Malicious Prosecution Claim

August 25, 2021
Malicious Prosecution Claim

If a prior criminal or civil case was filed against someone for malicious motives, the individual can sue another. In other words, if the defendant filed an illegitimate criminal or civil case for an improper purpose, the individual who was earlier prosecuted or sued can sue the guy who brought the initial case for malicious prosecution. This article goes over the elements of a malicious prosecution case and includes some instances of what constitutes hostile prosecution and what does not.

Important Aspects of Malicious Prosecution Claim

Usually, courts agree on the factors required for a malicious prosecution claim, but various states combine or organize them differently. These are the six aspects of this claim: 

  • The commencement or continuation of a civil or criminal legal action against the plaintiff; 
  • The defendant (the prosecutor or plaintiff in the malicious action) aided or abetted; 
  • Dismissal of a previous proceeding in the plaintiff's favor;
  • There was no plausible reason to bring the previous action; 
  • Malice as the prime motive for the previous action; and
  • As a result of the previous action, the claimant has suffered damage or injury.

Malicious Prosecution Examples

Some successful malicious prosecution allegations are listed below. Remember that for the claim to prevail, all six of the factors stated above must be present — the instances below don't cover every aspect in every case, but they're a solid example of what may be considered malicious prosecution in the actual world.

  • After its staff willfully submitted false information to the public prosecutor concerning the criminal defendant's allegedly unlawful banking activities, a bank was successfully sued for malicious prosecution.
  • When a defendant admitted that he had the plaintiff detained for an improper motive, it demonstrated that he had the plaintiff arrested for an improper reason, resulting in a successful malicious prosecution claim.
  • The plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim was successful because the defendant exploited the criminal procedure for an unlawful purpose when he testified that he had a criminal affidavit filed against the plaintiff just to collect a debt from the plaintiff.
  • When obtaining an arrest warrant for the plaintiff for possession of unlawful hypodermic needles, a police officer did not provide all of the information.

Malicious Prosecution Damages

Being the victim of a malicious prosecution can result in a wide range of injuries, whether the charges are unjustified or a bogus civil claim is filed. In either case, the plaintiff has the right to seek compensatory and, in some cases, punitive damages. Compensatory damages include both real damages caused by the malicious prosecution which may include pain and suffering and special damages that identify quantifiable financial losses  - such as lost earnings and additional domestic costs.

The emotional impact of the crime, such as the uncertainty, bewilderment, and humiliation commonly experienced by the falsely accused, will determine the amount of damages awarded in a claim. Because the plaintiff may have spent time in jail or been otherwise held or treated as a criminal, the emotional distress is frequently more acute if the claim is in reaction to malicious criminal allegations. Furthermore, the mere prospect of a criminal trial is sometimes enough to persuade a jury that the malicious act caused substantial emotional distress.

If you were sued for false criminal charges, contact the Experienced Attorney in CT

All people are equal before the law. A good attorney.