The average person might only file a handful of lawsuits in their lifetime. Many will never file a single one. Over a period of 10 years, an Australian man filed an astounding 50 lawsuits. The result is that he is now somewhat prohibited from filing any more. The man’s name is Mr Rahman, a science teacher who is a resident in Sydney. Justice Michael Adams made the ruling, stating that the man had been using using the legal system to “harass” and “annoy” people, among other things. He is only the 12th person to be put on the register for vexatious litigation.
While Mr Rahman is still allowed to start a litigation proceeding, he must get permission from the courts first. And since he has proven himself to be such a nuisance in their eyes, that is not expected to be forthcoming. Some of his offences include attempting to re-litigate matters where a decision had already been made. In addition to that, he also sued his very own legal representatives. The result of that lawsuit was that Mr Rahman was ordered to pay them more than he had already owed.
Rahman has spent more than $500,000 in the process of filing all of these lawsuits. He is also said to be in danger of losing two houses that he owns. However, even after being placed on Sydney’s vexatious litigant register, he is still not giving up his fight. He claims that the ruling is a “crime against humanity”, and that he will go to the International Criminal Court if necessary.
His legal fights started in 2001, when he failed an exam in English, which would have allowed him to start teaching in NSW. He claimed that the exam was racially bias, but that complaint was dismissed by the Anti-Discrimination Board, which claimed he had no grounds to complain. This was when Mr Rahman took the matter to court. It is not clear why this started him on his legal vendetta against numerous defenders. Some of his other lawsuits include seeking justice for speeding fines, social security payments, being suspended by the University of Technology to study law, and failing to get a job with the Department of Immigration.
This does appear to be a matter of human rights. While Rahman has been largely deprived of his right to sue someone who he deems has wronged him, there is always more than one side to litigation. When a frivolous lawsuit is set up, the defenders often need a significant amount of money to defend themselves. The legal system costs money to operate, and taxpayers are often left paying more than necessary. Limiting the amount of lawsuits that a person can file might seemingly stop the problem. But this would also affect people who are using the court system as it was intended to be used. Many people who enact lawsuits are doing so against their will, because they have truly been wronged.