Permission for Vexatious Litigants to Commence another Action

As courts become more assertive in restricting vexatious litigants, a new form of legal proceeding is emerging. A court order restraining vexatious litigants typically requires the litigant to obtain permission to commence any further actions. Often that permission needs to be obtained without involving those proposed to be sued, presumably to spare them the further aggravation. Courts are now exploring how it will evaluate such requests from vexatious litigants.

Some guidance has been provided in Yashcheshen v Law Society of Saskatchewan, 2021 SKQB 110 (CanLII), The litigant had commenced numerous proceedings against the regulator for failing to accommodate her medical disability in the registration process. One of her claims was that the regulator had failed to provide “an alternative to the law school component for admissions to the [admissions process] for persons who cannot obtain a law degree, due to a medical disability”.

The Court said that the litigant had to demonstrate two things in order to obtain permission to commence the new proceeding: “An applicant must establish the proposed proceedings are not an abuse of process [citation omitted] and must establish there are reasonable grounds for the proceedings [citation omitted].”

The Court concluded that the proposed proceeding attempted to raise, yet again, arguments that had previously been dismissed by the courts. The Court also concluded that there were no reasonable grounds for proceeding. The causes of actions would not succeed.

It will be rare for vexatious litigants to obtain permission to commence a new action unless it is unrelated to the previous litigation and there is a reasonable prospect of establishing their claim.

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