Norchi v. Stewart's Shops
Justice Robert J. Muller
Norchi alleged defendant Howard, a Stewart's Shops employee, caused the filing of a criminal complaint against him based on allegations he stole gasoline. He argued he was arrested and charges were filed, but were ultimately adjourned in contemplation of dismissal. Norchi alleged causes of action for abuse of process and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He sought, and was granted, leave to amend the complaint to correct the occurrence date of the events in question, eviscerating defendants' statute of limitations defense. The court found that unlike a malicious prosecution cause of action, in which a favorable termination is an essential element, same is not required for abuse of process. Thus, it stated, drawing all inferences from the subject allegations in the light most favorable to Norchi, the abuse of process claim was sufficiently pleaded. The court further concluded that drawing all inferences from Norchi's allegations in a light most favorable to him, the cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress was also sufficiently pleaded. Therefore, it denied defendants' motion to dismiss Norchi's causes of action and complaint.