Payment and Recovery) Act 2014 commences:· The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD has commenced the Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014 marking an historic day for the fines payment system in Ireland.
· This delivers on the Programme for Government commitment to introduce attachment of earnings to recover unpaid fines.
· The Act provides an appropriate response to the problems of the refusal or failure of some people to pay fines and the inappropriateness of imprisonment as the automatic response where this happens.
· Fines will be set at a level that takes into account the person’s financial circumstances;
· All fines over €100 can be paid by instalments with the procedure for this to be provided for by way of regulation;
· If a person defaults, he or she is brought back to court where the judge first considers making an Attachment Order;
· If it is not appropriate to make an Attachment Order, the judge can make either a Recovery Order, where the fine is more than €500 or a Community Service Order;
· Where either an Attachment Order or a Recovery Order are made and the fine is still not recovered in full, the court can make a Community Service Order; and
· Imprisonment will only apply where it is not appropriate to make an Attachment Order, a Recovery Order or Community Service Order or where a Community Service Order is made and the person fails to comply with it.
· The appropriate period of imprisonment shall be determined by the amount of the fine which remains unpaid.