Malicious Prosecution - Explained
Wrongfully Subject Someone to Prosecution or Criminal Action
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What is Malicious Prosecution?
Malicious prosecution is wrongfully subjecting someone to the prosecutorial process. This tort often arises from causing someone to be arrested or formally charged through intentional false swearing or malevolent pretenses.
- Example: I cause the police to arrest Tom simply to harass him. I do so by stating to the police that he stole my computer, when this is not true.
How would you propose balancing the objective of protecting the wrongfully accused against dissuading someone from pressing charges against someone who committed a crime against them?
Autumn cheats on her boyfriend with Isaac. She is very embarrassed when everyone, including her boyfriend, learns of her actions. To cover up her infidelity, she accuses Isaac of improperly taking advantage of her while she was intoxicated. She informs the police who proceed with pressing charges against Isaac. When pressed to take a lie detector test, Autumn comes clean and admits her false accusation. What are Isaacs options for suing Autumn?
- Malicious prosecution occurs when one person has knowingly and with malicious intent initiated baseless litigation against another party. A successful malicious prosecution claim requires that;
- The defendant begin or continue a criminal or civil legal proceeding
- Without reasonable grounds to believe the allegations of the proceeding
- And with a purpose other than simply getting a judgment in the proceeding.
- The defendant has lost the original false case he or she brought against the plaintiff.
- The plaintiff was damaged by the defendants false case.
In the practice question, Isaac can bring a cause of action against Autumn for malicious prosecution.
- Tort Law (Intro)
- What are Torts?
- What are the types of torts?
- What are Intentional Torts?
- Unintentional Tort
- Assault and Battery?
- Intentional Infliction of Emotions Distress?
- Invasion of Privacy?
- False Imprisonment?
- Malicious Prosecution?
- Defenses to Defamation?
- Absolute Privilege
- Defamation and 1st Amendment Considerations?
- Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations?
- What is Negligence?
- Negligence A Duty of Care?
- Negligence Breach of Duty of Care?
- What are common defenses to negligence actions?
- What is Strict Liability?
- Strict Liability Causes of Action Examples
- Strict Products Liability
- What defenses exist to strict product liability actions?
- Compensatory damages?
- Punitive damages?
- Treble Damages