Malicious prosecution is a legal claim that can be made when someone brings a false or frivolous legal action against another person, with malicious intent or without probable cause. In other words, it is a claim that someone has wrongfully started a legal action against another person, without any legitimate grounds to do so.
To prove malicious prosecution, the plaintiff must demonstrate the following elements:
- The defendant initiated a legal action against the plaintiff without probable cause or with malicious intent.
- The legal action was terminated in favor of the plaintiff. This means that the plaintiff won the case, or that the case was dismissed before it went to trial.
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the legal action. This can include financial losses, emotional distress, or harm to reputation.
In a malicious prosecution claim, the plaintiff is essentially alleging that the defendant abused the legal system to harass, intimidate, or harm the plaintiff. Malicious prosecution can occur in a variety of legal contexts, including civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions, and administrative proceedings.
It is important to note that malicious prosecution claims can be difficult to prove, as the plaintiff must demonstrate not only that the legal action was baseless, but also that the defendant acted with malice or a wrongful intent. However, if successful, a malicious prosecution claim can provide compensation for the harm suffered by the plaintiff, as well as a sense of vindication for the wrongful legal action taken against them.