n. Everything which is contrary to good order established by usage. Merl. Repert. Departure from use; immoderate or improper use. Of corporate franchises. The abuse or misuse of its franchises by a corporation signifies any positive act in violation of the charter and in derogation of public right, willfully done or caused to be done; the use of rights or franchises as a pretext for wrongs and injuries to the public. Baltimore v. Pittsburgh, etc., RCo., 3 Pittsb. R. (Pa.) 20, Fed. Cas No. 827; Erie & N. E. R. Co. v. Casey, 26 Pa. 287, 318 ; Railroad Commission v. Houston, etc., R. Co.
, 90 Tex. 340
, 38 S. W. 750
; People v. Atlantic Ave. R. Co.
, 125 N. Y. 513
, 26 N. El 622.
Of judicial discretion. This term, commonly employed to justify an interference by a higher court with the exercise of discretionary power by a lower court, implies not merely error of judgment, but perversity of will, passion, prejudice, partiality or moral delinquency. The exercise of an honest judgment, however erroneous it may appear to be, is not an abuse of discretion. People v. New York Cent. It. Co.
, 29 N. Y. 418
, 431; Stroup v. Raymond, 183 Pa. 279, 38 Atl. 626, 63 Am. St. Rep. 758; Day v. Donohue, 62 N. J. Law, 380, 41 Atl. 934; Citizens' St R. Co. v. Heath, 29 Ind. App. 395, 62 N. E. 107.
Where a court does not exercise a discretion in the sense of being discreet, circumspect, prudent, and exercising cautious judgment, it is an abuse of discretion. Murray v. Buell, 74 Wis. 14, 41 N. W. 1010; Sharon v. Sharon, 75 Cal. 1, 16 Pac. 345. Of a female child. An injury to the genital organs in an attempt at carnal knowledge, falling short of actual penetration. Dawkins v. State, 58 Ala. 376, 29 Am. Rep. 754.
But, according to other authorities, "abuse" is here equivalent to ravishment or rape. Palin v. State, 38 Neb. 862, 57 N. W. 743; Commonwealth v. Roosnell, 148 Mass. 32, 8 N. E. 747; Chambers v. State, 46 Neb. 447, 64 N. W. 1078.
Of distress. The using an animal or chattel distrained, which makes the distrainer liable as for a conversion. Of process. There is said to be an abuse of process when an adversary, through the malicious and unfounded use of some regular legal proceeding, obtains some advantage over his opponent. Wharton.
A malicious abuse of legal process is where the party employs it for some unlawful object, not the purpose which it is intended by the law to effect; in other words, a perversion of it. Lauzon v. Charroux, 18 R. I. 407, '28 Atl. 975; Mayer v. Walter, 64 Pa. 283; Bartlett v. Christhilf, 69 Md. 219, 14 Atl. 518; King v. Johnston, 81 Wis. 578, 51 N. W. 1011; Kline v. Hibbard, 80 Hun, 50, 29 N. Y. Supp. 807.