Commercial Division Blog

Posted: August 31, 2020 / Categories Commercial, Sanctions

Bringing an Action Maliciously An Insufficient Basis for an Abuse of Process Claim

On August 26, 2020, the Second Department issued a decision in Seidler v. Knopf, 2020 NY Slip Op. 04800, holding that an abuse of process claim could not be premised on allegedly suing someone maliciously, explaining:

We disagree, however, with the Supreme Court's determination to deny that branch of the plaintiffs' motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the Knopf defendants' counterclaim alleging abuse of process. The plaintiffs established, prima facie, that the Knopf defendants' abuse of process counterclaim was premised solely on the plaintiffs' alleged malicious commencement of this action. Because such facts cannot support a cause of action alleging abuse of process, the plaintiffs demonstrated, prima facie, their entitlement to judgment as a matter of law dismissing the Knopf defendants' abuse of process counterclaim.

(Internal citations omitted).

Part of being a good litigator is thinking of winning arguments other lawyers miss. However, courts can be impatient with lawyers who cross the line from creative to making frivolous arguments. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at if you or a client has a question regarding whether an argument has crossed the line from creative to sanctionable.