Appealing your fine

Internal review process

If you have been issued with an infringement by the City and believe you have a valid reason for it to be withdrawn, you have the right to appeal the fine once. This is known as applying for an internal review.

All internal review applications and correspondence must be in writing, you cannot request an internal review over the phone or in person. Infringements can't be cancelled unless you apply for an internal review.

The Mayor and Councillors can't be involved in the internal review process. They are unable to respond to letters/enquiries regarding fines. All correspondence regarding internal reviews must be directed to the Review Officer.

You are only entitled to one internal review for each infringement in Victoria. In order to help the City carefully review your application, please make sure you give all the important information and evidence right from the start. Applications for additional reviews may not be accepted.

Applying for an internal review for someone else. We can't accept applications for an internal review from someone other than who the fine was issued to. If you are applying for someone else please complete the Third Party Consent Form and provide a copy with your internal review.

You will be notified in writing of the outcome of the internal review. If you have not received a written response and would like to check that your application for internal review has been received, please contact us.

Infringements referred to Fines Victoria or the Magistrates' Court. More information regarding infringements, the fine's lifecycle, who is involved and your rights and responsibilities is available from Fines Victoria.

Apply for an internal review

You are required to supply specific information before the City can conduct an internal review. To ensure you provide all the information required, please fill in the Application for Internal Review form. Applications which don't provide all of the information required in this form may not be accepted.

What grounds can I apply for internal review under

Person unaware: you did not know about the fine

You can request a review under this ground if all of the following apply:

  • You found out about the fine within the last 14 days
  • The fine was not personally given to you by an officer,
    If you moved house but you did not change your authorised address with the relevant agency (for example, VicRoads) within 14 days of moving, your application may not be successful.

Your application may not be successful unless you provide evidence showing you did not know about the fine. This could be a copy of your passport or boarding pass showing you were overseas, an invoice from a removalist showing that you moved house, a VicRoads address change confirmation, or a report about mail theft.

You must submit your application within 14 days of the date you became aware of the fine.

If your application is successful, you will be granted a further 21 days to deal with your fine and any fees added to your fine will be removed.

Contrary to law: the fine is invalid or was improperly issued to you

You can apply under this ground if you believe that the enforcement agency's decision to fine you was inconsistent with the law.

For example, the officer who issued the fine acted unlawfully, improperly or outside their authority or the fine does not comply with the legal requirements of an infringement notice.

Mistake of identity: the fine was issued to the wrong person

You can request a review under this ground if you have been incorrectly identified as the person who committed an offence, and you have evidence to support your claim. For example, someone provided your licence or gave your details to police, or you have the same name as another person or family member and the wrong person received the fine.

This review ground does not apply if someone else was driving your vehicle at the time of the offence. In this case you will need to nominate the person who was driving the vehicle at the time using the Operator Owner Onus form.

Exceptional circumstances: the offence occurred due to an extraordinary or unavoidable situation

You should only select this ground if you can show that the offence occurred due to circumstances that were out of the ordinary, unavoidable, or exceptional - such as a medical emergency or a vehicle breakdown.

Special circumstances: you have serious personal issues, disorders, difficulties or are a victim of family violence

These circumstances are very specific. You should only select this ground if you committed the offence and can show that:

  • At the time of the offence you:
    • Had a mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness
    • Had a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance
    • Were homeless
    • Were a victim of family violence, or
  • You cannot deal with your fines because of severe disabling long-term circumstances, even if those circumstances did not exist at the time of the offence.

You will need to provide evidence from a qualified practitioner or agency to support your application.

 

Who can prepare your supporting evidence?

You must provide evidence from a practitioner or agency who is familiar with your circumstances. Depending on your circumstances, this may be your:

  • Doctor or medical specialist
  • Psychiatrist or psychologist
  • Social worker or case worker
  • Accredited drug treatment agency or drug counsellor
  • Financial counsellor
  • Recognised health, support or welfare agency (for example, the Salvation Army)

Evidence may include, reports, letters, statements, submissions, statutory declarations, police reports and family violence safety notices.
What is required in the supporting evidence:

  • The practitioner/case worker's qualification and relationship with you, including the period of engagement.
  • The nature, severity and duration of your condition or circumstances including:
    • Whether you were suffering from the relevant condition or circumstances at the time the offence was committed and;
    • Whether, in the opinion of the practitioner/case worker, there is a connection between your condition/circumstances and your inability to understand or control the conduct constituting the offence

For more information visit the below link to the Fines Victoria website

 

The Family Violence Scheme

PLEASE CALL 000 IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING FAMILY VIOLENCE AND IT IS AN EMERGENCY

If you have been impacted by family violence, the Family Violence Scheme is an option to help victim survivors deal with fines if there is a link between the family violence and their fines.

For more information and assistance, or to lodge a family violence scheme application, please see the Fines Victoria Website: Family Violence Scheme

What you need to provide

Evidence to support your claims should be provided with your application. If evidence is not provided your internal review may take longer to process, you may be asked to provide evidence or your application may be reviewed based on the information available without the required evidence.
 
Examples of supporting evidence can include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical reports
  • Bank statements
  • Hospital admissions documentation
  • Police statements or reports (including mail theft reports made to Victoria Police or Australia Post)
  • Travel documentation (for example, copies of flight itineraries, date-stamped passports, boarding passes, or international movement records)
  • Removalist invoices
  • Tow truck or mechanic's invoices
  • Identification documents (for example, driver's licence, birth certificate)
  • Motor Vehicle Transfer documents or other proof of sale of a motor vehicle

Please provide as much information and supporting documentation as you can, as this will help to make a decision. You can only request one internal review for each infringement.

After an internal review is submitted

When we receive an application for internal review, the infringement is put on hold and no further fees will be added while the infringement is being reviewed. If an appeal is submitted after the late fees are applied to the infringement, the extra fee will be added to the infringement's total cost.

If you submit your application online you will see a message after you submit advising that the application has been successfully submitted. You won't receive any further notification that the appeal has been submitted. If you submit a hard copy you won't receive any notification that your application has been received

If you are unsure if the appeal has been submitted correctly, you can contact the City on 1300 002 642 to confirm before submitting another appeal.

It can take up to 90 days for an internal review to be completed and the outcome of the appeal determined. Please do not make any payments on the infringement until you have been notified of the outcome.

What are the decisions that might be made

Once a decision has been made, you will receive a notice of the outcome in writing by post.

If your application is successful, depending on the grounds you applied under, the enforcement agency can decide to:

  • Withdraw the fine and take no further action against you
  • Withdraw the fine and issue an official warning instead
  • Refer the matter to the Magistrates' Court (or the Children's Court if you're under 18)
  • Approve a payment arrangement
  • Waive or vary any fees associated with the fine
  • Waive or vary any additional steps imposed by the fine
  • Confirm its decision to issue you with the fine

If the application is not successful, you will receive a notice by mail to confirm:

  • The agency's decision
  • How much you need to pay
  • When you need to pay it by
  • Any other options available to you

If your application is not successful, you can apply to have your matter heard in the Magistrates' Court - see When can I go to court. This gives you (or your representative) a chance to present your evidence in front of a magistrate who will make a decision about your matter.

It is important that you provide your most current address and contact details so you can be contacted about your application if required.

Frequently asked questions

What will happen if I don't pay my fine or take further action?

If you don't act on your infringement before the due date, your infringement will continue through the fines lifecycle with more costs added at each step. Failing to deal with your fine before each step can also reduce the options available to you.  

If you leave your infringement for too long it may result in an enforcement warrant being issued against you. This could lead to the following action by a Sheriff's Officer who may:

  • Wheel clamp your vehicle 
  • Come to your home and demand payment
  • Stop you at a police road block
  • Take your personal property and sell it at a public auction
  • Remove the number plates from your vehicle
  • Arrest you
Fines Victoria has sent me documents about the fine, can I appeal?

You can no longer apply for an internal review with the City. The due date on the infringement notice and reminder notice have both expired, the fine now sits with Fines Victoria, and you should contact them regarding your options.

What can I do if my infringement isn't withdrawn?

As you are only entitled to one internal review per infringement, you can't apply for more reviews after it has been completed and you have received your response.

However if you have information which you have not previously provided, or a situation you have not advised us of, the City may give further consideration based on these circumstances. Please be aware, writing to tell us the same information again will not result in a different outcome.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your internal review and would like to take the matter further, you may choose to have the matter heard and determined in court by a Magistrate. If you would like to have the matter heard in court we only require advice of this in writing, we will then contact you to confirm your intention and have the matter listed for hearing.

What can I do if I can't afford to pay my fine?

You can apply for a payment plan or an extension of time by calling the City on 1300 002 642.

If you are experiencing acute financial hardship, such as being homeless or at risk of homelessness, you may wish to apply for internal review based on your current circumstances. To provide consideration based on your financial situation we require confirmation of your acute financial hardship from an agency providing you with financial counselling, support or homelessness services. This confirmation must be in the form of a letter on agency letterhead from:

  • Welfare agency
  • Financial counsellor
  • Case worker
  • Case manager
  • Centrelink

If you require additional time to obtain information to support your application, or would like to discuss your options, please call the City on 1300 002 642.

More information regarding your options is available from Fines Victoria.

Can I talk to someone about my fine?

If you would like to discuss your options or the details of your fine you can call the City on 1300 002 642. However, as all internal review correspondence must be in writing, information discussed in person or over the phone cannot be taken into consideration in an internal review.

Your phone conversation will not result in the infringement being withdrawn. 

How long will my internal review take?

The review team aim to complete internal reviews and send correspondence informing applicants of the outcome within two weeks (14 days).

However, reviews can take longer depending on the need for more detailed investigation and the availability of evidence. The length of time an internal review takes can also depend on the number of applications being processed at the time. All applications and applicants are given the same level of consideration. Internal reviews can take up to 90 days to complete.

To ensure the review team can complete your internal review in the shortest time possible, please make sure you:

  • Provide all relevant evidence to support your application
  • Include your correct name, complete address and contact details
  • Fill out the review form correctly

If you apply for an internal review, have not heard back and are worried your application may not have been received, or you may not have received the City's reply, please contact the City's Customer Service Centre on 1300 002 642.

When can I go to court?

If your fine is at Infringement Notice, or Penalty Reminder Notice stage, you can apply to have your matter heard in the Magistrates' Court (or the Children's Court if you are under 18 years of age). If your fine has reached Notice of Final Demand stage, you cannot apply to go to court and you will need to contact Fines Victoria to discuss your options.