An action for malicious prosecution is the remedy for the baseless and malicious litigation of criminal charges. It may be brought in response to any baseless and malicious litigation, whether criminal or civil.
The wrongly accused criminal defendant or civil respondent in a baseless and malicious case may later file this claim in civil court against the parties who took an active role in initiating or encouraging the criminal filing. The defendant in the criminal case becomes the plaintiff in the malicious prosecution suit, and the plaintiff or prosecutor in the original case becomes the defendant. In Texas, the claim must be filed within a year after the end of the original case, which must end in the defendant’s favor. This means the criminal prosecution must result in a dismissal, no-bill or not guilty verdict.
A claim of malicious prosecution is a tort action brought in civil court to recover money damages for the harm suffered from the malicious claim. The plaintiff in a malicious prosecution suit seeks to recover money from the respondent for the various costs associated with having to defend against the baseless and vexatious case. The damages may include the cost of making a bond, attorney fees, and economic harm from being wrongfully incarcerated. The plaintiff may also recover money for the emotional distress associated with being jailed.
Often times, slander and libel claims are brought in conjunction with the claim for malicious prosecution. The plaintiff may be able to recover money for the damage done to his or her reputation in the community.
The public policy that supports the action for malicious prosecution is the discouragement of frivolous claims. This policy must compete against one that favors the freedom of law enforcement officers, judicial officers, and private citizens to report and participate in the administration of the criminal justice system.
The Yates law offices have been very successful in prosecuting claims for clients who have been wrongfully charged with criminal conduct. We have sued and recovered monies for our clients from several different corporations and individuals who have wrongly accused our clients of criminal conduct. Click here to read the Story