Failure to Comply with Building Order - Guilty in Absentia....two years ago...

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Mollis

Well-Known Member
20 July 2015
22
0
121
Good afternoon all..

I recently received a communication from Fines Victoria informing me of an outstanding fine of $2,124 having been found guilty of failure to comply with a building order relating to pool fencing from over two years ago.

Long story short....

  1. Disjointed communications with the council around new pool fencing requirements between May and October 2018.
  2. Court date set for Oct 2018 due to the final sign off not having been completed.
  3. Contacted the council advising them the work had already been completed, explained the missed communications, asked for them to arrange an inspection ASAP to negate the need for any further action.
  4. Council wanted to proceed regardless so I contact local councilor and explained the situation.
  5. Council agree to adjourned the court date and allow a final inspection. Received confirmation from the court the case would be adjourned.
  6. Council visited the property and signed off the works the next day and a full ten days ahead of the court hearing.
Having had the works signed off and the building order closed out I had assumed the court hearing would no longer be proceeding and had received no information from the council or the court to say otherwise.

I heard nothing further on the matter until August 2020 when the fine arrived in the post with a covering letter apologising for the delay in getting it to me.

I had been found guilty in absentia and fined the $2,124.

I have contacted the council and the courts to query the matter and arranged a new hearing to make it clear the the council had rescinded the building order and I that I was in compliance well ahead of the court hearing but the council are adamant that they were within their rights to still take me to court.

Is this normal for a council to want a conviction despite the building order having been complied with.

Why would they not withdraw the court application when they knew the order had been complied with.

I am hoping that once I explain this to the court they will understand the situation and I am wondering if it's worth contacting the council again and asking what their stance will be on at the re hearing.

Any thoughts from anyone who has been through anything like this..?

Thanks in advance