Abuse of process is an intentional offense that occurs when a person intentionally abuses a legal process that is not justified by the underlying civil or criminal action. As with most torts, the evidence a plaintiff must prove to win his or her case varies from state to state. However, the typical elements that a plaintiff must prove in an abuse of justice lawsuit are: A mere introduction of a legal action by a lawyer does not constitute litigation, even if it is made for an improper purpose or motive. However, if it is proved that the lawyer performed an additional act that is not appropriate for the ordinary continuation of the proceedings, the lawyer may be held liable for the abuse of process. Epps v. Vogel, 454 A.2d 320 (D.C. 1982) Persons who use the judicial process in bad faith to achieve a personal purpose that does not resemble the essence of the dispute are liable to an intentional offence of abuse of process. Anyone who causes unnecessary and abusive proceedings to be initiated by third parties is also liable for damages for abuse of process. If a non-litigant actively participates in civil proceedings leading to improper proceedings, they may be liable for damages for abuse of process. Civil wrongs that do not result in physical harm may fall into a category called dignified offences, which are offences that have harmed a person`s reputation or dignity. Some examples of worthy offences include defamation, malicious prosecution and abuse of process.
Abuse of process refers to a person using the legal system in a way that does not necessarily serve the underlying claim, but rather serves a different purpose. While this tort may look like a malicious lawsuit, an abuse of process claim can be filed against someone even if the underlying cause of action was valid. In general, the elements of abuse of the procedure are: (1) the use of illegal or abusive use of the procedure; (2) an ulterior motive or improper purpose; and in some jurisdictions (3) harm to a litigant. For the purposes of abuse of process, arbitration is a judicial proceeding. Abuse of process has been described as an abuse of “criminal or civil proceedings against another party for purposes other than those intended for the proceedings” and thus caused harm to the party (e.g. arrest, seizure of property or economic damage). The court found that the defendant had done nothing but assert his claim for reimbursement of the repair invoice. In addition, the plaintiff admitted that he owed money to the defendant. The court found that the defendant had used legal process to recover an unpaid lien account on the plaintiff`s truck and ruled that there had been no abuse of process. It is important to understand that just because the other party has a weak record does not mean that there is an abuse of process, even if that party ends up losing the case. The key elements of abuse of process are the malicious and intentional abuse of a regularly initiated civil or criminal proceeding, which is not justified by the underlying legal actions, and the fact that the abuser of the process is only interested in achieving an inappropriate objective that resembles the actual purpose of the process. Abuse of process is an intentional offence.
Abuse of process covers the full range of proceedings associated with the trial, such as investigative procedures, acknowledgements of receipt of statements and the issuance of subpoenas. Pellegrino Food Prods. Co. v. City of Warren, 136 F. Supp. 2d 391, 407 (W.D. Pa. 2000). Abuse of process is a common law tort that involves the abuse of judicial process for other purposes. Abuse of trial is one of many criminal offences aimed at preventing attempts at trials in bad faith. Indeed, the courts have the power to sanction parties who file frivolous claims, and the parties also have the right to sue for malicious lawsuits.
A classic case of abuse of process involves an attempt by a plaintiff to force the defendant to make a consequential case that he could not legally and normally be compelled to do. For example, in a case where a former employer attempted to file a criminal complaint against his employee to recover the stolen money even though he knew the employee was not responsible for the theft, the court found the employer liable for abuse of process to file a criminal complaint even though it knew that the charge was not supported by probable cause. In order to establish a cause of action for malicious continuation of criminal or civil proceeding, a plaintiff must prove that the preceding action (1) was initiated by or at the direction of the defendant and was pursued for legal termination in its favor (2) without probable cause; and (3) was initiated maliciously. See Babb v Superior Court (1971) 3 Cal.3d 841, 845 (92 Cal. Rptr.) 179, 479 p.2d 379; Grant v. Moore (1866) 29 Cal. 644, 648; Albertson v. Raboff (1956) 46 Cal.2d 375, 383 (295 P.2d 405).
Abuse of litigation includes bad faith litigation aimed at delaying justice. This may include, for example, serving legal documents on a person who was not filed with the intent to intimidate, or taking legal action without any real legal basis to obtain information, force payment for fear of legal involvement, or obtain an unfair or illegal advantage. It is up to the court to determine what is unfair and what is unfair based on the individual facts of the case. The elements of a valid case of judicial abuse in most common law jurisdictions are: (1) the existence of an ulterior motive underlying the use of the procedure, and (2) certain acts in the use of a judicial process that are not appropriate for the due process of procedural.  Abuse of process can be distinguished from malicious prosecution because abuse of process generally does not require proof of malice, lack of probable cause in challenging the proceeding, or termination in favour of the plaintiff, all of which are essential to a malicious prosecution request.  The term “process”, as used in this context, does not include only “process service”, that is: However, a formal summons or other notice issued by a court refers to any method used to obtain jurisdiction over a particular person or property issued under the official seal of a court.  As a general rule, the person abusing the trial is only interested in achieving an inappropriate purpose that corresponds to the real purpose of the trial and violates justice, such as wrongful arrest or prosecution. Summonses, seizures of property, executions of property, seizures and other provisional remedies are among the types of “trials” considered to be subject to abuse. A means of abuse of process is similar to a remedy for abusive prosecution, as both grievances are based on the misuse of courts and legal systems and involve their misuse. The main difference between the two legal actions is that abusive prosecution concerns the malicious or illegal initiation of a legal action, while on the other hand, abuse of process concerns the misuse of the legal procedure after the procedure has already been initiated and legal action has been initiated. In cases of abuse of process, the judicial process is misused for purposes considered inappropriate under the law.
Technically, service of the proceeding itself – in the form of a subpoena – could, in appropriate circumstances, be considered an abuse of process, for example fraudulent or malicious manipulation of the process itself, but in the case of malicious prosecution, the unlawful act is the actual filing of the application itself for unreasonable and malicious reasons.  The three requirements of malice, the absence of probable cause in the initiation of the proceeding and a favourable termination of the previous proceeding for the plaintiff are essential elements for a malicious prosecution. Most jurisdictions do not require any of these three elements to establish a prima facie case of abuse of process. It can be frustrating to feel that someone is using legal processes to get something from you.