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Elements.  Three elements are necessary to establish the tort of abuse of process: (1) the defendant made an illegal, improper or perverted use of the process, a use neither warranted nor authorized by the process; (2) the defendant had an ulterior motive or purpose in exercising such illegal, perverted or improper use of the process; and (3) damage to the plaintiff as a result of such illegal act. Cooper v. Trent, 551 S.W.3d 325, 333–34 (Tex. App.-- Houston[14th Dist.] 2018, pet. denied); RRR Farms, Ltd. v. Am. Horse Prot. Ass'n, 957 S.W.2d 121, 133 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1997, pet. denied); Bossin v. Towber, 894 S.W.2d 25, 33 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1994, writ denied).

Statute of Limitations.  Statute of limitations refers to the time within which a claim must be brought or the claim will be barred as a matter of law. Cadle Co. v. Wilson, 136 S.W.3d 345, 350 (Tex. App.- Austin 2004, no pet.).  Normally the limitations period begins when cause of action accrues. A cause of action accrues, and the statute of limitations begins to run, when facts come into existence that authorize a claimant to seek a judicial remedy. Exxon Corp. v. Emerald Oil & Gas Co., 348 S.W.3d 194, 202 (Tex. 2011) (op. on reh'g).  There is a two year statute of limitations for abuse of process claims.   Patrick v. Howard, 904 S.W.2d 941, 943–44 (Tex. App. -- Austin 1995, no pet.)(citing Hatch v. Reliance *944 Ins. Co., 758 F.2d 409, 414–15 (9th Cir.1985)(applying Texas law).

Abuse of Process

© 2020 Mark Courtois

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