Infringements

Infringements

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Apply to the registrar for an extension, instalment plan or a variation order

Important changes from 31 December 2017

From 1 July 2017, the Infringements Act 2006 (Vic) was changed as part of Victoria's fines reform process, including new ‘social justice initiatives' that affect people experiencing vulnerability. On 31 December 2017, the Fines Reform Act 2014 (Vic) commenced, creating Fines Victoria. This resulted in significant further changes to the infringements system and substantially shorter timeframes for dealing with infringements and fines.

Please be aware of these reforms in relation to any infringements assistance that you are providing to your clients.

We are in the process of updating Homeless Law in Practice. Justice Connect Homeless Law pro bono lawyers should read our further materials about the changes here (password needed), before doing any fines work after 1 July 2017. Please speak to your supervising lawyer, team leader or Homeless Law staff for more information.

At any time before your client is arrested for failing to pay open court fines, your client can make an application to the court registrar for one or more of the following:

  • An order that more time be allowed for the payment of the fine; or
  • An order that the fine be paid by instalments; or
  • An order for the variation of the terms of an instalment order; or
  • An order that the fine is converted to an order to do unpaid community work (up to the equivalent value of 100 penalty units) (section 64 of the Sentencing Act).

Your client cannot apply for a conversion to community work order if the fine was imposed in respect of an offence heard and determined by the Magistrates' Court as a result of the revocation of an enforcement order under section 68(1) of the Infringements Act.

If your client wishes to make an application, you should prepare a written application that clearly sets out your client's circumstances and the reasons your client is applying for the particular order and file it at the Magistrates' Court registry.

Generally, if your client wants to set up an instalment plan with the Magistrates' Court, your client will be asked by the registry to pay a certain amount before being eligible.  If your client cannot afford this amount, you can use this template letter to request a waiver of this requirement.

On an application, the registrar can either make one or more of the above orders or confirm any order then in force.