Strict time limits apply to the length of time a fine against you is still owing. It is important to remember that bankruptcy does not automatically cancel an outstanding fine. You may get advice from your local community legal centre or a financial counsellor.
The infringements system sets time limits after which no further action can be taken against you. These limits vary according to the stage the matter has reached in the infringements process.
Where an infringement notice has been issued, the time limit is six months from the time of the offence, or from the time when you last made a payment of part of the fine.
If, within that time, the matter has not been registered with Fines Victoria and a summons has not been issued for you to appear in court, the enforcement agency cannot act to make you pay the penalty.
If you are being pursued to pay old fines, check on these time limits; you may no longer be required to pay the debt. If you believe this is the case, seek advice from a financial counsellor (see Financial counselling services) or legal service (see Legal services that can help) to help you argue your case with the enforcement agency or Fines Victoria.
Fines are not extinguished by bankruptcy and remain due and payable even after a person has been “discharged” from bankruptcy. Seek legal advice if you are considering a bankruptcy application due to fines. Generally, fines imposed in the Magistrates’ Court under the Sentencing Act are not “provable” in bankruptcy. For more information about bankruptcy, see Understanding bankruptcy.