Fines Imposed in Court

Fines imposed in the Magistrates' Court 

A fine imposed in the Magistrates' Court may be with or without a conviction and may be imposed by itself or in addition to another penalty.

In addition to a fine, a magistrate can make a number of other monetary orders, including:

  • orders that one party pay the costs of the other
  • the cost of attending court to a witness in the proceeding
  • that one pay restitution or compensation to a victim of a crime
  • that an offender pay money into the Court Fund to be used for charitable purposes. 

As at 31 December 2017, fines, toll costs and other costs may be referred to Fines Victoria for collection and management, or collection only.

If you receive a Statement of Fines and Penalties Imposed by the Magistrates’ Court or a Payment Notice issued by the Magistrates’ Court, please refer to the following information:

How do I pay my fine?
  1. In person at any Magistrates' Court location
  2. BPAY: The BPAY biller code and your unique BPAY reference will be included on the Magistrates’ Court Statement of Fines and Penalties Imposed or a Magistrates’ Court Payment Notice. 
  3. By mail: Send a cheque or money order (do not send cash) made payable to Registrar of the Magistrates' Court with a payment slip together with your case details including court reference number,  to:

    Magistrates’ Court of Victoria
    GPO Box 882
    Melbourne VIC 3001 

If you are paying several fines by instalments, with each payment you will need to specify which fines are being paid and how much is being paid on each fine.  You can also apply to the registrar to have several fines grouped together.  This is known as a 'group stay' and enables one regular payment to be made rather than multiple payments each time.

What do you do if you can't pay the fine?

If you have a fine that is payable to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria you may:

  1. Apply to a registrar of the Magistrates’ Court for more time to pay or a payment arrangement. 
  2. Convert your fine to community work (if eligible). 
What happens if the fine is not paid by the due date?

If the fine is not paid by the due date, a warrant for your arrest may be issued, which will be forwarded to the Sheriff's Office (under Section 62 of the Sentencing Act 1991). This warrant authorises the Sheriff to arrest the person named in the warrant and to bring him/her before the Court. 

What happens when a person is arrested for not paying the fine and is brought before the Court?

A magistrate has several options available to deal with an unpaid fine. The magistrate may decide to:

  • convert the fine to community work (Only for sums below $10,000) 
  • order that the person be imprisoned for a fixed term (1 day of imprisonment equates to approximately $150.00 of the penalty) 
  • vary the order that the fine be paid by instalments
  • adjourn the hearing for up to 6 months on any terms the Court sees fit 
  • order that the unpaid portion of the fine be levied under a warrant to seize property. 

If you move interstate, the fine may be registered in the State where you live and enforced according to the rules of that State. 

Converting Fines to Community Work

If you wish to convert a fine to community work, you must attend a Magistrates’ Court and submit an application with the registrar. There is no fee payable to submit this application. The registrar will usually only grant an application if you are unemployed or if there is some exceptional reason why the fine cannot be paid off by instalments. 

The registrar is allowed to ask you questions about your financial situation and request to see your financial records or documentation to support your application. In some cases, you may be required to swear an affidavit as to your financial situation.

If your application to convert a fine to community work is granted, you will be asked to sign a form and be required to report to community corrections by 4pm, usually on that day or the next day. It will be up to community corrections as to when and where you work and the type of work you perform. You will be required to do a minimum 8 hrs of work and the conversion is one hour for approximately every $20 owing.

If your fine has resulted originally from an infringement and has come to court via infringement warrant or enforcement warrant, application for conversion of your fine can only be made to a magistrate and not to a registrar.

Note: If your fine is with Fines Victoria, before you make your application to the Registrar, you must obtain up to date information as to what is outstanding on your fine from Fines Victoria. Without this, the Registrar cannot proceed with your application. 

 
Area of Legislation: 

Contacts

Contact the Magistrates' Court where your matter is listed or your nearest court. 
Contact details for all Victorian Magistrates' Courts are available under Contact Us

Email: help@magistratescourt.vic.gov.au