Criminal Complaints and Damages from Malicious Prosecution

If the respondent (the person against whom the complaint is filed) in a criminal complaint wins, which means that the complaint is dismissed, is the respondent entitled to payment by the complainant (the person who filed the complaint)?

As a rule, the respondent is not entitled to the payment of damages if the criminal complaint is dismissed. This appears to be wrong considering that the respondent, in defending the case, most probably hired and spent for a lawyer to defend the suit. However, every person has the right to file a complaint for redress of grievances. The mere filing of a complaint does not entitle the respondent to damages. Otherwise, as the Supreme Court noted, “peaceful recourse to the courts will be greatly discouraged and the exercise of one’s right to litigate would become meaningless and empty.”

On the other hand, the respondent may claim damages in a civil case for malicious prosecution. The culprit is not the filing of the criminal complaint, but the deliberate initiation of an action with the knowledge that the charges were false and groundless.

The respondent may successfully claim for damages against the complainant if the following are shown by sufficient evidence: (1) the complainant caused the prosecution in the criminal complaint; (2) the criminal action was dismissed or the accused was acquitted; (3) the complainant, in bringing the action, had no probable cause; and (4) the complainant was impelled by legal malice — an improper or a sinister motive — in filing the criminal charges.

4 thoughts on “Criminal Complaints and Damages from Malicious Prosecution

  1. Spinward

    My wife left me for another man and after a year and a half, filed R.A. 9262 complaints against me by making up false stories and with not one shred of evidence against me.
    I replied to the prosecutor during the investigation by denying her nonsensical stories and demonstrating that she had an affair and left over a year ago.
    The prosecutor indicted me anyway and EVEN EMBELISHED HER COMPLAINT. The charge against me now alleges things that are not even in her complaint affidavit. It’s as if she and the prosecutor are working together! I was shocked at her ridiculous and baseless complaint and then I am charged with things not even in the complaint!
    Can the prosecutor be liable once I am acquitted? If so, what can I file against him for making up his own charges not supported by the complaint?
    Thanks. This sucks.

  2. Jeff

    Question: Can i file suit against my wife when wrongfully sues me to cover or use the law unjustly at her favor to cover her immoral acts? – My wife has filed against me to have committed VAWC under the offence of psychological and verbal abuse. But so far has no sufficient evidences to show the lower court of the capability of the respondent to inflict harm or any of the above to the petitioner and was also not granted by the court for an extension of the temporary protection order. While at the other hand, before her case was filed, the respondent (VAWC case) discovers a sex video, by mere chance, with all the necessary physical attributes like e.g. birth marks, mole, shape and form of ears that is exactly identifiable to the wife as the main character but the one taking the video who is the paramour can not be identified because he is behind the camera. As far as filing a case against my wife for adultery can not prosper since both offenders should be identified which is the adulteress and her paramour, what could be done to enable this offence to come out in order for me to gain sufficient ground to charge my wife with adultery?

  3. amber

    sir what if he prosecutor saw probable cause that’s why the person is charged?then the case was dismissed because the complainant is went out of the country?will the respondent can still file a case to the complainant?what case will it be?

  4. Menorah

    Is the proof of receipt of a subpoena necessary before a fiscal can make a resolution? I was served by warrant of arrest with
    the present of the complainant and the arresting officer without receiving anything that somebody filed a complaint against me and now on bail, Can I ask your legal opinion on this?


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