Nix v. Sawyer

In Nix v. Sawyer, 466 A.2d 407, 411 (Del. Super. Ct. 1983) the Court articulated that "the parameters of this tort were considered in Unit, Inc. v. Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation: "In regard to the claim for abuse of process, Prosser states that the essential elements of the tort are: 1) an ulterior purpose; and 2) a willful act in the use of the process not proper in the regular conduct of the proceedings...some definite act or threat not authorized by the process, or aimed at an objective not legitimate in the use of the process, is required. Merely carrying out the process to its authorized conclusion, even though with bad intentions, does not result in liability. Some form of coercion to obtain a collateral advantage, not properly involved in the proceeding itself, must be shown, such as the surrender of property or the payment of money, by the use of the process as a threat or club. (Nix, supra at 412) In other words, the plaintiff must allege: 1) a willful and improper act in the process; 2) any form of coercion; and 3) a collateral advantage to defendants arising from said coercion. (Nix, supra at 412.)