How to make a special circumstances application

How to make a special circumstances application

You can apply to get your enforcement order or infringement warrant cancelled (revoked) if:

  • you experienced special circumstances when you got the fine and
  • you found it difficult to avoid breaking the law.

You have special circumstances if you:

  • had a mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness
  • had a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or volatile substance
  • are a victim of family violence
  • were homeless.

What to consider before you apply

If you decide to apply for special circumstances:

  • you must accept that you broke the law. This means that you will have to plead guilty at court and there will be a record of this
  • your demerit points may be affected if your fines were for driving offences
  • VicRoads may be notified of your medical condition, disability or addiction, and may ask that you undertake a medical review of your fitness to drive
  • you will have a debt of $40 for each Citylink or Eastlink toll offence. This is not a court fine, it is the toll company’s administrative costs. The toll company may not seek payment of this debt.

Contact Legal Help on 1300 792 387 for more information about how this process may affect you.

How to apply

To get your enforcement order or infringement warrant cancelled (revoked) you must prove to the Infringements Court that you had special circumstances at the time of the fines.

Step 1: Write to Civic Compliance Victoria

Write to or visit Civic Compliance Victoria to ask for a list of all your unpaid fines. Civic Compliance Victoria may take a few weeks to get back to you. Depending on the fines you have, you may also be able to get a list of your unpaid fines online from Civic Compliance Victoria.

Step 2: Get a report

Get a report confirming you had special circumstances when you broke the law from a:

  • treating specialist, such as a doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist
  • housing support worker.

Ask them to write the report for free. If they will not do this, talk to them about how much it costs for writing the report and what you can afford to pay.

Step 3: Write to the Infringements Court

Once you have obtained a list of your fines from Civic Compliance Victoria and the report from your treating specialist or housing worker, you can ask the Infringements Court to cancel (revoke) your enforcement orders and infringement warrants. This means the Infringements Court will not follow up the enforcement order or infringements warrant it sent you.

Make sure you keep copies of all your letters.

Alternatively, you can apply for special circumstances online at Fines Online.

The Infringements Court’s decision

You will be notified in writing of the Infringements Court’s decision.

If the Infringements Court decides you have special circumstances, it will cancel (revoke) your enforcement order or infringement warrant.

The court will also ask the agency that fined you if they are willing to withdraw the fines. Sometimes the agency will withdraw the fine and you don’t need to do anything else.

Most of the time, the agencies will keep trying to prosecute you for the infringement offences. If this happens, the offences will be referred to the Special Circumstances List in the Magistrates’ Court to be dealt with as a criminal offence.

If the Infringements Court decides you do not have special circumstances contact us on 1300 792 387 for free legal advice over the phone.

If you are referred to the Special Circumstances List

You will get a letter informing you of your court date and which courtroom to go to. When you arrive, tell the clerk at the front of the courtroom that you are present.

The Magistrates’ Court will have a copy of the report that you sent to the Infringements Court when you applied for special circumstances. They will consider this information when making a decision about your sentence and what happens to your unpaid fines.

See Going to the Special Circumstances List and the Magistrates' Court.

Get help

Find out how you can get help with fines and infringements.