New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

When a malicious prosecution becomes a court case

On Behalf of | Thursday Nov 18, 2021 | Civil Rights

A malicious prosecution is a form of legal abuse that is initiated by a member of law enforcement or a judicial system. It is committed with malicious intent by the plaintiff against the defendant. In New York, if there is no probable cause for the proceeding, the case becomes a tort and abuse of power.

A violation of civil rights law

Malicious prosecution is an intentional tort that involves illegally filing a lawsuit that has no probable cause. Before and after the case reaches court, it is often dismissed in favor of the defendant, which is the target of the wrongful prosecution.

However, filing a wrongful lawsuit against a defendant, even if it’s dismissed later, is not a violation of the law. Every prosecutor and judge is given immunity that allows them to file cases without risk of being sued themselves. Malicious prosecution occurs when the plaintiff and prosecutor decide to pursue a frivolous lawsuit that has no reasonable basis.

Case examples

A wrongful arrest and false imprisonment that is designed to silence a personal opponent is considered malicious prosecution. Charging someone with a crime based on his or her suspicious appearance is another example. In either case, the person’s civil rights have knowingly been violated and done so with malicious intent.

What happens next?

When a malicious prosecution has occurred, the innocent party has the right to pursue a civil rights lawsuit against the guilty party. Anyone has the legal right to sue a member of the police, prosecutor, or judge who acted improperly. Upon winning a case, the victim can receive fair compensation and allow the case to serve as an example for others.