COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

If you are dissatisfied with my conduct as your marriage celebrant I encourage you to speak to me about this so we can resolve any issues early and to your satisfaction. If you are still dissatisfied, you can contact the Attorney-General’s Department, as follows. 

What you can complain about

You can complain if a marriage celebrant has broken the rules in the:

How your complaint is handled

You must make your complaint within three months of first becoming aware of the problem. You must use the complaint form.

The AG’s department will tell you in writing when your complaint has been received.

Review the complaint

Once all your information has been reviewed, you will be advised if the AG’s department decides to:

  • Not deal with the complaint because it lacks merit
  • Refer the complaint to a more appropriate department
  • Investigate the complaint more

 
Your complaint may not be dealt with if:

  • It was not made on the approved form
  • It is not about the solemnisation of marriage by a marriage celebrant
  • It is frivolous, vexatious, misconceived, lacking in substance or is not in good faith
  • The complainant does not have sufficient interest
  • The complaint is not made within 3 months
  • The substance of the complaint has been previously heard
  • The complaint is the subject of other processes
  • The complaint would more appropriately be dealt with by another body

Investigate

The AG’s department  will send a copy of your complaint to the marriage celebrant and ask them to respond. It will not contain your contact details. After the AG’s department receives their response they will decide if they should take further action.

Respond

The AG’s department  will tell the marriage celebrant what they have decided and why. Sometimes they may:

  • Give the celebrant a warning
  • Require the celebrant to do more training
  • Suspend the celebrant’s registration
  • Deregister the celebrant

The AG’s department will generally only take disciplinary action against the celebrant if there has been a serious or ongoing breach of the Marriage Act 1961 or Marriage Regulations 2017. When it is finalised, the AG’s department will tell you the outcome of your complaint. You can make an anonymous complaint, but this may mean the AG’s department can’t investigate if they need more information from you.

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