Abuse of Process Tort Ohio

In Kremer v. Cox (1996), 114 Ohio App.3d 41, 682 N.E.2d 1006, the court explained the abuse of process tort as follows:

"Abuse of process does not lie for the wrongful bringing of an action, but for the improper use, or 'abuse,' of process.

Thus, if one uses process properly, but with a malicious motive, there is no abuse of process, though a claim for malicious prosecution may lie.

The tortious character of the defendant's conduct consists of his attempts to employ a legitimate process for a legitimate purpose in an improper manner." Id., citing Clermont Environmental Reclamation Co. v. Hancock (1984), 16 Ohio App.3d 9, 11, 16 Ohio B. 9, 474 N.E.2d 357.

Thus, "there is no liability for abuse of process where the defendant has done nothing more than carry out the process to its authorized conclusion, even though with bad intentions." Jones v. Norfolk S. Ry. Co., Cuyahoga App. No. 84394, 2005 Ohio 879, citing Yaklevich v. Kemp, Schaeffer & Rowe Co., L.P.A., supra.

In Kremer v. Cox, supra, the court rejected a claim for abuse of process that was premised upon the defendant's filing of a complaint against the plaintiff.

The court stated:

"Kremer contends that, by including Kremer in his lawsuit, Cox committed a tort. Kremer's claim was premised solely on the filing of Cox's complaint itself, which Kremer claims was done without probable cause and for nefarious purposes. Such a rationale may support a claim for malicious prosecution, but cannot provide a sufficient foundation for an abuse of process action. Yaklevich v. Kemp, Schaeffer & Rowe Co., L.P.A, 68 Ohio St.3d at 297-298. the trial court should have granted Cox's motion for a new trial on the ground that the jury's verdict was contrary to law pursuant to Civ.R. 59(A)(7) since, as a matter of law, Kremer was not entitled to relief for the mere institution of Cox's lawsuit."