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Department of the Attorney General
Annual Report 2015/16
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Agency Performance

Sheriff of Western Australia

Fines and civil enforcement services are provided by the Sheriff’s Office of Western Australia, which also coordinates the State’s jury services. The Sheriff is also referred to as the Sheriff of the Supreme Court, Marshal of the Family Court and Marshal of the Federal Court of Australia. The position’s authority is vested from a range of State and Federal legislation, each with a statutory responsibility to the courts.

Civil Enforcements

The Civil Enforcements Team is responsible for the enforcement of orders and warrants from the Supreme and District Courts and for the service of witness summonses in the Perth metropolitan area, on behalf of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Civil Enforcements Team also oversees the delivery of bailiff services throughout Western Australia.

Outcomes 2015/16

During the year in review, Civil Enforcements recorded an increase of 13.95 per cent in the number of civil case lodgments and increased the number of civil cases finalised by 31.52 per cent, while continuing to deliver high quality services to the community.

Jury Services

The core function of Jury Services is to provide sufficient jurors for the Supreme Court and District Court jury trials held across the State.

Jury Services assists community members, who have been selected for jury duty, in meeting their civic responsibilities and manages the budget for this accordingly.

Outcomes 2015/16

A primary focus for the financial year was to provide jurors for trials as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible. A key strategy was the implementation of uniform procedures to standardise the reimbursement process for loss of earnings.

Jury Services has also provided regional courts, where jury trials are held, with tools and methodologies to ensure a consistent approach to the delivery of jury services was achieved. This improved service delivery to the courts without compromising the quality of service to the community.

Fines Enforcement Registry

The Fines Enforcement Registry (FER) is responsible for the collection of unpaid court fines and infringements registered by multiple prosecuting authorities throughout Western Australia.

Outcomes 2015/16

The enhanced enforcement sanctions implemented in August 2013 and the One Fines System which came into effect in November 2013 continue to impact on the operations of the Registry, in conjunction with the normal default enforcement process already undertaken by FER.

This resulted in a flow-on effect of increased collections and greater resolution of outstanding fines.

The Registry also focused on allowing debtors the opportunity of taking up options to convert their outstanding fines to work and development orders, thereby avoiding imposition of the final sanction of imprisonment in default of payment of their outstanding fines.

In the 2015/16 financial year, FER collected $117 million, which is approximately a five per cent increase compared to the previous financial year.

Criminal Enforcement Team

Criminal enforcement in Western Australia consists of three areas:

  • Criminal Enforcement Team.
  • Regional Sheriff Community Development Officers.
  • Contractors operating through the combined contract for the delivery of civil and criminal enforcement services.

The Criminal Enforcement Team continues to undertake multiple enforcement activities throughout the Perth metropolitan and South-West areas including immobilising vehicles through the use of wheel clamps, removing number plates and seizing and selling personal property to recover outstanding monies owed under Enforcement Warrants.

Outcomes 2015/16

  • 171 wheel clamps applied
  • 227 registration plates removed
  • 4,564 calling cards left at premises
  • 56 warning stickers applied
  • 2,078 time to pay and 2,431 stay of execution payment arrangements made
  • 32 seizure actions performed
  • 81 vehicle registrations detected through automatic number plate recognition technology.

The Sheriff’s Community Development Officers continued to enforce outstanding warrants in regional and remote Western Australia.

These officers assist individuals in meeting their obligations of satisfying their matters through payment and community work in order to avoid imprisonment.

Sheriff’s Officers also continued their efforts in educating the public on the fines enforcement process.

Civil/criminal enforcement and delivery of driver demerit point and suitability notices in Western Australia contract

The contract for the delivery of services for civil, fines and infringement enforcement; and driver demerit point and suitability notices in Western Australia, represented by the Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Transport, was awarded to Baycorp (WA) Pty Ltd on 23 November 2015.

This coincided with the launch of the Department’s Integrated Courts Management System into the Fines Enforcement Registry. The intent of this contract was to:

  • produce a common enforcement regime
  • ensure the continuation and viability of enforcement services
  • tie together a number of disparate enforcement systems.

These initiatives benefit the wider community.

Court orders continued to be effectively enforced.

Last updated: 27-Sep-2016

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