Complaints

The Courts Administration Authority (the Authority) values the feedback that complaints provide, and uses relevant information from complaints to improve our service.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure we handle complaints fairly, efficiently and effectively.

Our complaint management process is intended to:

  • Enable us to respond to issues raised by people making complaints in a timely and cost effective way
  • Ensure the public have confidence  in our administrative processes of the court, and
  • Provide feedback that can be used to deliver quality improvements in our services, systems and complaint handling.

The policy applies to all staff receiving or managing complaints from the public made to or about us.

For the purpose of this policy a complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction made to or about us, our services, staff or the handling of a complaint where a response or resolution is expected or legally required.

The Authority is committed to the following complaints management guidelines:

  1. Early resolution – where possible, complaints will be resolved at the first point of contact.
  2. Accessibility – ensure there are clear instructions on how to lodge. No fees will be charged to lodge a complaint.
  3. Customer focused approach – a customer focused approach will be adopted to provide a timely, accessible and fair process for the lodgment and management of complaints.
  4. Responsiveness – all complainants will receive timely acknowledgement of their complaint and every attempt will be made to investigate and finalise the complaint at the earliest opportunity.
  5. Objectivity – each complaint will be addressed in a fair and unbiased manner.
  6. Confidentiality –Personal information of the complainant should be available where needed, but only for the purposes of addressing the complaint within the Authority.

Suppliers

If your complaint is primarily focused on the procurement and contracting of goods and services by the Authority, please contact the Senior Procurement Officer or complete the supplier feedback form.

All complaints must be in writing. You can submit your complaint using our Feedback Form, or you can write to the CAA Contact Centre, Courts Administration Authority, GPO Box 1068, Adelaide SA 5001.

When Is The Best Time To Complain?

The best time to make a complaint is when you first become dissatisfied about the service you have received, as your matter may be able to be resolved without unnecessary fuss and inconvenience.

In making a complaint the Authority expects that customers:

  • Provide all relevant information; and
  • Are respectful and courteous

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Are there situations where the Authority cannot help?

Judicial Decisions

The Authority cannot resolve complaints about judicial decisions. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your case, or believe the judgment or decision was wrong, you may have a right of appeal. If you believe you may have such a right, or would like information about your possible rights, you should seek legal advice immediately.

Complaints about Judicial Officers

Complaints about the conduct of a South Australian judicial officer may be made to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner of South Australia.
 

Legal Practitioners

All complaints about legal practitioners must be taken up with the Legal Profession Conduct Commissioner.

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How do I make a Complaint?

Complaints Made In Person Or Over The Phone

Authority staff will listen to your complaint and attempt to resolve it quickly. If our staff cannot, they may be able to find someone who can help you. The staff member will write down the details of your complaint on a form that will help the Authority to know what your complaint is about.

If you are not satisfied with the results speaking with our staff in person or over the phone, you may wish to make your complaint in writing. All supplier complaints must be in writing. 

Complaints in Writing

You can submit your complaint using our Feedback/Complaints/Compliments Form or if you are a supplier, please use the Supplier Feedback Form.

You can write to the CAA Contact Centre, Courts Administration Authority, GPO Box 1068, Adelaide SA 5001. Your complaint will be recorded and forwarded to the relevant area.

You need to include contact details such as your name, address and phone number.

It helps us if you can tell us clearly the nature of your complaint (e.g. wrong information given, left unattended, rudeness etc.) and, the date and if possible name of the staff member involved.

E-mail Complaints

Complaints may also be lodged by email (enquiry@courts.sa.gov.au). Receipt of your complaint will be acknowledged by e-mail but a formal response will be given by post. Please provide the same details as requested in "Complaints in Writing" above to assist in dealing with your complaint.

Anonymous Complaints

While anonymous complaints will be recorded in our complaints system they will not be investigated unless accompanied by supporting documentation and contact details that provide sufficient information for the preparation of an appropriate response.

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How will my Complaint be dealt with?

If our staff are unable to resolve a verbal complaint immediately they will fill out a complaints form. These complaints will be treated in the same manner as a written or e-mail complaint.

The Authority will acknowledge receipt of complaints within 3-5 working days. The area concerned with your complaint will take steps to resolve it and let you know the outcome within 21 days, in writing. If your complaint cannot be resolved within 21 days you will be contacted and provided with an estimated date for the outcome.

Staff not involved in the matter leading to your complaint will deal with your complaint.

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Managing Unreasonable Conduct by People Making Complaints

We are committed to being accessible and responsive to all people who approach us with feedback or complaints. At the same time our success depends on:

  • Our ability to do our work and perform our functions in the most effective and efficient way possible
  • The health, safety and security of staff, and;
  • Our ability to allocate our resources fairly across the complaints we receive.

When people behave unreasonably in their dealings with us, their conduct can significantly affect the progress and efficiency of our work. As a result, we will take proactive and decisive action to manage any conduct that negatively and unreasonably affects us and will support our staff to do the same in accordance with this policy.

For further information on unreasonable conduct by complainants please see the SA Ombudsman’s Unreasonable Complainant Conduct Model Policy 2012.

Can the initial outcome of my Complaint be reviewed?

If you are unhappy with the way your complaint was dealt with you can ask for it to be reviewed. In general, a staff member at a higher level will review your complaint and the action taken to resolve the issue. The Authority will endeavour to have a response to you within 21 days.

If the response to your complaint does not satisfy you, you can write to the State Courts Administrator who will look into it further.  The address to write to is:

State Courts Administrator
Courts Administration Authority
GPO Box 1068
Adelaide SA 5001

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