People fail to pay fines for a variety of reasons. Their correspondence address may be out of date, they may be on a long overseas holiday, or they may be suffering from a serious medical condition. Unpaid traffic penalty notices often lead to State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) Enforcement Orders, which will threaten legal action if fines are not paid. If you have a good reason for failing to pay a penalty notice before an enforcement order is issued, you can apply to have the enforcement order annulled.
Annulling an SDRO enforcement order
When a penalty notice is not complied with, eventually an enforcement order is issued. The only way to get out of an enforcement order is to apply to the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) to have it annulled. Usually, this means you will need to prove that you were unaware of or unable to pay the penalty notice before the enforcement order was issued. An application like this will need to be supported by appropriate documentary evidence.
A lodgement fee of $50 is payable to the SDRO in respect of an annulment application. Where you are making multiple annulment applications, the SDRO may allow you to pay only $50 for all of the annulment applications, or defer payment of the fee until after your annulment application has been decided.
Once an annulment application has been submitted, there are a variety of possible outcomes:
- The SDRO may ask the issuing authority (e.g. RMS aka RTA) to review the fine, in which case the issuing authority might withdraw the fine;
- The SDRO might decide to annul the enforcement order, in which case your matter will be listed at a Local Court to decide the matter; or
- The SDRO may decide not to annul the enforcement order, in which case you may appeal this decision to the Local Court.
In making an annulment application, it is important to put forward appropriate reasons for failure to pay, supported by relevant documentary evidence. Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers can assist you at each step of this process.
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