THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE. IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS
PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.
THE STATE OF
In The Court of Appeals
The Pointes of
Plantation Pointe Owners’ Association, Respondent,
Donald L. Rockwell and Torrie N. Rockwell, Appellants.
J. Mark Hayes, II, Circuit Court Judge
Unpublished Opinion No. 2005-UP-597
Submitted November 1, 2005 – Filed November 22, 2005
Karl S. Brehmer and J. Austin Hood, both of
Columbia, for Appellants.
John T. Lay, Jr. and Stephen D. Porter, both of
Columbia, for Respondent.
PER CURIAM: This case involves a lawsuit filed by a homeowners’ association, The Pointes of Plantation Owners’ Association (the Association) against homeowners in the development, Donald and Torrie Rockwell. The Rockwells appeal from the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment for the Association that dismissed certain of their counterclaims with prejudice. We affirm.
1. We find no error in the circuit court’s dismissal of the Rockwells’ abuse of process claim. The elements of an abuse of process claim are: (1) an ulterior purpose and (2) a “willful” or overt act “in the use of the process” that is improper because it is either unauthorized or aimed at an illegitimate collateral objective. Food Lion, Inc. v. United Food & Commercial Workers Int’l Union, 351 S.C. 65, 71, 567 S.E.2d 251, 253-54 (Ct. App. 2002). Importantly, an ulterior purpose or bad intention is insufficient to state a claim. There must be proof that a collateral objective was the sole or paramount reason for acting. “[A] party who simply pursues a lawsuit with a collateral purpose in mind has done nothing improper.”
2. The circuit court properly granted summary judgment for the Association as to the Rockwells’ negligence counterclaim. Unless a plaintiff can show a duty of care existed in a negligence action, the defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Huggins v. Citibank, N.A., 355 S.C. 329, 332, 585 S.E.2d 275, 276-77 (2003). The Association’s only duty in this case arose by contract.
3. We find no error in the circuit court’s dismissal of the Rockwells’ outrage counterclaim. To state a claim for outrage, or intentional infliction of emotional distress, a plaintiff must show that: (1) the defendant intentionally or recklessly inflicted severe emotional distress, or was certain or substantially certain that such distress would result from his conduct; (2) the conduct was so extreme and outrageous as to exceed all possible bounds of decency and must be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community; (3) the actions of the defendant caused the plaintiff’s emotional distress; and (4) the emotional distress suffered by the plaintiff was so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it. Bergstrom v. Palmetto Health
STILWELL, KITTREDGE, and WILLIAMS, JJ., concur.
 We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.