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Alberta Law: Abuse of Process

Continuing on the theme of torts, today we are going to talk about Abuse of Process. This is different from abuse of process in general, which is the inherent power of the court in proceedings to prevent the misuse of its procedures or to make sure the the administration of justice is not brought into disrepute.

In this tort the Plaintiff must have been brought into a legal process by the Defendant. The process must be brought for a collateral or illegal purpose. The defendant must have done something or made some threat towards the purpose, and damages must have resulted.

It appears that the initial legal process needs to be resolved in the Plaintiff's favour, although the claim may be brought before that outcome is attained. The courts have narrowly interpreted this cause of action. An element that is often missing is the actual threat. Litigation on its own does not expose the parties to this Tort. There has to be something more.

This tort appears to be rarely applied successfully as it requires specific facts. If you believe you have suffered an Abuse of Process, please feel free to contact us.

The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.

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