Avoid Being Vexed by the Vexatious! | CPDonline.ca

Avoid Being Vexed by the Vexatious!

Paula Puddy, HBA LLB MBA

A statement of claim lands on your desk. You begin reading. You cringe, shudder, and maybe suppress a laugh. You think: this claim needs to be dismissed – but how?"

Robin Brown shares several approaches to dismiss, rather than defend, vexatious claims.

She reviews Rule 2.1 which allows the registrar to stay a proceeding that appears on its face to be vexatious. A written request must be filed with the registrar. Robin describes what the written request should look like.

However, this Rule should be used with caution as it very powerful, and has often been described as a "blunt instrument".

Other easy ways to identify a vexatious claim include the following "hallmarks of querulous litigant behaviour" compiled by Justice Myers:

  • The repeated use of "", ???, !!!
  • Ultimatums
  • Threats
  • Odd or irrelevant attachments
  • Rambling discourse
  • Rhetorical questions
  • And many more. (It is quite the list!)

If your claim doesn’t meet this high threshold, you have other options.

For example, Rule 21.01(1)(b) allows you to bring a motion to dismiss a claim for no cause of action. Or, consider Rules 21.01(3)(d) or 25.11 if evidence is necessary or helpful to dismiss a claim.

Finally, Robin refers to section 140(1) of the Courts of Justice Act which permits a judge to declare a litigant vexatious. An applicant may request an order to stay a proceeding or prevent the litigant from commencing further claims, except with leave.

Her final piece of advice is to "be patient" and be ready for an appeal!

Watch the Video

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