FinesOur placement graduates learnt first hand the value of community legal centres while achieving a win for an elderly vulnerable client.

Joan* visited BCLS with a failure to comply with a fire prevention notice and a fine of $1500 for not maintaining her yard. She was living solely on a Disability Support Pension and was very fearful that such a fine would ruin her.

Joan had been in hospital with a serious illness when the fine was first issued and she continued to have medical treatment throughout the year. Her health was a huge issue and a source of constant stress in her life. Although Joan had made attempts to explain her situation, she was not able to write a letter to request to have the fine waived.

Our graduates wrote to the relevant authority on Joan’s behalf, explaining her situation and providing evidence of her hospital treatment, intellectual disability and financial circumstances. In consideration of these issues, they requested that the fine be withdrawn.

With the help of our graduates, Joan’s fine was withdrawn and she could get on with her life with one less thing to worry about.

Needless to say, Joan was very pleased with the outcome.


*not her real name.