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Seven-day notices

Information about what the sheriff does in relation to seven day notices.

This is summary information only. For more details about the enforcement process when fines remain unpaid. See Enforcement.

A 7-day notice is a notice in writing that the Sheriff (or sometimes police) delivers to a person who is in default of their fine, warning them that the enforcement warrant will be executed if the person does not take action to address their outstanding fine within 7 days.

An enforcement warrant is an order made by a registrar of the Magistrates' Court following an application by the Director of Fines Victoria ('the director'). These notices are not issued when the sheriff is enforcing a civil debt or a private debt that is owed by one person to another.

If the outstanding money owed under an enforcement order isn't paid on time, the registrar will issue a warrant, which will allow the sheriff (police or other authorised person) to go to the debtor's house and collect any money owed.

If the person who owes money is not able to pay the full amount of the fine, the sheriff can then issue a ‘7-day notice.’ This notice gives the person 7 days to pay or apply to the court to have the enforcement order cancelled.

This is the last warning. It is the last chance to take action and avoid serious penalties.

Do not ignore this notice. Get legal advice immediately.

See ss. 106, 119—Fines Reform Act 2014 (Vic) and Execution of enforcement warrants.

Action that a person can take after they get a 7-day notice

After getting a 7-day notice a person can:

  • pay the money they owe in full (including extra costs)
  • apply to the director for:
    • a payment arrangement
    • a work and development permit
    • a community work permit,
    • an enforcement review, or
    • apply for the family violence scheme.

See s. 119—Fines Reform Act 2014 (Vic).

What the director or sheriff may do

There are a range of other sanctions that the director and the sheriff can take against the person even before the 7-day notice is issued.

The director may:

  • direct the person to produce information and attend an oral examination
  • make a direction for an attachment of debt or earnings
  • direct VicRoads to suspend or restrict driver licence or registration, or
  • make a charge over any land the person has.

The sheriff may:

  • detain, immobilise or sell a vehicle
  • remove number plates.

See Sanctions against property.

Search and seizure

When the sheriff serves the 7-day notice they can search for and seize property but they cannot remove it from the property unless they reasonably believe that the property will be removed.

After 7 days they can return and remove the property to satisfy the debt.

If the person does not have enough property to satisfy the debt they will be a arrested.

See Sanctions against property and Execution of enforcement warrants.

More information

Legislation

Sheriff Act 2009 (Vic)

  • Part 3, Div 6—Powers to Demand and Receive Payment

See Sheriff Act 2009 (Vic).

Fines Reform Act 2014 (Vic)

  • s. 106—issue of an enforcement warrant
  • s. 115—persons whom an enforcement warrant may be directed
  • s. 119—warning of execution of enforcement warrant—7-day notice
  • s. 120—what can be done during the period of the 7-day notice?

See Fines Reform Act 2014 (Vic).

Fines Victoria

This Victorian government site has information about the fines enforcement process and the role of the sheriff.

See:

Updated