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What is the Abuse of Process?

Abuse of process happens when one party institutes criminal proceedings against another party which is malicious in intent and without probable cause. This is often referred to by the legal name “Tort”. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions answered by Experts.

What criteria are needed to file a claim for abuse of process?

There are two main criteria that must be met for making a claim for abuse of process damages. The first is that some action was taken against the claimant which was not proper in the course of regular prosecution of action taken against him/her. The second is that an ulterior purpose or motive for such action must exist.

What is the difference between Malicious Prosecution and Abuse of Process?

Malicious Prosecution is deemed to have occurred when civil or criminal proceedings have been initiated without probable cause.

Abuse of Process takes place when the legal process itself is perverted and used for illegal or malicious purposes. Malicious Prosecution and Abuse of Process are similar in nature and obtaining legal advice in regard to the right course of action is recommended.

Can a resident of one state file an abuse of process complaint if it occurred in a different state?

An abuse of process claim is normally filed in the state where the abuse occurred. The resident state is a separate jurisdiction and will not have a legal relationship with the abuse that occurred in another state. A claim can be filed in Illinois if the case has been transferred to that state via a change of venue.

What is the time limit for filing an abuse of process claim in Maryland?

Maryland Code, Section 5-101 states that the statute of limitations is three years. Since this statute says the three years limitations applies to all claims that are not covered by different time frames provided in other parts of the chapter, it must be read in conjunction with other statutes. It may be advisable to contact a lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case to see if other statutes may be applicable.

If a former employer made a fabricated police complaint stating an employee was stealing something, but the case was dismissed can that person sue for abuse of process, perjury or defamation?

An abuse of process claim will be difficult in these circumstances. You will be required to provide proof that this is a case of malicious abuse of process and that motive behind it was to abuse and intimidate you and your former employer knew it was a baseless charge. The fact that the case was dismissed does not automatically give you the legal right to file a claim.

Unless a false statement was made under oath, perjury will not apply. Additionally, since it is not a private claim, personally suing for perjury may not be tenable.

Civil recourse by means of suing for defamation may be the best option for you if you can prove that false and malicious remarks were made about you so as to damage your reputation and demean you. For the court to take cognizance of your claim you will need to provide proof of the hurt suffered and the damage sustained.

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