abuse of process


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Abuse of Process

The use of legal process to accomplish an unlawful purpose; causing a summons, writ, warrant, mandate, or any other process to issue from a court in order to accomplish some purpose not intended by the law.

For example, a grocer rents a small building but complains to the landlord about the inadequate heating system, leaks in the roof, and potholes in the driveway. When the landlord fails to make the required repairs, the grocer decides the property is worth less and deducts $100 a month from his rent payments. The landlord starts a lawsuit to either recover the full amount of rent due or to oust the grocer and regain possession of the premises. The law in their state is fairly clear on the question: a tenant has no right to force a landlord to make repairs by withholding a portion of the rent. The landlord knows that she has a good chance of winning her case, but she also wants to teach the grocer a lesson. On the first three occasions that the case comes up on the court calendar, the grocer closes his store and appears in court, but the landlord does not show up. On the fourth occasion, the landlord comes to court and wins her case. The grocer, in a separate action for abuse of process, claims that the landlord is using the court's power to order him to appear simply to harass him. The court agrees and awards him money damages for lost income and inconvenience.

Abuse of process is a wrong committed during the course of litigation. It is a perversion of lawfully issued process and is different from Malicious Prosecution, a lawsuit started without any reasonable cause.

abuse of process

n. the use of legal process by illegal, malicious, or perverted means. Examples include serving (officially giving) a complaint to someone when it has not actually been filed, just to intimidate an enemy, filing a false declaration of service (filing a paper untruthfully stating a lie that someone has officially given a notice to another person, filing a lawsuit which has no basis at law, but is intended to get information, force payment through fear of legal entanglement or gain an unfair or illegal advantage. Some people think they are clever by abusing the process this way. A few unscrupulous lawyers do so intentionally and can be subject to discipline and punishment. Sometimes a lawyer will abuse the process accidentally; an honest one will promptly correct the error and apologize.

abuse of process

TORT or DELICT of using procedures of courts and the like other than to litigate, an example being where a person raises actions to annoy another rather than to try to recover money.
References in periodicals archive ?
The perjury provision may be preferable to section 2F1.1 in the eyes of many courts because it accounts for a defendant's abuse of process. By sentencing bankruptcy fraud under the perjury provision, courts can create a consistent paradigm for sentencing bankruptcy fraud defendants.
In California, the Academy countersued Olsen on six counts, including "inducing trespass," "inducing breach of contract" and finally "abuse of process" (for suing it in New York).
Nonetheless, the magistrate recommended quashing the summonses because enforcement would constitute an abuse of process. According to Kaplan, the evidence showed that the IRS issued the summonses for an improper purpose--gaining unrestricted access to the source code for all tax preparation software programs.
Second, SLAPP targets must define the suits as First Amendment issues, and they should look to file "SLAPPback" suits, alleging abuse of process. Some SLAPPbacks have led to verdicts running into the millions of dollars-surely the best deterrent to SLAPP filing.
Local authority solicitor Miss Sacco claimed the alternation to the times applied for constituted an "abuse of process" because the court was being asked to consider conditions which weren't specifically put before the licensing committee.
However, Mr Justice Colton refused a defence application "to stay the proceedings" because of an "abuse of process".
Salinger denied the motion.<br />"[C]onsidering the circumstances as a whole, the Court is convinced that Thorndike's primary purpose in asserting his counterclaims is to seek and obtain compensation for injuries caused by ATK's alleged abuse of process and unfair trade practices," Salinger wrote, citing the Supreme Judicial Court's 2017 decision in Blanchard v.
As well as examining the CPS bid to prosecute Duckenfield, he will also consider further applications to halt any prosecution of him and five suspects as an "abuse of process".
He stayed the indictment against Tran, saying: "I'm satisfied that this is a case where the defence have established that a continuation of this prosecution would be an abuse of process."
The defence had been trying to get the case thrown out due to an "abuse of process," he said.
In its announcement, the tribunal said the Philippine government's act of initiating the arbitration did not constitute an abuse of process and that the non-appearance of China
Recorder Goodchild was told that the defence planned to argue that the case was 'an abuse of process' and should be dismissed.