What are the factors used to determine whether a person is a vexatious litigant?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Green v Proline Management Limited, 2017 BCSC 1656 (CanLII):

The following non-exhaustive factors, set out, for example, in Bryfogle v. School District No. 49, 2007 BCSC 457, at para. 62, are regularly relied on in applications that are brought to declare a person a vexatious litigant: (a) the bringing of one or more actions to determine an issue which has already been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction constitutes a vexatious proceeding; (b) where it is obvious that an action cannot succeed, or if the action would lead to no possible good, or if no reasonable person can reasonably expect to obtain relief, the action is vexatious; (c) vexatious actions include those brought for an improper purpose, including the harassment and oppression of other parties by multifarious proceedings brought for purposes other than the assertion of legitimate rights; (d) it is a general characteristic of vexatious proceedings that grounds and issues raised tend to be rolled forward into subsequent actions and repeated and supplemented, often with actions brought against the lawyers who have acted for or against the litigant in earlier proceedings; (e) in determining whether proceedings are vexatious, the court must look at the whole history of the matter and not just whether there was originally a good cause of action; (f) the failure of the person instituting the proceedings to pay the costs of unsuccessful proceedings is one factor to be considered in determining whether proceedings are vexatious; (g) the respondent’s conduct in persistently taking unsuccessful appeals from judicial decisions can be considered vexatious conduct of legal proceedings.

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