Favorable Termination Standard Extends to Criminal Cases in Tennessee
For close to 20 years, Tennessee law has provided that a civil defendant can pursue a claim for malicious prosecution only if the underlying action was terminated on the merits and indicates the innocence of the defendant. Parrish v. Marquis, 172 S.W.3d 526, 531 (Tenn. 2005). The Tennessee Supreme Court recently extended that rule to criminal cases.
Mynatt v. Nat’l Treas. E’ees Union, Chapter 39, et al., No. 75CC1-2020-CV-77158 (May 4, 2023), involved a former union leader falsely accused and indicted for misusing union funds. After the criminal charges were dismissed, he filed a malicious prosecution action against the union, local chapter, and individuals involved. Those defendants moved to dismiss the suit on grounds that Mynatt did not sufficiently plead that the criminal proceedings terminated in his favor.