Fines

Fines

This video provides basic legal information about Australia's legal system for people new to Australia. It is the part of a series of videos about the law for people who have recently arrived in Australia.  See more videos at What's the law?

Transcript

Text: Fines

Ayel is in the car on her way to work

[Vision changes to close-up of Ayel driving.]

Ayel: Oh no! I’m going to be late.

[Vision changes to Ayel driving into a parking lot.]

[Vision changes to Chris speaking with Ayel through the window.]

Chris: Hey, Ayel. Can’t you find a car park?

[Vision changes to close-up of Ayel.]

Ayel: No, the car park is full. And I’m going to be late for work! I will have to park my car

somewhere on the street.

[Vision changes to close-up of Chris.]

Chris: Make sure you read the parking signs, though, otherwise you could get a fine. I got one

last year when I parked on the street near my house. 

[Vision changes to Ayel driving out of the parking lot and parking on the street.]

[Vision changes to close-up of Permit Zone sign.]

[Vision changes to Ayel at work.]

After work, Ayel returns to her car. A parking ticket is visible on the front windscreen.

[Vision changes to close-up of infringement notice.]

Ayel: Infringement notice. Seventy-five dollars?

[Vision changes to Ayel putting the infringement notice in her glove box.]

One month later Ayel is sitting at her kitchen table with her husband Ajit. There are letters and papers on the table.

Text: 1 month later…

[Vision changes to Ajit and Ayel looking at papers.]

Ajit: Ayel, do you know what these letters are for?

[Vision changes to close-up of infringement reminder.]

Ayel: It could be about where I park my car at work.

[Vision changes to close-up of Ayel.]

Ayel: When I’m late from taking the children to school, there are no places left in the car park. So sometimes I park on the street.

[Vision changes to close-up of Ajit.]

Ajit: Are there any signs on the street where you park that say you can’t park there?

[Vision changes to a memory of the Permit Zone sign.] 

Ayel: I think there is a sign that says ‘permit’. I don’t know what that means.

[Vision changes to Ajit and Ayel talking.]

Ajit: It might mean that you need a special permit that allows you to park there. And if you don’t

have a permit, you can get a fine for parking there.

[Vision changes to close-up Ajit holding infringement notices.] 

Ajit: Do you know how many of these letters have we got in the mail?

[Vision changes to close-up of Ayel.]

Ayel: We did get one before, saying we had to pay $75. We didn’t have enough money to pay

it. We’ve had doctor’s bills to pay, and rent, and shopping, and getting the car fixed. I didn’t

know what to do. I don’t understand what the letters say.

[Vision changes to close-up of Ajit reading the infringement notice.]

Ajit: This one says because we didn’t pay the first fine, the amount has gone up to $100.

[Vision changes to close-up of Ajit looking worried.] 

Ajit: Oh no, it says payment is due this week! 

[Vision changes to a memory of Ajit on the telephone.] 

Ajit: Remember last year when we got a lot of letters about not paying for road tolls, but we

didn’t do anything about them? Then later we got a notice saying I had to go to court because

of all the fines. And we had to pay extra money because we had ignored them for so long.

[Vision changes to Ayel.]

Ayel: Yes, I remember. 

[Vision changes to memory of Ajit on the telephone with a lawyer.]

Ayel: You called Legal Aid and they helped us understand the letters and get ready for court.

They helped you work out what to say to the Magistrate at court.

[Vision changes to Ajit and Ayel talking.]

Ajit: We don’t want this parking fine to get to that stage, so we should do something about it

now. I remember the people at Legal Aid said there might be different options for paying if we

speak to someone early.

[Vision changes to close-up of Ayel.]

Ayel: But who should we talk to?

[Vision changes to close-up of Ayel reading the infringement notice.]

Ajit: It says here you can call the council for more information. The number is here.

[Vision changes to close-up of infringement notice.]

Ajit: We could also get legal help if we need more advice.

[Vision changes to Ajit and Ayel looking worried.]

Ayel: Ok, let’s call the council. What is the number?

Ayel calls the council.

[Vision changes to Ayel dialling on the telephone.]

[Vision changes to close-up of Ayel.]

Ayel: Hello. I got a letter in the mail saying that I have to pay money. I think it’s because I parked my car in the wrong spot.

[Vision changes to Council worker speaking on the telephone.]

Council worker: Ok, first we need to know what type of letter you have. Can you read out what

it says at the top?

[Vision changes to Ayel.]

Ayel: It says penalty reminder notice. It says payment is due next week! And we can’t afford to pay it now!

[Vision changes to close-up of Council worker.]

Council worker: It’s good that you called us now, before it becomes more serious. You said

you don’t have the money to pay. Because you called us now, we can give you an extension.

That means you have more time to pay the fine.

[Vision changes to close-up of Ayel.]

Ayel: Ok. That might help. How much more time can we have?

[Vision changes to Council worker.]

Council worker: We can give you another month to pay the fine. I will put the new due date 

into the system now as 30 June.

[Vision changes to close-up of Ayel looking worried.]

Ayel: What happens if we don’t pay the fine by the new due date?

[Vision changes to Council worker.]

Council worker: If you do not pay, the fine will be sent to the Infringements Court. The court

will give you a new due date and you will have to pay extra money. You can talk to the court

about different ways you can pay. Then, if you still don’t pay the fine, the sheriff can take steps

to get the money from you. 

[Vision changes to close-up of Council worker.]

Council worker: They can do this by taking and selling some of your things to pay the fine. Or

they could take the money from your wages, or suspend your driver licence until you pay.

[Vision changes to split screen of Ayel and Council worker talking on the telephone. 

Council worker: If you get to this stage, you should get legal help.