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Abuse of Process
Abuse of Process occurs when a person wrongfully uses the legal system to harass, intimidate, or for some other purpose other than resolving a legal dispute. It is similar to Malicious Prosecution, but can arise from either civil or criminal proceedings and does not require malice, want of probable cause, or termination of the prior proceedings.
The elements of abuse of process are:
- An ulterior purpose by the defendants other than resolving a legal dispute, and
- A willful act in the use of the legal process not proper in the regular conduct of the proceeding