Vexatious Litigant: The Man Who Sued Too Much

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Mohammad Tabibar Rahman

HE is the man who sues too much — taking on everyone from government departments to private companies, a university and even his own lawyers.

Now, after 50 cases in just 10 years, science teacher has been banned from taking anyone else to court after Justice Michael Adams ruled he was a vexatious litigant who has used the judicial system to “harass, annoy or achieve another wrongful purpose”.

Mr Rahman, a Bangladeshi immigrant, is the 12th person to be put on the State’s vexatious litigant register, meaning he cannot start legal proceedings without first seeking the courts’ consent.

“This is a crime against humanity, I will take them to the International Criminal Court if I have to.”Mohammed Tabibar Rahman

But not one to let an unfavourable legal decision stand in his way, he plans to go to court one more time — this time to have his ban overturned.

A defiant Mr Rahman said: “This is a crime against humanity, I will take them to the International Criminal Court if I have to.”

Mr Rahman’s legal battles began when he failed an English exam to allow him to teach in NSW in 2001. When his complaint of racial bias was rejected by the Anti-Discrimination Board, Mr Rahman began legal proceedings.

Since then he has commenced numerous cases in NSW courts and tribunals, the Federal Court, and appealed to the High Court.

“He has persistently undertaken proceedings which were bound to be futile as they had no proper basis either in law and fact and, to bolster his cases, has resorted to allegations of corruption, bias and incompetence.”Justice Adams

He has taken legal action over social security payments, speeding tickets, a failed job interview with the Department of Immigration and his 12-month suspension from studying law at the University of Technology.

On one occasion he even took his legal team to court to challenge them over their bill — and ended up paying even more.

Mr Rahman, who blames his epic losses on a “corrupt” and “racist” judicial system, is paying a high price for his doomed legal battles.

With estimates that his litigious excursions have cost anywhere between $500,000 and $1 million, his bank account has been stripped of $57,000 and his two homes at Holsworthy, valued at about $980,000, are now at risk.

This month Justice Adams ruled that Mr Rahman continuously attempted to re-litigate issues that had previously been determined.

“He has persistently undertaken proceedings which were bound to be futile as they had no proper basis either in law and fact and, to bolster his cases, has resorted to allegations of corruption, bias and incompetence,’’ Justice Adams found.

“He is unable, or unwilling, to accept that any view other than that for which he contends can be correct and has continually attempted to bypass adverse decisions by commencing fresh proceedings dealing with the same issue.”

Mr Rahman rejected Justice Adams decision. He said: “I am not wrong, they are doing the wrong thing, they are not following the right procedure.”

Attorney General Greg Smith said declaring someone a vexatious litigant was a last resort against those who abused the courts.

“Taxpayers cannot be expected to foot the bill for the private and never-ending court battles of malicious, vindictive, unreasonable individuals,’’ Mr Smith said.

With estimates that his litigious excursions have cost anywhere between $500,000 and $1 million, his bank account has been stripped of $57,000 and his two homes at Holsworthy, valued at about $980,000, are now at risk.

Victorian psychiatrist Grant Lester said about 50 per cent of vexatious litigants usually demonstrate a behavioural disorder described as querulousness.

In a research paper published in the scientific journal Wiley InterScience co-authored by fellow psychiatrist Paul Mullen, he wrote that they were an ongoing problem in civil and family courts.

“Those who use the courts extensively will often appear as unrepresented litigants, sometimes because they have exhausted their funds or the patience of lawyers.”

But Mr Rahman denied his obsession with litigating people was a problem.

“Do you think this is obsessive? Is it not my legal right?” he said.

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