Changes to fines in South Australia

From February 2014, people have more flexible options to pay their fines due to changes to the management of fines.

A new unit – the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit – has been established to recover overdue fine amounts owed to state and local government bodies.

These functions moved from the Magistrates Court to the new Fines Unit on 3 February 2014. The new unit also manages the recovery of court fines and Criminal Injury Compensation (CIC) and Victims of Crime (VOC) compensation amounts.

What does this mean for fines owed in South Australia?

It’s now easier for people to manage overdue fines incurred, with more options available. Overdue fines can be paid online, over the phone, and in person at any Australia Post office.

People can also establish payment arrangements online and over the phone to spread their payment over a longer period (with conditions). Prior to February 2014, an ‘application for relief’ had to be submitted to gain any kind of payment arrangement.

For those who evade managing their fines, escalating enforcement measures will be applied to recover the amounts owed. These enforcements include suspending driver’s licences, clamping and impounding vehicles, seizing and selling assets, and making deductions directly from a person’s bank account or salary.

What do the changes mean for current clients?

Services continue as usual – current payment arrangements will be managed by the new Unit and continue as agreed. Lapsed payment arrangements will be renegotiated with the new Fines Unit.

Existing Direct Debit arrangements will be transferred to the new Unit.

How will people know about the changes?

A number of transitional arrangements are in place. Over December and January, clients were advised of the changes in fines notices received from the Magistrates Court.

From 3 February the Courts Administration Authority 1800 number and fax number have been transferred to the new Unit. Automatic redirects have been established for the previously used email address and the fines section of the Courts Administration Authority website.

And finally, from 3 February, those with outstanding fines will receive notices from the new Fines Unit calling for payments of amounts owed.