Vexatious litigants

A ‘vexatious litigant’ is someone who persistently begins legal actions but doesn’t have sufficient grounds for doing so.

Vexatious proceedings include cases that are started or pursued:

  • to abuse the process of a court or tribunal
  • to harass or annoy, to cause delay or detriment, or for another wrongful purpose
  • without fair or reasonable grounds.

Under the Vexatious Proceedings Act 2005, the Supreme Court can declare someone a vexatious litigant and prohibit them starting proceedings, or a certain type of proceeding, in Queensland without the court’s permission.

In deciding whether to make a vexatious proceeding order, the court examines the number of proceedings started by the person, whether their actions were fair and reasonable, and/or if the same action has been decided in the past.

The order is made under the Vexatious Proceedings Act and published in the Queensland Government Gazette.

People who can apply for a vexatious proceedings order include:

  • the attorney-general
  • the Crown solicitor
  • the registrar of the court
  • a person against whom another person has started or conducted a vexatious proceeding
  • a person who has sufficient interest in the matter.

They can apply by filing a Form 5 - Originating application (DOC, 48KB) with the Supreme Court registry.

If you are declared a vexatious litigant, you must comply with the Vexatious Proceedings Act 2005 when considering any further legal proceedings. You should also consider Supreme Court Practice Direction 5/2010 (PDF, 12.6 KB). It’s strongly suggested that you seek independent legal advice.

Search the list of vexatious litigants (PDF, 51KB) maintained by the Supreme Court registrar.