Malicious Prosecution Definition Under Tennessee State Law

Malicious prosecution can cause significant damage for the defendant in the case. The definition of malicious prosecution under Tennessee state law is an erroneous civil or criminal case against a defendant that lacks cause or occurred for malicious reasons. If someone filed a civil or criminal case against you for illegitimate reasons, you may file a civil claim against the plaintiffs.

If somebody has wrongfully sued you, it can have long-lasting effects on your finances, reputation, and mental well-being. You may be eligible for damages to cover your legal expenses and other financial losses associated with the malicious prosecution.

The attorneys with the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, have years of experience with complicated legal matters such as this. We can review your case and help you recover the damages you deserve. Call 865-546-1111 to set up an appointment with a lawyer today.

When can I sue for malicious prosecution?

In order to sue for malicious prosecution, we must show that your case meets three specific criteria.

You were the target of a civil or criminal legal action without probable cause.

Since we handle civil cases, we will discuss malicious prosecution in those terms. Probable cause means a reasonable person could consider the case against you legitimate, and that the person who brought the case thought he or she had a real chance of winning the case. Here, we must establish the original plaintiff knew the case was illegitimate.

The party accusing you acted maliciously.

We can help you prove that the original plaintiff knowingly brought an illegitimate case and did not make a mistake or act on bad legal advice. If you believe you were the target of a malicious prosecution, we will work to find evidence that the original plaintiff acted out of anger, maliciousness, or the intent to harass or defame you.

The action ended with a favorable result for the defendant.

To prove this, we must show that you won the original lawsuit or the court dismissed the claim. In other words, you cannot sue for malicious prosecution if you paid a settlement or a court ordered you to pay damages. And, according to a 2012 ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court, the termination of the case must be on the basis of “the merits of the suit rather than … on procedural or technical grounds.”

Why do I need a lawyer’s help?

There are a few reasons why contacting one of our Knoxville attorneys is the best way to get the compensation you deserve for having to endure a wrongful or malicious lawsuit:

  • These cases involve a lot of complexity, since the plaintiff and defendant reverse roles when the original case ends and a malicious prosecution lawsuit begins;
  • There is a high standard of proof in demonstrating that the original plaintiff acted maliciously; and
  • These cases require quick action because, like most kinds of lawsuits, malicious prosecution claims are subject to a one-year statute of limitations.

If you were the target of an illegitimate lawsuit, call Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, at 865-546-1111 for help getting the compensation you deserve.