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District Court Fines


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How a fine is imposed.

A fine may be imposed as part of a judge's ruling in many types of cases.
The judge, in dealing with a case, will announce the amount of any fine as well as the length of time given to pay it (due date) and the period of time to be served in prison if the fine remains unpaid (Time in Default).

The order of the judge in court is the official notification to the defendant of the results of the case.
Although a Fines Notice (Notice of Imposition of Penalty) and Reminder (Final Notice) are issued, they are issued only as a notice and do not affect the legality of the fine. In other words, if your case was dealt with by way of a fine, you are obliged to deal with the payment, even if you do not receive a notice or reminder.

What to do if you are fined.

Once a fine has been imposed in court, the office cannot change it. If you do not intend to pay it, you must appeal the fine to the Circuit Court or a warrant will be issued to the gardaí to collect the fine or to commit you to jail to serve the time imposed in court in default of payment - (see above-Time in Default).

In order to suspend the order until the appeal is heard, you must appeal within 14 days of the hearing. If you wish to appeal, you should contact the office. All procedures will be explained to you. If you do not appeal within the 14 days, it will still be possible for the office to advise you. Payment of a court fine is usually, but not necessarily, made on receipt of a Fines Notice giving brief details of the court hearing and fine. Payment should be made to the Chief Clerk, District Court Office by a following method:

  • by post- send cheque, draft, money order or postal order (not cash), enclosing Fines Notice, or note of case number and date of court. A receipt will be posted.
  • credit cards are accepted for some district court offices.
  • in person - bring your Fines Notice or note of court case number and date of court, during office hours.

 

A reminder or final notice is issued near the due date, with briefer details of the case. This also reminds you that if the fine remains unpaid, the default imprisonment penalty will come into force by the issue of a warrant to the gardaí to collect the fine or to commit you to jail to serve the time imposed in court in default of payment - (see above-Time in Default).

Instalment payments are not accepted.

If the fine remains unpaid after the due date, a warrant is issued to the gardaí, with details of the court order authorising arrest in lieu of payment. When your local garda station receives this warrant, the warrant officer will contact you regarding payment. However, if payment is not forthcoming at that stage, the fine will be paid by serving the number of days in prison specified by the judge at the time of the court hearing.

If you receive a Fines Notice or Final Notice after you feel you have paid your fine and, if you have a receipt, please check carefully on your receipt, the

  • case number,
  • sequence (for example (02), and
  • fine amount,

 

to ensure that they correspond with the notice. If they do, you should disregard the request for payment, as it may have crossed with your payment in the post. Retain your reciept carefully. If they do not correspond, you should contact the office, with your query.

However, read any information on your notice regarding your driving licence, if applicable, even if your fine has been paid.

The office will record all the stages of the fine until it is completed.

If you do not have the money to pay the fine by the due date, you,or somebody on your behalf, may make an application to the court for extra time to pay. An application form will be filled out for you in the office when you call and will be dealt with in court. If the judge grants the extension you must return the form to the office, where your fine due date will be changed to the new date. A reminder or final notice will again issue near the due date,with brief details of the case. This again reminds you that if the fine remains unpaid, the default imprisonment penalty will come into force by the issue of a warrant to the gardaí, to collect the fine or to commit you to jail to serve the time imposed in court in default of payement - (see above Time in Default).

Driving licences

If a judge ordered that you should be disqualified or have your licence endorsed, your fines notice will also request that you hand in your licence.

This page updated: 11 October 2011