The courts of Ohio have said that there is no difference between an action for abuse of process and one for malicious prosecution. Other jurisdictions likewise have had trouble distinguishing the two torts. Apparently, this is because the term has been used to describe a variety of dissimilar situations which are alike only in that there has been actionable injury as a result of the improper use of a legal process. To a lesser extent, the confusion may also have resulted from the varying terms used to describe the two actions, coupled with the imprecise use of the terms by some courts.
Charles G. Bretz Jr.,
Abuse of Process - A Misunderstood Concept,
20 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol20/iss2/17