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 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 . It’s strongly suggested that you seek independent legal advice.
Search the list of vexatious litigants maintained by the Supreme Court registrar.