In the Children’s Court you could have a fine because:
- You received an infringement notice previously that you did not pay — this could be a fine you first received from Victoria Police or from the Department of Transport for an offence e.g. not producing a valid ticket on public transport, not wearing a helmet when cycling, driving without a licence etc. Infringement notices can be referred to the court if you don’t pay them by the due date in the notice.
- It is part of a sentence that a magistrate or judge gave you in a criminal case.
How to pay a fine in the Children’s Court
If a magistrate or judge gave you a fine or if you have received paperwork from the court about your unpaid infringement notice you can:
send a cheque or money order to the address on the court paperwork
go to any Children’s Court or Magistrates' Court to pay by cash, credit or debit card, cheque or money order
If you can’t pay it by the due date you should contact the court and speak to the registrar. You may be able to get some more time to pay it. Call (03) 8638 3300.
What happens in the Children’s Court with unpaid infringement notices?
If you get an infringement notice from Victoria Police or the Department of Transport and you do not pay it, they will send you a reminder notice.
If you still don’t pay it they will usually refer it to the court for the court to follow up with you.
The court will send a document to you called Notice of Court Case (CAYPINS). This document tells you a date to go to court for a hearing with the registrar. If you pay the full amount to the court before the hearing date you won’t need to go to court.
If you don’t pay it before the hearing date it is important for you to go to the court for the hearing. It is your chance to explain to the registrar about your situation and ask for help if you need it.
If you need to move the hearing to a later date, call (03) 8638 3300 and ask for the CAYPINS team.
What can the registrar do?
The registrar will ask you if you can pay the fine.
- Ask for more time to pay – You can attend the hearing and ask the registrar. Or you can write to us or call us using the contact details on the notice. Or you can call us on (03) 8638 3300.
Ask for the fine to be lowered – If you want to do this you should attend the hearing so you can explain your situation to the registrar. Before the hearing, it would be good if you could print the form Application to Cancel or Reduce Your Fine (Statement of Financial and Personal Circumstances). Then fill it in as best as you can and bring it with you to court. You can also get the form from the court and fill it in on the hearing day.
If you cannot attend the hearing but you can complete the form and get it to us in time for the hearing day the registrar might be able to make a decision about lowering your fine without you having to be there. If that happens the registrar will let you know by mail if your fine has been lowered or not.
- Ask for a hearing by a magistrate instead – To have a magistrate or judge decide on your case instead, call us on our main line (03) 8638 3300 and ask for the CAYPINS team.
If you do not attend the registrar’s hearing or do not pay before the hearing
On the day of the registrar’s hearing, the registrar will make a decision even if you are not there.
The decision may be an order for you to pay the fine and agency costs. You will get a notice about the details of the order.
If you do not pay the fine and costs by the due date printed on the notice, a magistrate will have to review your case. At this hearing by the magistrate (called the enforcement hearing), the magistrate will make an order. This can include issuing a warrant for some of your property to be taken away.
You will not get a criminal record.
Asking for a hearing by a magistrate to review the registrar’s decision
When you get the notice telling you what the registrar’s decision was, if you disagree with it you can ask to have a hearing with a magistrate so that the magistrate can decide on your fine.
- Fill in the form Application for review of registrar’s order. The form can be printed from this website or you can get the form from the court. Make sure the completed form gets to the court within 28 days after the registrar made their order.
- You will be told when go to court for the hearing.