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Incompetence of VLA

Hi online Family.

  Trial was 6 months ago, on day 1 at 9:30 am it was the view of the ICL and I imagine the court to make final orders corresponding with the family report. The view was Child to live with the other party. The reports of the psychiatrists and Family consultant (c.d.c) had reservations of the other party’s authenticity and if they were of fit mind to sec appropriately care for child. I stood as a SRL and was successful in seeking adjournment.

 Interim orders were made the child to live with the other party, 50/50 parental responsibilities, both parties to complete post parenting course. The child’s Kindergarten and G.P were to be given consent by the other party to disclose information to me. That they were to be informed of who I was and allow me to attend. Both parents ensure the child attended. The other party did not facilitate all the above and denied access 50% of the time

The trial is upon me an updated Family report was ordered by the court, and is highlighted with vast improvements with their recommendations of my time with the child to increase.  The case summary of the independent Children’s lawyer, has been filed and their recommendations have vast improvements regarding my time with the child.

 I had a grant of legal aid for the last six months in relation to this trial and the grant covered, preparing documents for trial and representation at trial. 4 months ago, I provide lawyer with my whole file, I had also provided him with my case outline, amended orders to initiating application and all my evidence for annexures to affidavit.

14 days before trial is to commence I made an appointment with my Victoria legal aid practitioner, at that time he provided me with a letter from Victoria legal aid stating my grant suspended, until it was reinstated he could not move forward at that juncture.

I contacted Legal Aid immediately when I arrived home, I was informed their waiting on the practitioner (My lawyer) decision whether the cases viable to proceed and reinstate the grant.
11 days before trial, my lawyer sent me a letter to attend appointment as a matter of urgency. Your file needs to be filed with the court and the grant was reinstated. Being that it was a Friday I received this letter, the earliest possible time to attend was eight days before the trial. Monday morning, I received an email from my lawyer stating in relation to a grant being suspended I intend to file notice to Withdraw as your lawyer.

Eight days before the trial, I had nowhere to turn, documents were due to be filed seven days before court. My affidavit and all supporting documents were not going to be filed in time, that was clear. The following day was a public holiday, the day after that I prepared some documents myself for affidavit.

5 days before the trial I prepared an affidavit it was notarized just needed to be filed.  I contacted the offices of my previous practitioner to collect my file from them. I was told he was not available and he is in court all day following day, that I could come in the afternoon to collect more file.

Four days before trial, I went to the office to collect my file approximately 3.45. My lawyer’s assistant after looking for 30 minutes produced my file. It was my file, housed in one clear folder insert of approximately 30 pages.

I explained to the assistant that I presented my file three or four months ago. It was too large black folders labelled and dated, chronologically each with over 250 pages. And there was to blew folders with subpoenas another professional submissions and recommendations, each with 75 pages.

A lawyer then assisted an assistant to go and look for my file a second time. 20 minutes later they came out with a list of everything they had on file. The list was four pages long and it contained Everything they had on file said that is what I need.

I was told they must keep that for the seven years and cannot give it to me. It then dawned on me that my file had not been copied.

I was informed that no one is available to copy it today, despite me saying, and they clearly knew trial was Monday and this is Friday evening.

What can I do as self-represented litigant, with nothing filed the night before the trial?

To seek leave of the court will be impossible I believe as I have done once before.

In the first instance, I emailed the other parties they did not consent and wish to proceed.

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