Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
In Arkansas, a cause of action for malicious prosecution consists of the following elements: (1) a criminal prosecution instituted or continued by the defendant against the plaintiff; (2) termination of the proceeding in favor of the accused; (3) absence of probable cause for the proceeding; (4) malice; and (5) damages.
Sharon Graves, filed suit against Texas Skaggs, Inc. alleging that Skaggs had willfully and maliciously commenced an action against her in the Municipal Court of Texarkana, Arkansas. The jury returned a verdict of $20,000.00 actual damages. The trial court overruled Skaggs’ motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and the motion for new trial, and entered judgment for Graves.
Was Graves able to establish all the elements of malicious prosecution?
The court affirmed the judgment on the grounds that Graves established all the elements to prove malicious prosecution. Skaggs had instituted proceedings against Graves and those proceedings terminated in favor of Graves by the dismissal of the case by the prosecutor for lack of evidence. Further, there was no probable cause to support the initiation of proceedings because Skaggs knew the bounced checks were not Graves’ fault and when she was notified, she made immediate restitution. Finally, it could be inferred that Skaggs acted with malice after it insisted on prosecution after Graves was released by police following her initial arrest.