Appealing an Infringement


Internal review of your infringement

If you feel that there are extenuating circumstances that impacted your ability to comply with the law, write to us within 28 days of the issue date on the ticket to avoid incurring additional costs.

When explaining your situation to us, ensure you include any supporting evidence you have – some examples are listed below.

All reviews are conducted using the:

Internal Review of a Penalty Infringement Notice form(DOCX, 185KB)

We verify the evidence supplied and witness statements. All decisions are final and are notified in writing.

You can request only one internal review for each infringement.

You can request an internal review of your fine under one of the following grounds:

Contrary to law

You can apply under this ground if you believe that our decision to fine you was inconsistent with the law or improperly issued.

For example, the officer who issued the fine acted unlawfully, improperly or outside their authority or the infringement notice is not valid because it is incomplete or does not comply with the formal legal requirements for an infringement notice.

Your appeal should be accompanied with supporting evidence. This can include photographs of parking signage, witness statements or other evidence that goes to establishing facts.

Mistake of identity

You can request a review under this ground if you have been incorrectly identified as the person who committed an offence, and you have evidence to support your claim. For example, you are not the person named on the infringement notice, you were not in the location at the time of the offence and therefore could not have committed the offence, or you have had your identity stolen.

This ground is not available if you claim that you are not liable for the offence and cannot reasonably ascertain the identity of the person who was responsible. Such circumstances should be more appropriately addressed by lodging an unknown user nomination statement.

Applications for internal review on the ground of mistaken identity should (where appropriate) be accompanied by supporting evidence. Examples of supporting evidence for mistake of identity include the applicant’s birth certificate, driver’s licence or passport which shows:

  • a different person than the one who received the infringement notice in the applicant’s name, or
  • evidence that the applicant could not have committed the conduct because they could not have been in the relevant location.

Special circumstances

These circumstances are very specific. You should only select this ground if you committed the offence and can show that:

  • at the time of the offence you:
    • had a mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness
    • had a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance
    • were homeless
    • were a victim of family violence, or
  • you cannot deal with your fines because of severe disabling long-term circumstances, even if those circumstances did not exist at the time of the offence.

You will need to provide evidence from a qualified practitioner or agency to support your application. For more information on what is required and how to apply, visit the Fines Victoria  website.

Exceptional circumstances

The exceptional circumstances ground provides Council with the discretion to determine whether the infringement notice is appropriate, taking into account the circumstances in which the offending conduct occurred.

Unlike special circumstances, there is no legislative definition of what constitutes exceptional circumstances. This ground is intended to apply to one-off circumstances where the reason cannot be categorised. This category is designed to include circumstances where the applicant has enough awareness and self-control to be liable for their conduct but has a good excuse for that conduct.

Some examples include circumstances where the applicant committed the offence due to unforeseen or unpreventable circumstances such as medical emergencies, unavoidable or unforeseeable delay or vehicle breakdown.

Applications for internal review made on the grounds of exceptional circumstances should (where appropriate) be accompanied by supporting evidence.  Council may take into account evidence a reasonable person would consider as relevant into account, and could include:

  • medical evidence from medical practitioners
  • invoices or receipts
  • statutory declarations or affidavits
  • witness statements
  • photographs
  • travel documentation
  • police statements or records.

Person unaware

You can lodge an internal review application on the ground that you were unaware of the infringement notice. Service of the notice must not have been by personal service.

An application made on the ground of ‘person unaware’ is subject to the conditions applicable to all internal review conditions and additionally must be made within 14 days of the applicant becoming aware of the infringement notice.

Council will not consider an application made on the ground of ‘person unaware’ if the applicant has not updated their authorised address within 14 days of changing address.

Applications for internal review made on the grounds of person unaware should (where appropriate) be accompanied by supporting evidence. For example, copies of date-stamped passports, boarding passes, removalist invoices and mail theft reports made to Victoria Police. You may also evidence the date you became aware of the infringement notice by executing a statutory declaration.

Family Violence Scheme (FVS)

The Family Violence Scheme (FVS) is a specialised scheme to support people affected by family violence within the fines system. The scheme is administered by the Director, Fines Victoria. The scheme allows people to apply to Fines Victoria to have their infringement fines withdrawn if family violence substantially contributed to the offence or if it is not safe for them to name the responsible person.

Internal review applicants should contact Fines Victoria about the scheme if family violence is mentioned in their application.

Financial hardship

While financial hardship is not a ground for review, Council may consider such applications where a person is experiencing financial hardship and is unable to pay their outstanding fines. In these circumstances Council may assist the applicant, where appropriate, to negotiate a payment plan.

Grounds that will not be considered

Some defences are unlikely to be considered as a defence against an infringement, unless they are directly related to the listed grounds. Some examples include:

  • Running late or being held up at an appointment
  • Not seeing signs relevant to the offence
  • Forgetting to display applicable parking permits
  • Inability or unwillingness to pay the fine
  • Not knowing or understanding the specific road rule

The decision making process

All internal review applications, submitted in accordance with the requirements of the Act will be considered by Council. All reviews are conducted using the Internal Review of a Penalty Infringement Notice form. We verify the evidence supplied and witness statements. All decisions are final and are notified in writing.

If you are not not satisfied with the outcome of their internal review, you may elect to have your case heard in the Magistrates Court for independent determination.  All recipients of an infringement have the option to elect for the matter to be heard in the Magistrates Court at any time in the process.  All available options are listed on the rear of the notice.

Successful review

Council may make the following decision if the internal review is successful:

  • withdraw the infringement notice and serve an official warning
  • withdraw the infringement notice
  • in the case of an infringement offence involving additional steps, alter or vary those steps provided the alteration or variation is consistent with the Act or other instrument establishing the offence
  • waive all or any prescribed costs, or
  • approve a payment plan.

In some cases, it may be appropriate to do a combination of these actions, in so far as this is possible.

Unsuccessful review

The following options are available to you if the internal review is refused:

  • pay the infringement and any prescribed costs by the due date
  • where an infringement offence involves additional steps and the enforcement agency confirms the decision, you must pay the infringement and perform all the additional steps by either the end of the period specified in the infringement notice or within 14 days after the applicant has been sent advice of the outcome of the review
  • apply to the enforcement agency for a payment plan
  • apply to the Director, Fines Victoria for a payment arrangement
  • elect to have the matter heard in Court (Magistrates’ or Children’s Court)
  • make an application to the Director, Fines Victoria under the Family Violence Scheme, or
  • if you are eligible, an accredited organisation may apply to the Director, Fines Victoria for a Work and Development Permit on behalf of the applicant.