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Summary of options for dealing with enforcement orders

Important changes from 1 July 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.

If no action is taken when someone has received infringement notices or penalty reminder notices, the infringement can be lodged with the Infringements Registrar pursuant to section 54 of the Infringements Act. 

The infringement can only be lodged if:

  • the infringement penalty is not less than the prescribed minimum infringement penalty amount;
  • a penalty reminder notice has been served;
  • the period under the penalty reminder notice for payment has passed;
  • full payment of the infringement and any prescribed costs has not been received; and
  • the enforcement agency has not issued a charge-sheet or referred the matter to open court (section 54).

The minimum period between an infringement notice being issued and lodged with the Infringements Registrar is 56 days (because a minimum period of 28 days for payment is required in both the infringement notice and the penalty reminder notice).  In practice, it usually takes 2 - 3 months for an infringement to be lodged with the Infringements Registrar and it can be longer.  It cannot be lodged more than 6 months after the date of issue of the infringement or a default in the payment plan (section 55). 

The Infringements Registrar can then make an enforcement order (which is deemed to be an order of the court) pursuant to section 59 of the Infringements Act which adds additional costs ($81.60 as at 1 July 2015) to the penalty.

The options for dealing with infringement notices that have been registered with the Infringements Registrar, resulting in the issue of enforcement orders are as follows:

  1. Apply for revocation (or cancellation) of the enforcement orders if there are sufficient grounds (including on the basis of special circumstances or because your client was not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the offence).
  2. Apply for a payment order or an extension.
  3. Pay in full.