A vexatious litigant is a person who has been identified as filing a lawsuit or lawsuits which are intended solely to harass the opposing party. This usually occurs either through the filing of a single frivolous lawsuit, or through repetitive filings of the same type of claim. Vexatious litigation is generally considered to be an abuse of process (i.e., a wrongful or wasteful use of the judicial court systems).
Vexatious lawsuits are particularly common in personal injury suits as well as ADA violations (i.e. targeting businesses and suing them for violations of disability accommodations laws). However, vexatious litigation can happen in any area of law.
Some examples of vexatious litigation can include:
Every state has different laws regarding vexatious litigation and vexatious litigants. Vexatious litigation is sometimes included under abuse of process laws and statutes.
In many instances, vexatious litigation can result in sanctions against the person or party filing the claim. This can involve fines or other similar consequences. Lawyers or law firms that engage in or accommodate vexatious litigation may be subject to sanctions from their state bar organization; they can also risk disbarment.
Another negative consequence is that the state or federal judicial systems may identify a person as a vexatious litigator and place them on a list. A person or party that has been placed on a list of vexatious litigators may be barred from pursuing further actions. Alternatively, they may require approval or permission from a judge before they can file another lawsuit.
Vexatious litigation is a serious matter and can result in strict legal consequences. Being placed on a vexatious litigator list can seriously hamper a person’s ability to obtain legal relief in the future. If you have any questions or concerns regarding a legal issue, you may need to hire a lawyer in your area for assistance. Your attorney can inform you of your rights under your state’s vexatious litigation laws. Also, your lawyer will be able to review your claim to ensure that the case has enough evidence and legal precedent to proceed.
Last Modified: 03-07-2016 02:01 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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