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Proceedings ban follows vexatious litigation

23 May 2014

Lawyers and the New Zealand Law Society are among a list of parties that Vincent Ross Siemer cannot institute any proceedings against in the High Court or any inferior court without High Court leave, the High Court has ruled.

In The Attorney-General v Vincent Ross Siemer [2014] NZHC 859, the Attorney-General sought orders prohibiting Mr Seimer from taking civil proceedings on the ground he had instituted various vexatious legal proceedings.

The Attorney-General’s case was that from 2003 through to the present time Mr Siemer has conducted a campaign of litigation almost entirely derived from a dispute that arose in 2000.

The dispute is between Mr Siemer and a receiver who was appointed to a company in which Mr Siemer and his wife had made an investment. Michael Stiassny, of Ferrier Hodgson – Accountants, was the receiver.

“The litigation has grown almost exponentially and on a scale not previously seen in New Zealand to include claims against the receiver and his company, other lawyers, the Solicitor-General, the Attorney-General, judges who heard and determined the cases brought by Mr Siemer or by the receiver against Mr Siemer, and the Judicial Conduct Commissioner,” Justices Ronald Young and Brendan Brown said.

“The principal, but not the sole, reason why those proceedings are said to be vexatious is that Mr Siemer has used them to challenge the outcome of previous court cases in which he has been unsuccessful.”

The court considered a series of 19 sets of proceedings the Attorney-General said were vexatious and found that 15 had come within that category.

“All 15 sets of proceedings were instituted for collateral purposes to challenge decisions of judges where Mr Siemer disagreed with their conclusions,” the judgment said.

Mr Siemer has sued a “remarkably wide range of persons” arising from the initial litigation, Justices Young and Brown said.

“The litigation involves lawyers who acted for him and opposing parties (including the Solicitor-General), the Law Society and the Judicial Complaints Commissioner as recipients of complaints from Mr Siemer and the Attorney-General as representative of other parties.”

As well as lawyers and the Law Society, the High Court ordered that Mr Siemer not institute any civil proceedings in the High Court or any inferior court without leave of the High Court where the other party is: Mr Stiassny; Ferrier Hodgson – Accountants; any associate judge or any judge of the District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal or Supreme Court; the Attorney-General; the Solicitor-General and the Judicial Conduct Commissioner.

Last updated on the 17th March 2016