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Interstate warrants for unpaid fines

The Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 (Cth) governs procedure in relation to interstate warrants for unpaid fines. An interstate warrant for an unpaid fine may be a warrant of commitment. The power to issue warrants of commitment for unpaid fines no longer exists in South Australia. As of 15 June 2011, there were also significant changes to procedure in relation to the enforcement of interstate fines in accordance with the Service and Execution of Process Amendment (Interstate Fine Enforcement) Act 2010 (Cth). The procedure now involves the registration and enforcement of interstate fines as if they were fines incurred in the registering state and the abolition of remands in custody and penalties of imprisonment.

The 2011 amendments have introduced a mechanism for the registration of unpaid interstate fines in another state when the person is believed to be a resident of that state [see Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 (Cth) ss 112 and 113; s 110 for definitions]. Registration of an interstate unpaid fine allows that fine to be enforced in the registering state ‘as if the fine had been imposed on the offender by a court of the registering State ’ and the fine can no longer be enforced in the originating state [see s 114; s 115 for payment received by originating state; s 116; s 118 for cancellation of registration; s 119 for effect of cancellation of registration]. Any challenges to the imposition of a registered fine must be made in accordance with the laws of the originating state and the offender must notify the registering state of this process [see s 120 for challenge to the imposition of a fine].

Of particular note:

A registered fine cannot be enforced by the imposition of a sentence of imprisonment on the offender despite the enforcement laws of the registering State [see Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 (Cth) s 114(4)].

The procedure is usually very straightforward. The duty solicitor should inform the Court of the amount outstanding, where and how the fine was incurred, and the person’s financial circumstances. The duty solicitor should then nominate the length of time reasonably required by the person to discharge the fine in full.
Interstate warrants for unpaid fines  :  Last Revised: Mon May 21st 2012