Abuse of process claims are filed when a plaintiff believes that the defendant is using the legal process in an appropriate way – the most familiar examples are when they believe the other party is taking legal action to intimidate, harass, or coerce them. Though some instances of abuse of process are obvious and spur immediate action, there are some actions that are more subtle but still may represent inappropriate use of the courts. Some examples include:

  • Excessive documentation requests – When opposing counsel is requesting so much documentation that it either creates a significant administrative burden and cost or unnecessarily delays the process of getting to court, it may represent an abuse of process. This is particularly true when, once information has been submitted, additional documentation is requested.
  • Excessive or irrelevant discovery requests that cause undue burden or expense.
  • Forum shopping – Forum shopping refers to when a litigant attempts to have their case heard in a court that they believe will deliver a more favorable outcome.
  • Temporary restraining orders and injunctions – Both of these legal processes have a specific and important purpose, and when a litigant attempts to have a court apply them inappropriately, it can serve to intimidate, or even to block justice. It also drains court resources.

Being accused of wrongdoing in civil litigation is stressful enough, but when the litigant on the other side of the dispute abuses the court’s procedures, it makes the situation even worse and interferes with the ability to defend against the original charges. If you believe that you have been the victim of abuse in the claims process, whether because your adversary is filing repetitive motions or engaging in some other type of inappropriate tactic meant to frustrate the process, you do have legal recourse. For an assessment of what’s going on in your case and whether you have the right to pursue legal action to put a stop to the harassment, contact our firm today.