Blackstock v. Tatum

In Blackstock v. Tatum, 396 S.W.2d 463, 468 (Tex.Civ.App.--Houston 1965, no writ), the Houston Court of Appeals, quoting the then-current Restatement of Torts, described the operative abuse of process inquiry as follows: The purpose for which the process is used, once it is issued, is the only thing of importance . . . . 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; and there is no liability where the defendant has done nothing more than carry out the process to its authorized conclusion, even though with bad intentions. The improper purpose usually takes the form of coercion to obtain a collateral advantage, not properly involved in the proceeding itself, such as the surrender of property or the payment of money, by the use of the process as a threat or a club. There is, in other words, a form of extortion, and it is what is done in the course of negotiation, rather than the issuance or any formal use of the process itself, which constitutes the tort. (Id. at 468.)