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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5421
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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ACT Government have reissued traffic fines to me because of

Customer Question

ACT Government have reissued traffic fines to me because of a broken data record. The fines are from 1997 to 2007.
What is the statute of enforcement in relation to this matter
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.

Your question cannot be answered with certainty because it will depend on the nature of each fine.

However, proceedings in relation to most traffic offenses where a fine has been issued, should not be actionable beyond a year from the date on which the right of reply to the fine expired, so if the fines were issued years ago, then the ability of the authority to prosecute you has expired and in principle you can ignore the new notices:

http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/act/consol_act/rta1999242/s31.html

Furthermore, if the offences arose due to detection by a camera, then such notices should have issued within 28 days of the alleged offence.

http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/act/consol_reg/rtr2005343/s13.html

I would strongly recommend you take up these concerns with the issuing authority and see whether you can convince them to withdraw the fines.

I trust the above assists your understanding, please rate my answer.

Patrick

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The ACT Government have worked through the last 18 years of my driving history and reissued fines they do not have a record of being paid under ROAD TRANSPORT (GENERAL) ACT 1999 - SECT 27.How does Section 31 work in relation to section 27 . Which record has relevance and why
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.

If we are talking about offences as old as 18 years then at least some will pre-date the current legislation, which is a whole other can of worms.

However, in relation to the current legislation, whilst I remain of the view they cannot simply claim the fines as a debt, it seems that the legislation is drafted such that if you simply ignore them then they are obliged to suspend your license, so you do need to dispute liability for these offenses, which would be a reasonable response if you were unaware of them. If you take that step, (assuming you are within time to respond to the notices or they grant you an extention) then in my view they can do no more because once you dispute responsibility, if they wish to fine you or suspend your license they need to initiate legal proceedings, and then section 31 applies to prevent such prosecution.

As to section 27, is simply a section that requires the authority to issue a reminder notice after 28 days if the subject has not responded or the notice been withdrawn. It has no effect on the application of section 31 since it only pertains to reminder notices. Failure to respond to the reminder notice can, however result in the suspension of your license pursusant to

http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/act/consol_act/rta1999242/s44.html

Unfortunately the legislation is somewhat circular in its drafting and whilst it specifies a limitation on when proceedings can be brought for such offenses, it does not clearly establish time limits for suspension or other enforcement action for non payment, however if you can dispute the offenses referred to in the reminder notices, they it would appear they may be unable to take further action against you.

If they do take further action or if they refuse to accept you are entitled to dispute the notices, then I would suggest you engage a lawyer to fully review your case. The law is somewhat complicated, so a thorough review is warranted, but I strongly suspect you have a reasonably arguable case, and the irregular circumstances of old infringements being raised so many years later suggests to me that you would get the sympathy of the court.

I appreciate this may not be the clear cut answer you were hoping for, but it does reflect the complexity of the law, expecially when dealing with unusual situations and I trust at least assists your understanding as to how to proceed.

Good luck and please rate my answer.

Patrick