If your client has been served with a Notice of Final Demand, they may apply to the Director of Fines Victoria for a review of the decision of the enforcement agency to serve the infringement notice and enforce that notice under s 32 of the Fines Reform Act 2014 (Vic) (FRA).
An application for enforcement review cannot be made after the expiry of a 7 day notice. If your client presents with a 7 day notice, it is extremely important to make any enforcement review application before the notice expires, as after this, your client’s options are very limited.
(Note: For 7 day notices served prior to 31 December 2017, an enforcement review can still be applied for up until the warrant is executed.)
The grounds on which an enforcement review can be made, are the same as those available for internal review.
The grounds for enforcement review are:
An application for enforcement review can be made either by your client or by a third party such as a lawyer on behalf of your client. An application for enforcement review can be made online, in person or by writing to the Director of Fines Victoria. Applications for enforcement review made via post, should be sent to:
PO Box 14487
Melbourne VIC 8001
The application must:
(See s 32(3) FRA).
Your client will need to provide clear evidence that they did not commit the offence or had a valid reason for committing the offence or had mitigating circumstances. If your client is applying on the grounds of special circumstances, see this page for the specific information that your application should include.
After an application is submitted, Fines Victoria can ask your client for further information. If your client does not provide this information by the due date (including any extension granted), the Director of Fines Victoria can either accept the late information or make their decision without this further information (s 34 FRA).
If an application for enforcement review is urgent, and there is insufficient time to obtain the reports, you can apply to Fines Victoria for a three-month stay of enforcement while you collect supporting materials. Even where an extension of time is not expressly requested, Fines Victoria will also generally ask for more information if they are unable to assess the application and give you 14 days to respond.
While the Director of Fines Victoria is reviewing an enforcement application, any enforcement action that has already been applied before the application was received may continue, but no further enforcement action, that has not yet commenced can be applied. (s 36 FRA).
An application must be made after the issuing of a Notice of Final Demand and until a 7-day notice expires, a land charge is recorded, an attachment of earnings or debt direction is made or a vehicle is seized under a vehicle seizure and sale notice. Therefore it is imperative to act quickly to submit an enforcement review application.
If the application is made on the basis that the client was unaware of the notice being served, it must be made within 14 days of the applicant becoming aware of the infringement notice (s 33(3) FRA.
A person can make:
An application for enforcement review cannot be made in the following circumstances:
An application using the ‘person unaware’ ground, cannot be made if:
If your client has drink-driving, drug-driving or excessive speed infringements, your client is still eligible to apply for a waiver or reduction of fees and payment arrangement or extension of time to pay the outstanding fines, or a Work and Development Permit.
If your client’s application for enforcement review is successful, the Director of Fines Victoria will:
Within 90 days of receiving this notice of cancellation, the enforcement agency must:
The enforcement agency must notify your client of its decision (s 38 FRA).
If the successful application for enforcement review was made on the grounds that your client was unaware of the notice being served:
If your client’s application for enforcement review is unsuccessful, the Director of Fines Victoria will commence or continue enforcement action. Within 21 days of making its decision, the Director must serve a written confirmation of the outcome of the review on the applicant and the enforcement agency (s 37 FRA).
Within 21 days of receiving written confirmation of the unsuccessful outcome, your client must:
(s 40 FRA)
There is no process for objecting to an enforcement review decision, but your client has a right to seek judicial review of the decision under administrative law.
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