The English civil court system is being plagued by serial litigants, according to a Birmingham lawyer.
Typically they prove to be an expensive drain on time and resources, making claim after claim.
But times could be changing - new civil restraint orders came into force last October.
Helen Hatfield, a lawyer at Hammonds, in Birmingham, says it is down to time and cost.
She said: "It is common knowledge that the courts are stretched in both of these areas and they need to be able to protect themselves from people who could turn out to be wasting their time."
Indeed, the Birmingham Group County Court Annual Report 2003-2004 states that given the "increasing numbers of litigants in person, some of whom take up a disproportionate amount of time and court resources, the new powers are hugely welcome and enable the court to control its own use so much more efficiently".
Ms Hatfield continued: "The other end of the problem is that the people on the receiving end of these claims run up huge costs defending themselves. The claimant can be ordered to pay the defendant's costs - but there is always a risk that they simply can't or won't pay up.
"It might sound a bit draconian to talk of banning people from using the court, but people should bear the following in mind - the European Court of Human Rights has made it clear that while there is right of access to the courts, this right can be subject to proportionate limitations as long as the very essence of the right is not taken away."
The Attorney General can still apply for an order restricting all access to the courts for an unlimited period if a "vexatious litigant" has persistently and habitually made court applications with no reasonable grounds.
In 2003, one of these orders was made against a man who had begun 31 unsuccessful actions since September 2000!
When his local council refused to grant him a Hackney carriage licence, he sued the magistrates, the council, the council's solicitors, the Chief Constable of the Police, the Lord Chancellor and the Legal Services Commission.
On the termination of his housing benefit and income support, he sued the Benefits Agency, its staff, the council and the Department of Social Services. Finally, a dispute over land with his neighbours led to claims against them, as well as the Crown Prosecution Service and a senior Crown Prosecutor.
Ms Hatfield said: "This new legislation means that there are now more rules in place to discourage hopeless applications and serial litigations and will encourage the courts to let people know that is it time to stop - before things go too far."