Redfern Legal Centre (RLC) has launched a case in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, representing clients that will argue that their COVID-19 fines are invalid because the penalty notices they received lacked sufficient detail about the offence, as required under the Fines Act.
If successful, the RLC hope this test case will set a precedent that will invalidate tens of thousands of similarly worded and wrongfully issued COVID-19 fines.
Rohan Pank, one of the intended plaintiffs in the case, has now had his fine withdrawn. Mr Pank was fined in August 2021 for sitting in a park with his girlfriend while not in an area of concern, at a time when outdoor exercise and recreation was permitted.
Shortly after their judicial review request was filed, Mr Pank was informed by Revenue NSW that his fine had been cancelled. He was given no explanation for this decision, which followed two previously unsuccessful fine review attempts. Read more in Sydney Morning Herald.
This new decision about their client’s fine means that it may be possible that other fines similar in nature may also be cancelled. They encourage anyone who thinks they may have been fined unfairly to seek a review, even if they have previously had a review request rejected by Revenue NSW.
You can seek a review through Revenue NSW, or for confidential and free legal advice, contact your local community legal centre (https://www.clcnsw.
RLC has also produced several factsheets on fines:
Community Legal Education Manager
Redfern Legal Centre