrar may refuse to make a determination, without taking any further action under this Part.

At the minimum, I believe, you have to be notified of a refusal in accordance with Section 98JA :-

Child Support Assessment Act said
98JA  Notice of refusal to be served on parties
   (1)   If the Registrar refuses to make a determination under this Division, the Registrar must serve notice in writing of the decision on each of the parties to the proceeding.
   (2)   The notice must include, or be accompanied by, a statement to the effect:
   (a)   that the party may, subject to the Registration and Collection Act, object to the decision (the original decision); and
   (b)   that if the party is aggrieved by a later decision on an objection to the original decision (no matter who lodges the objection), the party may:
   (i)   if the original decision was made under section 98E (issues too complex)apply to a court having jurisdiction under this Act for an order under Division 4 of Part 7; or
   (ii)   otherwise apply, subject to the Registration and Collection Act, to the SSAT for review of the later decision.
   (3)   A contravention of subsection (2) in relation to a decision does not affect the validity of the decision.
Thanks Mike. The application has not even gone to a case officer though. Apparently CSA want us to withdraw the SSAT appeal and then they will look at the new COA. Other than that they will not process the new COA and said we can lodge the new COA later once the SSAT appeal is finalised. Is this just an attempt for the CSA to get out of the SSAT appeal?
Babushka,
              I believe that it's an attempt to get out of either the SSAT appeal or the COA. I suggest that you write to them saying that you believe that they are obliged under section 98F/98J/98JA to either proceed with the COA application or to refuse to proceed with the COA application. However that if there is legislation to the contrary, that supports a decision to not process a COA application due to an ongoing investigation of another COA application by SSAT, then you are welcome to abide by that if they tell you the respective application. Perhaps you should even make this an objection itself, which you could then take to SSAT or perhaps to court ;)
Keep the name of the case officer so that should you get to the bottom of this you will be able to call the officer and correct the position. It will be an excellent FAQ.

Looking at it certainly s98J is clear. It will depend on the matters being raised in the current COA which must be new and not related to the previous COA in process at SSAT…  that no new matter has been submitted in support of the claim that there are grounds for departing from the provisions of this Act relating to administrative assessment of child support in relation to the child;

 I have not heard of a case where there is a new COA application being made while an SSAT determination is under way. How much angst will it cause to delay the new COA. The fact you can file multiple COA's one after the other must be of concern, when the other has not been finalised at SSAT, and is hardly exciting for any of the parties I would have thought.
 

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 

Who lodged the new COA

Babushka said
Thanks Mike. The application has not even gone to a case officer though. Apparently CSA want us to withdraw the SSAT appeal and then they will look at the new COA. Other than that they will not process the new COA and said we can lodge the new COA later once the SSAT appeal is finalised. Is this just an attempt for the CSA to get out of the SSAT appeal?
 
Who lodged the new COA before the SSAT appeal process is finished, you or the other party?

As for the CSA considering the new COA. I don't know for certain but it is a general principle of Australian law that one cannot start a new case while an existing case is still awaiting finalization. It is aslo a principle of Australian Law that generally new and significant evidence can be provided in case up until the actual orders are made. (Note the word significant)

To help you reach a decision ofn the best choice for you, check out the topic on this site at

http://flwg.com.au/forum/pg/topicview/misc/4665/index.php&kfs82=0

Which deals with SSAT reviews of CSA decisions

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
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