Justice Home > Sentencing, orders & appeals > Orders and judgments in civil cases

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Paying fines and judgment amounts  

Paying a fine in criminal cases
If you have received a fine or order to pay costs in criminal proceedings, you will generally have 28 days to pay. If you do not think you will be able to pay by then, there are some options available.

You can apply to:

  • pay by instalments
  • ask for an extension to the payment due date
  • apply to have payments deducted from your Centrelink benefit.

For more information download the fact sheet on paying fines [PDF 66kb] [DOC 33kb]

Victims Support Levy    
The Victims Support Levy or VSL (formerly Victims Compensation Levy - VCL) is an amount levied on people who are found guilty of offences in NSW courts. The VSL is not a penalty imposed by a court or judicial officer; it is imposed automatically by legislation when a person is convicted of an offence by a court.

A victims' compensation levy needs to be paid within 28 days of the court finalising the case. 

For more information download the fact sheet on court levies [PDF 128kb]

Court Costs Levy
From 13 May 2013, people who are found guilty of offences in summary proceedings before a local court may have to pay a Court Costs Levy (CCL). The CCL is not a penalty imposed by a court or judicial officer; it is imposed automatically by legislation when a person is convicted of an offence by the local court. 

A court costs levy needs to be paid within 28 days of the court finalising the case. 

For more information download the fact sheet on court levies [PDF 128kb] 

What happens if you do not pay your fine?
If you do not pay the fine on time or make other payment arrangements, the outstanding amount will be referred to the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) which will take further action.

The types of action the SDRO can take include:

  • suspending or cancelling your driver's licence or vehicle registration - known as RMS restrictions
  • issuing a garnishee order to take money from your bank account or wages
  • ordering you to do community service 
  • issuing a property seizure order that authorises the Office of the Sheriff to seize and sell your property.

In certain circumstances, you may be able to apply to SDRO to perform unpaid community work or undergo treatment. See the SDRO publication Work and Development Order. If the fine was ordered for a commonwealth offence, other types of enforcement action may be taken against you.

Paying a judgment amount in civil cases
Judgment amounts that are determined in civil cases need to be paid immediately or as ordered by the court.

You need to pay a civil judgment amount directly to the party in whose favour the order was made.

What if you cannot afford to pay a judgment?
If you cannot pay the full amount, want an extension of time to pay or want to pay by instalments you should first speak to the person or firm to whom the money is owed. If they agree, put the agreement in writing. Both you and the other party need to sign this as a record of the agreement.

Alternatively, you can apply to a registrar at the court where the order was made. The registrar will make a decision. However, the other party can object. The objection may have to be heard by a judicial officer.

If you do not comply with the payment arrangement or do not pay the judgment amount as required, enforcement action may be taken to recover the amount owing.

 

 

 

 

Useful links 

LawAssist information: Have you got a fine?

Failure to pay a fine

If you do not pay your fine in time, action will be taken by the State Debt Recovery Office


 

The information on this site is a guide only and is not legal advice - see disclaimer.