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Abuse of Process Cases Summarized By Injury Attorney

 This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Abuse of  Process and the related topic of intentional torts.For more information about the abuse of process see the page on Wikipedia.

Abuse of Process-Cases

Montgomery v. McDaniel, 271 Va. 465, 628 S.E.2d 529.

In this abuse of process case Plaintiff failed to allege an act in the use of the process that was not proper in the regular conduct of the proceeding. The elements of an abuse of process claim are the existence of an ulterior motive and an act in the use of the process not proper in the regular prosecution of the proceedings.

1989 Ely v. Whitlock, 238 Va. 670, 385 S.E.2d 893.

Abuse of process claim must allege existence of ulterior purpose and act in use of process not proper in regular prosecution of proceedings. In this case, in course of divorce action, one attorney filed ethics complaint against opposing counsel and then took deposition in support of complaint. The ulterior purpose was properly alleged and improper use of process was alleged in taking of deposition.

1989 Triangle Auto Auction v. Cash, 238 Va. 183, 380 S.E.2d 649.

Abuse of process involves wrongful use of process after it is issued. Elements: (1) ulterior purpose; (2) act in use of process not proper in regular prosecution of proceedings. In this bad check case, defendant sought warrant for plaintiff. Plaintiff failed to show that defendant took any action which abused or perverted criminal prosecution subsequent to issuance of process.

1988 Donohoe Constr. Co. v. Mount Vernon Assocs., 235 Va. 531, 369 S.E.2d 857.

Elements of abuse of process(1) existence of ulterior motive, (2) act in use of process not proper in regular prosecution of proceedings. Evidence in this case supports conclusion that Donohoe filed mechanic’s lien with ulterior motive of avoiding imposition of liquidated damages. Evidence fails to establish that after filing lien, Donohoe committed any act in use of process not proper in regular prosecution of proceeding.

1961 Boggs v. Duncan, 202 Va. 877, 121 S.E.2d 359.

Whenever injury results from issuance of judicial process in civil action person procuring its issuance incurs no legal responsibility, provided he acts in good faith.

1949 Mullins v. Sanders, 189 Va. 624, 54 S.E.2d 116.

Abuse of process is malicious misuse of process to accomplish purpose not warranted. It differs from malicious prosecution in that it lies for malicious perversion of regularly issued process. Two elements: (1) existence of ulterior purpose; and (2) act in use of process not proper in regular prosecution of proceeding. It is not necessary to prove termination of prosecution. Nor is advice of counsel defense. As general rule use of criminal process to enforce debt will support action where process is being used as whip to compel payment of debt.

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Abuse of Process Cases Summarized By Injury Attorney

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