Contesting a Myki Fine from Overseas, with Evidence

EDIT: Looks like I have nothing to worry about it. Thanks (local) internet strangers!

I know this topic has been covered before, but my situation may be slightly different.

Similar post here, but I couldn’t find an explanation of how to contest remotely.

For background, I live in NZ, and used to live in Canberra. I’m in Australia a lot, and I carry two driving licences - one NZ issued, with a much newer issue date (2018), and one ACT full licence (issued 2017). My NZ licence doesn’t have any address; my ACT licence has my NZ address on a sticker.

I caught a train yesterday from Flinders Street station, and tapped on through the barriers near Lord of the Fries. AFAIK, there’s no way to get through the barriers without tapping on. On the train, some officers came around and checked Mykis. Mine must have had some sort of error, because I was told I hadn’t tapped on. I told the officer I had, but through the conversation, handed over my licences & my parents’ address, as that is where I stay here. I was told I would receive a fine of $242(?).

As I live overseas, is there any way to contest this? I would happily take it to court, but don’t believe I could attend, as flights are more than the fine.
If it counts for anything, my Myki is registered under my name, and shows me tapping on and tapping off exactly when expected, with the time the officer checked my Myki right in between. If it also counts, I’ve never had so much as a speeding or parking fine, so I would have next to no record, and there are multiple transactions on the same card that align with previous visits.

Help!

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Comments

  • +2 votes

    From the PTV website:

    How do I have my fine reviewed?
    Wait until you receive the fine before you seek a review.
    Write a letter that details the circumstances you’d like the Department to consider. Include the infringement notice number in your letter.
    Send your letter to the Department at the address detailed on the fine.

    I highly doubt you'll need to take this to court.

    My Myki is registered under my name, and shows me tapping on and tapping off exactly when expected, with the time the officer checked my Myki right in between

    It will certainly get dismissed if this is the case.

    •  

      Perfect, thank you. Will have to get my parents to open it, but sounds easy enough! Made me feel a lot better.

  • +3 votes

    I think the Transit Officer gave you the wrong information.

    Taken from the PTV website:

    Fines

    If you travel without a valid ticket, or are alleged to have committed a transport offence, you may be reported by an Authorised Officer.
    Then what happens?

    The Authorised Officer you spoke with may send a report to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. Authorised Officers don’t issue warnings or fines.

    The Department reviews the Authorised Officer’s report and issues a:

    • fine
    • warning
    • court summons or,
    • takes no further action.

    If the Authorised Officer talked to you about multiple or serious offences you may receive a summons to go to court. The Department will send you information on their decision by post.

    I think the main thing to take from this is that the transit officer doesn't issue warnings or fines, and sends the report for review. Since your Myki is registered, you have evidence that you tapped on. I don't think you will have an issue and will probably either give you a warning or take no further action. If they still issue a fine, you can contest it via a letter:

    How do I have my fine reviewed?
    • Wait until you receive the fine before you seek a review.
    • Write a letter that details the circumstances you’d like the Department to consider. Include the infringement notice number in your letter.
    • Send your letter to the Department at the address detailed on the fine.
    •  

      He said I could probably expect a fine in the mail, and there was no address listed in NZ. Sounds like this is a complete non-issue, though! I was hoping as much. Thank you for the detailed response!

  • +6 votes

    For future reference you should just give them your NZ licence and address in NZ, they probably wouldn't bother with a fine if you did that.

    •  

      Yep, planned to do that, but I had no proof of address in NZ, just (sort of) proof of residency. Apparently international address stickers don’t count, even though mine was issued by the authority. Thanks for your response - I wish there were “solved” flair on the post!

  •  

    You don't need to contest in Court. Read through the fine and there will be a section where you can seek review. Prepare a short statement of circumstances and provide your evidence ie. your myki record and send it in. As long as everything you've said is true and infringements agree, then the fine will be revoked.

  • +1 vote

    Happened to me to. Worked on the platform, albeit with some difficulty, but not on the their reader. They took my details, confiscated my myki (which sucked as it had $10 on it), and said I would get a fine. Never did get a fine, but I found the process enlightening. It showed me that even if you follow the rules, you don't get treated any better. Now if I see inspectors, I walk the other way. They may have the authority to demand you show your myki, but theres no rule that says you have to wait for them to come harass you.

    •  

      You are right, some of these people seems to let their job get to their heads and think it is some kind of power trip.

    •  

      I’ve seen people jump barriers and walk quickly away, then the inspectors call after them, but can’t do any more than call. They can’t touch you so they can’t legally detain you with anything other than words. If they ask for your myki and you walk away then you’ll get away. (Unless of course police officers are nearby).

      •  

        I wouldn't rely on those observations as evidence. They absolutely can detain you, with force if justifiable. Ticket inspectors in melbourne are technically classed as officers of the law, so if you try and run from them, you can be charged with resisting arrest, which carries something like a max penalty of 25 years imprisonment. Its pretty f'ed up

        Of course it depends on the person. Even when you have the legal right, not everybody feels up to chasing someone down someone and getting into a fight over a $3 violation

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