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Philadelphia Business Lawyers: Abuse of Process – When Parties Submit Frivolous Filings to Delay Litigation and Increase Costs

The word “process” as used in the tort of abuse of process “has been interpreted broadly, and encompasses the entire range of procedures incident to the litigation process. Rosen v. American Bank of Rolla, 627 A.2d 190, 192-193 (Pa. Super. 1993).

To establish a claim for abuse of process in Pennsylvania it must be shown that the party: (1) used a legal process against the other party, (2) primarily to accomplish a purpose for which the process was not designed; and (3) harm has been caused to the other party. Lerner v. Lerner, 954 A.2d 1229, 1238 (Pa. Super. 2008). “[C]ourts have consistently held or assumed that plaintiffs asserting a claim under Pennsylvania law for abuse of process that arises out of an underlying civil case need only establish the three common elements described above”. Langman v. Keystone Nat ‘1 Bank & Trust Co., et al, 672 F. Supp.2d 691, 700 (E.D.Pa. 2009). A plaintiff asserting an abuse of process claim does not have to show that the underlying proceedings terminated in his favor. Id., at 701; Lerner, 954 A.2d at 1238.

For more information on abuse of process, contact Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green at 215-574-0600 or contact us online.