Abuse of process is a cause of action in tort arising from one party making misusing or perversion of regularly issued court process civil or criminal not justified by the underlying legal action it is a common law intentional tort. 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. The legal term abuse of process refers to the act of using the legal process during a legal proceeding to harass another party to the suit to intentionally incur costs with the intent that the other party will be ordered to pay those costs or to delay the court action abuse of process is a tort that may be claimed in a subsequent legal proceeding or argued during the current case. Malicious prosecution and abuse of process are related types of lawsuits where one person the plaintiff sues another person the defendant for in a previous case trying to use the legal system against the plaintiff in a manner for which the system was not intended the basis can be either a prior criminal or civil case. Abuse of process is an intentional tort that arises when a person deliberately misuses a court process that is not justified by the underlying civil or criminal legal action as with most torts the elements that a plaintiff must prove in order to win his or her case will vary from state to state
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