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Malicious abuse of process refers to a willful and intentional abuse or misuse of process to attain an objective which is unlawful in it or beyond the purposes for which the process may be legally employed.
Elements of the tort of malicious abuse of process are:
a. the use of process in a judicial proceeding that would be improper in the regular prosecution or defense of a claim or charge;
b. a primary motive in the use of process to accomplish an illegitimate end; and
c. damages. [Durham v. Guest, 145 N.M. 694 (N.M. 2009)].