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Malicious Prosecution

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This decision holds that a judge's denial of a motion for acquittal under Pen. Code 1118.1 in a criminal prosecution of the later plaintiff suing for malicious prosecution is sufficient to invoke the interim adverse decision rule, barring the required finding of lack of probable cause, without which the malicious prosecution action cannot succeed.  The opinion also Cel-Tech's tethering test… Read More

Agreeing with Connelly v. Bornstein (2019) 33 Cal.App.5th 783 and Garcia v. Rosenberg (2019) 42 Cal.App.5th 1050, this decision holds that CCP 340.6's one-year limitations periods governs a malicious prosecution action against the attorney for the opposing party in the underlying litigation.  CCP 340.6(a)(2) tolls that one-year period during the time “[t]he attorney continues to represent the plaintiff regarding the… Read More

The interim adverse judgment rule bars malicious prosecution actions by establishing probable cause for bringing the action.  However, that rule applies only to judgments or rulings on formal dispositive motions, not oral remarks from the bench during the course of trial which are not rulings on any matter then pending for decision.  Furthermore, the fraud or perjury exception to the… Read More

This decision holds that Gov. Code 821.6 immunizes governmental entities and employees only from tort claims that allege damage resulting from the initiation or prosecution of official judicial proceedings, not injury from preparatory work such as investigation.  Other immunity provisions may apply to immunize the investigatory work, but section 821.6 does not. Read More

Claiming plaintiffs assaulted him, defendant filed a police report which led to plaintiffs' arrest.  However, the DA declined to file charges against plaintiffs and they were released without a criminal prosecution ever being commenced against them.  Following Van Audenhove v. Perry (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 915, this decision holds that mere arrest without the filing of criminal charges is insufficient to… Read More

Unclean hands may be raised as a defense to a malicious prosecution action.  Here, the jury voted in favor of the defense based on evidence that the plaintiff had lied at her deposition in the underlying action, leading the defendant not to amend its cross-complaint after plaintiff's demurrer to it was sustianed with leave to amend.   Whether the particular misconduct… Read More

This decision affirms the granting of a defendant law firm's Anti-SLAPP motion to strike a malicious prosecution action against it, finding the firm had probable cause to name a citizens group and some of its individual members as defendants in a quiet title action that sought to confirm the law firm's client's ownership of water rights in a creek.  The… Read More

The favorable termination element of a malicious prosecution action may be satisfied if one or more of the claims alleged in the underlying action was dismissed on the merits--even if other claims were dismissed for procedural reasons (such as the bar of the statute of limitations).  Here, several of the claims in the underlying action were dismissed as time-barred, but… Read More

The trial court properly determined, as a matter of law, that defendant attorneys lacked probable cause to file and to continue prosecuting an action by a mobilehome park resident against the park owner for interference with the resident's contract to sell her mobilehome to a third party.  The Mobilehome Residency Law at the time allowed park owners to require would-be… Read More

Shloss was Cohen's attorney in a disability discrimination suit Cohen brought against Golden State when one of its delivery drivers parked in a disabled persons parking spot to make a delivery.  Cohen claimed the delivery truck kept him from parking the disabled spot and thus blocked his access to nearby business A.  At trial, Cohen had no evidence to show… Read More

In reviewing an order denying an Anti-SLAPP motion in a malicious prosecution case, the appellate court applies the norrmal standard of review, drawing all inferences in favor of the non-moving party.  Those inferences will not affect the case when it proceeds to trial.  And the appellate court's affirmance of the order denying the Anti-SLAPP motion will only preclude a summary… Read More

The interim adverse judgment rule did not prevent this malicious prosecution action because the maliciious prosecution defendant had engineered a denial of the defense summary judgment motion in the underlying action by withholding of a critical piece of evidence in willful violation of multiple court orders--which had it been produced would have resulted in summary judgment being awarded.  The withheld… Read More

A unilateral dismissal of the underlying action while facing a motion for terminating discovery sanctions was a favorable termination sufficient to serve as the basis for a malicious prosecution action by the former defendant even though the dismissal was accompanied by a negotiated payment of less than all of the former defendant's legal fees.  The slight reduction in fees was… Read More

The favorable termination element of a malicious prosecution claim cannot be satisfied if the plaintiff in the underlying action prevailed on any claim. Read More

A person who is arrested, but not ultimately prosecuted, may not maintain an action for malicious prosecution against the witness whose complaint prompted the arrest.  Read More