On March 15, 2022, the Supreme Court of Missouri accepted transfer in Schlafley v. Cori. The case will address the elements that must be pleaded in a tort claim for abuse of process. In Schlafley, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant had brought several claims related to certain trusts with the goal of harassing the plaintiff into ceding control of the trusts to the defendant. The trial court dismissed the petition for failure to state a claim, finding that the plaintiff needed to plead facts showing that process had been used to accomplish an improper purpose, rather than pleading only that the motivations for the trust suits were improper.
The plaintiffs argued that transfer should be granted because the Court of Appeals mistakenly required specific types of admissions by the defendant that they were seeking unrelated benefits through their use of legal process. Plaintiffs argue that evidence of improper motivation is sufficient to establish that process was used for an improper purpose.