What constitutes a vexatious proceeding or an abuse of the court’s process?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Freshway Specialty Foods v. Map Produce LLC, et al, 2005 BCSC 1485 (CanLII):

There is no bright line dividing a vexatious proceeding from one that is an abuse of the court’s process. In my view, the factors that signal a vexatious proceeding also signal an abusive process. Abuse of process is a wider concept however and may extend beyond vexatious proceedings to capture any circumstance in which the court’s process is used for an improper purpose. As pointed out by Baker J., in Babavic v. Babowech, [1993] B.C.J. No. 1802 (S.C.), a decision not referred to by counsel, the categories of abuse of process remain open and include, for example, “proceedings which are without foundation or serve no useful purpose and multiple or successive proceedings which cause or are likely to cause vexation or oppression” (para. 18).

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