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Myki Fines

D I S C L A I M E R

This information is up to date as of 6 April 2016. This website is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You should seek legal advice before acting or relying on any of this information.

This project has no affiliation with Public Transport Victoria or anyone administering or enforcing the Myki system. This website is intended only to provide only a summary and general overview of the options available when you receive a Myki fine.

This website is intended for use by people 18 years and over. If you are under 18 and have a Myki fine we recommend you contact Youthlaw on 9611 2412

A ticket inspector has just told you your ticket isn’t valid

Were you intentionally fare evading?

What is fare evading?

Fare evading means not holding a Myki that was touched on on the tram or bus you are travelling on, or at the train station where your journey began. You should only hold a concession Myki if you hold a valid concession card. For students aged 17 and older, this means holding a Victorian Public Transport Concession Card. Find more information here for students, here for Heath Care Card holders and here for seniors.

If you were intentionally fare evading, but you think that a defence may apply to you, click on “No” or “I’m not sure” above to see your options.

Do you have any special circumstances?

Did those special circumstances prevent you from holding a valid ticket?

What is meant by special circumstances?

‘Special circumstances’ means a mental disability, mental illness, serious addiction or homelessness.

You must be able to show that, at the time you were fined, one of these special circumstances meant you could not avoid getting the fine.

If you were homeless at the time you received the fine, you must show that, as a result of homelessness, you could not control the conduct that resulted in you incurring the fine.

If you were suffering from drug addiction or mental illness, you must be able to show that, as a result of drug addiction or mental illness, you either didn’t understand or could not control the reason for receiving the fine.

Consider paying the $75 on-the-spot penalty fare

But know that if you do, you’re giving away the right to appeal the fine through the internal review process or the courts. However, if you think it was unfair or unreasonable that you paid an on-the-spot penalty fare, you can contact the Public Transport Ombudsman to seek to challenge it.

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If you cannot pay the $75 on-the-spot fine

You can ask the inspector to instead send the $223 ticket infringement notice to your postal address.

Unfortunately, it’s likely you will have to eventually pay the $223 fine.

You can ask the Department for more time in paying the fine, by emailing tia@transport.vic.gov.au and including:

  • Infringement number
  • Name
  • Address (only if changed since offence)
  • Reason for extension
  • Contact number

Requesting an extension will generally give you an extra 90 days to pay the fine. Find more information here.

If you ignore or do not pay the infringement notice, the Department may refer your fine to court. You should seek legal advice at your local community legal centre, or by calling Legal Aid on 1300 792 387.

Ask yourself the following questions to see if you have a defence and if you are able to have the fine revoked.

Did you take all reasonable steps to obtain a valid ticket?

What are all reasonable steps?

Did you, before, during and after travelling, take all reasonable steps to obtain a valid ticket? For example, did you top up your Myki card? Did you touch on? Did you try to use an alternative Myki machine to top up or touch on if yours wasn’t working? Taking ‘all reasonable steps’ at all stages of travelling is a defence. Be aware that it is not an excuse to say that you had insufficient time to obtain a valid ticket. Click here to see the relevant legislation.

Are there any other exceptional circumstances?

Did those circumstances prevent you from obtaining a valid ticket?

What are exceptional circumstances?

‘Exceptional circumstances’ is not defined in the legislation, but may include:

  • An emergency
  • If you were very sick
  • If you were experiencing family violence
  • If you experienced a traumatic event that day
  • If something happened that was out of your control

Do you have any special circumstances?

Did those special circumstances prevent you from holding a valid ticket?

What is meant by special circumstances?

‘Special circumstances’ means a mental disability, mental illness, serious addiction or homelessness.

You must be able to show that, at the time you were fined, one of these special circumstances meant you could not avoid getting the fine.

If you were homeless at the time you received the fine, you must show that, as a result of homelessness, you could not control the conduct that resulted in you incurring the fine.

If you were suffering from drug addiction or mental illness, you must be able to show that, as a result of drug addiction or mental illness, you either didn’t understand or could not control the reason for receiving the fine.

If you intend on challenging the fine on the basis of those special circumstances:

You can pay the on-the-spot penalty fare and make a complaint to the Public Transport Ombudsman. Alternatively, ask the Authorised Officer for the ticket infringement notice to be sent to your postal address. We recommend seeking legal advice from your nearest community legal centre, Homeless Law or Victoria Legal Aid before taking any action on the infringement notice

Risks and benefits

The following are some risks and benefits of each choice:

On-the-spot penalty fare:

  • The Public Transport Ombudsman will manage the complaint on your behalf
  • You only risk paying $75
  • There is more uncertainty as the Ombudsman will only negotiate an outcome with Public Transport Victoria and the Ombudsman has more discretion
  • You lose your right to appeal the fine through internal review and the courts

Infringement notice:

  • You will have to challenge the fine yourself or obtain legal advice
  • You risk paying $223 and potentially more, particularly if you go to court
  • You retain your right to appeal the fine through internal review and the courts

We recommend seeking legal advice

from your nearest community legal centre, Homeless Law or Victoria Legal Aid before taking any action on the fine.

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You can make a complaint about the on-the-spot penalty fare to the Public Transport Ombudsman

The Public Transport Ombudsman will assess your complaint and discuss options for resolution with you, which in the past has included being paid $75 or less as a gesture of goodwill, or an explanation.

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Do you think the circumstances in which you received the fine were unfair or unreasonable?

It is unlikely that you will have a ground to challenge the fine.

Paying the $75 on-the-spot penalty fare may be the best option for you.

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If you cannot pay the $75 on-the-spot fine

You can ask the inspector to instead send the $223 ticket infringement notice to your postal address.

Unfortunately, it’s likely you will have to eventually pay the $223 fine.

You can ask the Department for more time in paying the fine, by emailing tia@transport.vic.gov.au and including:

  • Infringement number
  • Name
  • Address (only if changed since offence)
  • Reason for extension
  • Contact number

Requesting an extension will generally give you an extra 90 days to pay the fine. Find more information here.

If you ignore or do not pay the infringement notice, the Department may refer your fine to court. You should seek legal advice at your local community legal centre, or by calling Legal Aid on 1300 792 387.

You can make a complaint about the on-the-spot penalty fare to the Public Transport Ombudsman

The Public Transport Ombudsman will assess your complaint and discuss options for resolution with you, which in the past has included being paid $75 or less as a gesture of goodwill, or an explanation.

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You can either pay the on-the-spot penalty fare and make a complaint to the Public Transport Ombudsman, or you can ask for an infringement notice of $223 to be sent to your address to challenge the fine through the internal review and court process.

Risks and benefits

The following are some risks and benefits of each choice:

On-the-spot penalty fare:

  • The Public Transport Ombudsman will manage the complaint on your behalf
  • You only risk paying $75
  • There is more uncertainty as the Ombudsman will only negotiate an outcome with Public Transport Victoria and the Ombudsman has more discretion
  • You lose your right to appeal the fine through internal review and the courts

Infringement notice:

  • You will have to challenge the fine yourself or obtain legal advice
  • You risk paying $223 and potentially more, particularly if you go to court
  • You retain your right to appeal the fine through internal review and the courts

You can ask the Department to review your fine internally.

How to apply for internal review

You can only seek internal review if you ask the Authorised Officer to have the ticket infringement notice of $223 sent to your postal address. Once you receive the ticket infringement notice, you can write to the Department of Transport seeking internal review. You will not be able to apply for internal review after the date for payment on your penalty reminder notice has passed. You will receive the reminder notice if you don't apply for internal review or pay the fine by the due date for payment on the ticket infringement notice.

Click here to see the relevant legislation.

In your letter to the Department, set out the reasons you are challenging the fine, and include your address and the details of your fine.

Note, usually internal review will only be granted where there were exceptional circumstances. However, it is worth writing to the Department regarding your situation as there is a chance that they will withdraw the fine.

You may wish to use this template letter created by Youthlaw to apply for internal review based on exceptional circumstances.

For more information about applying for internal review see Homeless Law in Practice’s comprehensive guide: www.hlp.org.au/Infringements

If your application for internal review is successful, you will not have to pay the fine.

As the Department has rejected your application, you can choose to:

  • Pay the fine
  • Ask the Department for more time to pay the fine
  • Challenge the fine in Court.

Once you have paid the fine, the matter is concluded.

To ask the Department for more time in paying the fine you can email tia@transport.vic.gov.au and include:

  • Infringement number
  • Name
  • Address (only if changed since offence)
  • Reason for extension
  • Contact number

Requesting an extension will generally give you an extra 90 days to pay the fine. Find more information here.

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Your matter will be heard in your local Magistrates’ Court

How to challenge the fine in Court

If you feel you have grounds to challenge the fine, you can write to the Department to say you wish to challenge the fine in Court. You must do this before the deadline for payment of the fine has passed. Your first ticket infringement notice includes a form that you can complete to tell the Department you wish to challenge the fine. Alternatively, the Department may refer your matter to Court. You will receive a charge and summons, which will tell you when your first Court date is.

Please be aware that challenging the fine in Court may be costly and take some time. You should obtain legal advice before going to Court.

Prior to attending Court, consider writing to the Department to ask for information and documents relevant to your fine. These might include the CCTV footage of the machine where you topped up or touched on, and the service records for that machine. If you are intending to plead not guilty these documents will be very important to support your case.

Here is a form to use to request the CCTV footage from the Department.

If you are contesting the fine, unless the Department agrees to withdraw, the matter will not be determined on the first day in Court. The Department has the ability to, at their discretion, withdraw the fine at any stage.

On the first day in Court you should ask the Department if they would consider withdrawing the fine, as they have the power to do so at any stage. If they will not withdraw the fine, you should decide whether or not to plead guilty.

You should obtain legal advice before going to court to challenge your fine, especially if you are planning on pleading not guilty.

Guilty:Pleading guilty means accepting that you committed the offence alleged. In doing so, you can say there were special or exceptional circumstances that the Magistrate should consider when determining what penalty, if any, should be imposed. The Magistrate may impose a fine, an undertaking to be of good behaviour, or a finding of guilt with no penalty, with or without a conviction.

Not guilty:Pleading not guilty means that you will need to prove that you did not break the law. This means you must prove:

  • that you had a valid ticket at the time, or
  • that there has been a mistake regarding your identity, or
  • that you have a defence.

The only defence available when challenging a fine in Court is that before, during and after travel you took all reasonable steps to hold a valid ticket. You should seek legal advice if you believe this defence applies to you.

For more information about taking infringements to Court see Homeless Law in Practice’s comprehensive guide

If you succeed in Court or the Department withdraws the fine, you will not have to pay the fine.

If you are unsuccessful in Court,
you may have to pay the $223 fine.

Or a larger fine and potentially other costs.

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About #knowyourmykirights

Myki Fines – Know Your Rights is a project of Young Liberty for Law Reform’s 2015/16 Government and Accountability pod. YLLR is a program of Liberty Victoria.

Do you have a comment, question or suggestion? Email info@mykifines.org.au.

We would like to thank Tanja Golding, Julian Burnside QC and Adrian Dodd for their help and guidance.

Pod members: Anika Baset, Emma Buckley Lennox, Sam Flynn, Natalie Lilford & Christine Todd.

Pod supervisors: Evelyn Tadros & Michael Griffiths.

Pod contacts: Dale Straughen & Louise Brown.

HOME

D I S C L A I M E R

This information is up to date as of 6 April 2016. This website is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You should seek legal advice before acting or relying on any of this information.

This project has no affiliation with Public Transport Victoria or anyone administering or enforcing the Myki system. This website is intended only to provide only a summary and general overview of the options available when you receive a Myki fine.

This website is intended for use by people 18 years and over. If you are under 18 and have a Myki fine we recommend you contact Youthlaw on 9611 2412