Some aspects of the legal process may be abused and exploited in order to serve causes that are illegal or do not comply with the spirit of the law. Such instances are referred to as an abuse of process. An abuse of process is done when there is an intentional misuse of civil or criminal court proceedings that is not justified by the cause of legal action. Any kind of abuse of process is considered a violation of civil tort.
There are several aspects of court proceedings that can be abused. The most common cause for abuse of process is the malicious intent to harass another individual through a deposition or a summons. A person who is guilty of abuse of process can file a legal claim against another party in order to badger the other party into unwillingly committing an act or to obtain what it is the former may want form the latter.
It is difficult to prove that an abuse of process occurred, mostly because it is seen as the right of every individual to have access to legal processes when there is a legitimate claim to make. In the event that an abuse of process is proven, the case may prove to be a precedent in other parties making abuse of process claims in cases where no abuse occurred. Therefore, it is in the court’s interest to carefully address issues of abuse of process as it may result in the excluding of similar cases that are in fact justifiable.