state action – action by state or local government, or conduct sanctioned by state or local authorities, such as the enforcement of a restrictive covenant; such action may potentially violate a person’s rights.
official misconduct – a public officer’s violation of duty by malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance.
feasance – the doing or accomplishment of an act, condition, or obligation.
- malfeasance – a wrongful, unlawful, or dishonest act; especially, wrongdoing or misconduct by a public official.
- misfeasance – the performance of a duty or act which one ought or has a right to do, but in a manner such as to infringe upon the rights of others.
- nonfeasance – the negligent failure to act when a duty to act exists.
abuse of power – misuse or improper exercise one’s authority in a way that is tortious, unlawful, or outside its proper scope.
- abuse of discretion – an adjudicator or appellate court’s failure to exercise sound, reasonable, and legal decision-making, unsupported by the evidence, thereby leading to a denial of justice.
- arbitrary and capricious – a concept which permits a court to substitute its judgment for that of an administrative agency’s unreasonable decision which ignores the law or facts of the case. — aka arbitrary.
- capricious (caprice) – contrary to the evidence or established rules of law; whimsical rather than logistic.
malice exception – a limit on public officials’ qualified immunity, whereby they can face civil liability for willfully exercising discretion in a way that violates a known or well-established right.
- qualified immunity – a public official’s immunity from civil liability when performing a discretionary function, as long as the conduct does not violate a clearly established constitutional or statutory right. — aka prima facie privilege.
abuse of process – improper, intentional, tortious use of civil or criminal process to obtain a result that is either unlawful or beyond the purpose for which such process was designed. — aka abuse of legal process; malicious abuse of process; malicious abuse of legal process; wrongful process; wrongful process of law.
malicious defense – defendant’s use of unfair, harassing, or illegal tactics to advance a frivolous or unmeritorious defense.
discovery abuse – misuse of the pretrial discovery process, especially by
(1) requesting unnecessary information;
(2) requesting information for an improper purpose; or
(3) failing to respond adequately to a proper discovery request.
— aka abuse of discovery.
- sanctions tort – a means of recovery for another party’s discovery abuse, whereby the judge orders the abusive party to pay a fine to the injured party for the discovery violation.
vexatious suit – instituted maliciously and without good grounds, meant to create trouble and expense for the party being sued. — aka vexatious litigation; vexatious lawsuit; vexatious proceeding.
Related Types of Torts:
government tort – committed by the government through an employee, agent, or instrumentality under its control.
constitutional tort – a violation of one’s constitutional rights by a government officer, redressable by a civil action filed directly against the officer.
Filing a Claim Against an Agent or Agency:
Tort-Claims Act – a federal or state statute that, under stated circumstances, waives sovereign immunity and allows lawsuits by people who claim they have been injured by the government or its agents and employees; these laws typically require the prospective plaintiff to file a claim before starting litigation, giving the government an opportunity to engage in discovery and, sometimes, settle.