Malicious use of civil process has to do with the wrongful initiation of such process, while abuse of civil process is concerned with the perversion of a process after it is issued. Publix Drug Co. v. Breyer, supra, at 415. The basis for an action for malicious prosecution is want of probable cause and malice. Hugee v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 376 Pa. 286, 101 A.2d 740 at 742 (1954). Malicious use of civil process has to do with the wrongful initiation of such process while abuse of civil process is concerned with the perversion of process after it is issued. Dumont Television And Radio Corp. v. Franklin Electric Co., 397 Pa. 274, 154 A.2d 585 at 587 (1959).
Thus it appears that under Pennsylvania law malicious abuse of process is concerned with the issue of process where there is probable cause and a later perversion of that process to accomplish another purpose. Malicious use of process is concerned with the issuance of process when there is no probable cause regardless of the intent for which it is issued.
We are concerned here with the malicious use of process. The complaint charges in paragraph 28: "Neither of the plaintiffs had at any time acted in a disorderly manner nor had they assaulted any police officer," and in paragraph 29: "The charges were placed against plaintiffs only after the assaults on them and Ernest Edwards by defendants, and were placed only to protect the officers against charges of brutality." Thus the plaintiffs contend that prosecution was initiated without probable cause which makes this an action for malicious use of process.
As such, the applicable statute of limitations is one year. Sachs v. Levy, 216 F. Supp. 44-46 (E.D. Pa. 1963); and see Funk v. Cable, 251 F. Supp. 598 (M.D. Pa. 1966).
A statute of limitations begins to run when the cause of action arises as determined by the occurrence of the final significant event necessary to make the claim suable. Mack Trucks, Inc. v. Bendix-Westinghouse Auto. A.B. Co., 372 F.2d 18 (3d Cir. 1966); Foley v. Pittsburgh-Des Moines Co., 363 Pa. 1, 68 A.2d 517 (1949). It is also well settled that in order to maintain an action for malicious prosecution the underlying action must be terminated in the plaintiff's favor. Mayer v. Walter, 64 Pa. 283 (1870). See also Altman v. Standard Refrigerator Co., 315 Pa. 465, 173 A. 411 (1934); Baird v. Aluminum Seal Co., 250 F.2d 595 (3d Cir. 1957). Thus, the statute of limitations for malicious use of process does not begin to run until the favorable termination of the underlying prosecution. The complaint in this action was filed on August 22, 1972. The charges against plaintiff Edwards were discharged on August 24, 1970. Thus, her claim is barred by the one year statute of limitations.
Plaintiff Hughes was tried on March 27, 1972, at which time a demurrer to the charges against her was sustained. Thus, plaintiff Hughes' complaint was filed within the one year statue of limitations.
Accordingly, to the extent the complaint states a claim for false imprisonment, the defendants' motion to dismiss will be granted and plaintiffs will be barred from proceeding with that claim. Plaintiff Edwards' claim for malicious use of process will be dismissed and she will be barred from proceeding with that claim. The defendants' motion to dismiss is denied with respect to defendant Hughes' claim for malicious use of process and both plaintiffs' claims for assault and battery.