This post is an introduction to Jonnette Watson Hamilton’s article “The Increase of Self-Represented and Vexatious Litigants” published on ABlawg:
Hamilton’s article describes the new approach Alberta courts have adopted in regards to court access restrictions. Courts no longer require a litigant to be persistently vexatious to justify a court access restriction order. Instead, a judge may give an Interim Court Access Restriction Order in as little as seven days from the first instance of the alleged vexatious conduct, which is what happened in the cases studied by Hamilton (Alberta Treasury Branches v Hawrysh, 2018 ABQB 475 and Alberta Treasury Branches v Hawrysh, 2018 ABQB 618). Hamilton also uses these cases to illustrate how the status of ‘self-represented litigant’ may itself be (wrongfully) considered indicative of abusive litigation conduct. The article highlights the need for protection of self-represented litigants and their right of access to the courts.