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Malicious Prosecution-Definition Cases Summarized By Injury Attorney

Malicious Prosecution-Definition

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Malicious Prosecution-Definition.  

2003 Andrews v. Ring, 266 Va. 311, 585 S.E.2d 780.

Plaintiff must prove that prosecution was: (1) malicious; (2) instituted by or with cooperation of defendant; (3) without probable cause; and (4) terminated in a manner not unfavorable to plaintiff. What constitutes probable cause is a question for court. Where there is any conflict from the evidence, it is for the jury to determine whether in the particular case, probable cause existed. Factual disputes existed as to the issue of probable cause and advice of counsel defense and as such, summary judgment was inappropriate.

2000 Stanley v. Webber, 260 Va. 90, 531 S.E.2d 311.

Stanley, acting on behalf of employer, is alleged to have maliciously and falsely procured felony warrants against plaintiffs charging them with grand larceny of commercial oven owned by restaurant. In this action, plaintiff has burden of proving that prosecution was malicious, instituted by or with cooperation of defendant, without probable cause, and terminated in a manner not unfavorable to plaintiff. Probable cause is defined as knowledge of such facts and circumstances to raise belief in reasonable mind that plaintiff is guilty of crime of which he is suspected. This case was disputed on issue of whether probable cause existed. Jury was properly instructed that proof of actual guilt of person accused is complete defense. Case properly submitted to jury for determination.

1998 Hudson v. Lanier, 255 Va. 330, 497 S.E.2d 471.

Plaintiff bears burden of proving that prosecution was (1) malicious, (2) instituted by or with cooperation of defendant, (3) without probable cause, (4) terminated in manner not unfavorable to plaintiff. Evidence in bench trial supported conclusion that malice had not been established.

1991 Oxenham v. Johnson, 241 Va. 281, 402 S.E.2d 1.

Elements of malicious prosecution claim: (1) prosecution was set on foot by defendant and terminated in manner not unfavorable to plaintiff, (2) it was instituted or procured by cooperation of plaintiff, (3) it was without probable cause, (4) it was malicious. legal malice inferred from circumstances suffices for award of compensatory damages, but actual malice must be shown to recover punitive damages.

1982 Chipouras v. AJ & L Corp., 223 Va. 511, 290 S.E.2d 859.

Elements set forth.

1978 Pallas v. Zaharopoulos, 219 Va. 751, 250 S.E.2d 357.

Action not favored in Virginia. Plaintiff must allege and prove: (1) that prosecution was terminated in manner not unfavorable to plaintiff; (2) that it was instituted or procured by cooperation of defendant; (3) that it was without probable cause; and (4) that it was malicious.

1978 Bill Edwards Oldsmobile, Inc. v. Carey, 219 Va. 90, 244 S.E.2d 767.

Action not favored in Virginia. Plaintiff has burden of proving: (1) that prosecution was instituted by or with cooperation of defendant; (2) that prosecution was terminated in manner not unfavorable to plaintiff; (3) that it was without probable cause; and (4) that it was malicious.

1978 Lee v. Southland Corp., 219 Va. 23, 244 S.E.2d 756.

Action not favored in Virginia. Plaintiff must allege and prove: (1) prosecution instituted by or with cooperation of defendant; (2) prosecution terminated in manner not unfavorable to plaintiff; (3) prosecution without probable cause; and (4) malicious.

1976 Niese v. Klos, 216 Va. 701, 222 S.E.2d 798.

Malicious prosecution actions are not favored in Virginia. Elements: (1) action terminated in manner not unfavorable to plaintiff; (2) instituted by cooperation of defendant; (3) no probable cause; and (4) malicious.

1971 Gaut v. Pyles, 212 Va. 39, 181 S.E.2d 645.

Plaintiff must prove lack of probable cause, malice, and that prosecution terminated not unfavorably to plaintiff.

1964 Wiggs v. Farmer, 205 Va. 149, 135 S.E.2d 829.

Elements: Action is (1) instituted maliciously; (2) without probable cause; and (3) terminated in a manner not unfavorable to plaintiff. Public policy favors disclosure of crime.