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You Don't Have to Be the Prosecutor to be Liable for Malicious Prosecution

01 Mar 2003

Where plaintiff accused his former business partners of giving false testimony to federal authorities, which led to his indictment for bribery and bid-rigging, the trial court erred in dismissing his malicious prosecution claim against the former partners. Allen v. Berger, No. 1-00-2676, 2002 Ill.App. LEXIS 1266 (1st Dist. Dec. 31, 2002). The appellate court said that while citizens acting in good faith who have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed should not be deterred from reporting it, when someone instead makes a knowingly false report to a prosecuting officer, the resulting prosecution is attributable to that person and he may be held accountable for the damages that result. Practice tip: What goes around comes around.

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