THERE is a further extension for the payment of public health fixed-penalty notices (mask fines) and court-ordered fines to April 30.
The extension was announced in a practice direction issued by the Chief Justice which was gazetted on January 30.
Also extended was the deadline for the payment of court-ordered compensation, not including maintenance, and the payment of traffic tickets received before May 26, 2020.
The practice directions said the extensions are to “facilitate the ease of access to a range of payment options, including cash alternatives.”
The notice advised that anyone can pay public health penalties and fines by credit card or Visa-enabled debit cards from any internet-enabled device using its CourtPay system found on the Judiciary’s website.
The deadline for those unable to pay by credit or debit card will benefit from the extension to April 30.
The deadline for all fines, not only mask fines, and compensation, which were due between March 16, 2020-March 31, 2023, is also April 30.
The notice reiterated that the extension does not pertain to maintenance.
Dates for court hearings for mask violations from September 5, 2020-April 11, 2023, where fines are not paid, will be published on the Judiciary’s website and in a national newspaper by March 31.
Court hearings for mask violations will be on the date stated on the fixed penalty notice.
In a statement in January, the Judiciary said its CourtPay system was simple to use.
It also said it only received formal approval to receive certain types of payments was received in late November.
“The Judiciary has made it abundantly clear that formal approval for voucher payments for collection of revenue by the unbanked and ‘unbankable’ and those who wish to pay cash was only received in late November 2022.
“The Judiciary still awaits the approval of NLCB to proceed to use their network of agents to sell vouchers. This use is in accordance with the provision of section 11 of the Finance Act,” the statement said.
The Judiciary noted that although a directive was given by the Minister of Finance to NLCB on May 12, 2021, to proceed and arrangements had been made with a payment service provider hired by the NLCB, the lotteries board had not responded to the request to proceed with the payment plan.
Upon response by NLCB, the Judiciary can begin to collect monies owed within 48 hours. The delay was not occasioned by confusion, it said.