Troop 18 Update
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU)
Sun, 23 Oct 1994 23:26:35 -0400
Mike Horowitz raised the question of whether the parent who has tried to
intimidate was stalking. Mike's basic instinct here I think is good.
There is an area of tort law called abuse of process that may be
applicable here. It works like this: If a person brings or causes an
action to be brought against a second individual with an ulterior purpose;
e.g. a collateral advantage, and if the purpose is accomplished by a willful
act not proper in the regular conduct of the proceedings, the person
who caused the legal action to be initiated may be liable for damages, even if
the action against the second person was successful. Some court opinions
have compared such actions as similar to extortion to obtain a benefit by
threats or actual use of legal process.
For example, if a person causes another to be brought up for
administrative charges that prove successful, but did so for the purpose
of accomplishing an entirely different objective that gains an advantage
for himself, he may be found to be abusing the legal process and subject
to a lawsuit for damages.
Now this is a general statement of how the law works in most
jurisdictions. I am not familiar with the law where Paul is and can't say
how the courts there view this kind of action, this is something best left
to Paul and his attorney. It could be that the parent may be subject to
this form of tort liability, if a Court were to find that he was using the
legal process to intimidate or coerce others to avoid taking actions
regarding the questionable manner in which his son was able to obtain an
Eagle badge and medal through his influence and schemes.
This is an area where the Courts in the different states are not always of
the same mind and where a lot depends on available evidence. Again, I
think this is something best left between Paul and his attorney to evaluate.
Yours in Scouting, Michael F. Bowman, a/k/a Professor Beaver
Deputy District Commissioner Exploring, GW Dist., NCAC, BSA
Speaking only for myself, but with Scouting Spirit . . .
____ mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU ____
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City