“Warehousing” of Claims and Abuse of Process

1 March 2022
View Debevoise Update
Key takeaways:
  • Intention: Whether conduct amounts to an abuse of process requires examining the state of mind of the party in question. This means that even though the party may manage to keep proceedings alive, for example by providing security, it may not mitigate the purpose of the delays as exhibited by the party’s other actions.
  • Patterns: Although each case is treated on its facts, past instances of abuse of process may put a party at a disadvantage. Patterns of ignoring court guidelines and rules in the past would signal to the judge that such behaviour is not an inevitable one-off instance but rather a systematic abuse of court process.
  • Explaining Delays: Explaining the cause of delays is useful in ensuring that they are not interpreted as an abuse of process. Failing to reply to an opponent’s correspondence may be raised as an issue in court, creating an image of an uncooperative party that refuses to maximise efficiency and minimise costs for all parties involved.