Malicious Prosecution – Negligence

Ted Mortell and his team obtained final summary judgment on behalf of a defendant in a malicious prosecution and negligence action after over seven years of litigation. The case involved an alleged altercation in Palm Beach when the defendant confronted the plaintiff in defendant’s neighbor’s vacant home. The Plaintiff, a real estate attorney, allegedly went onto the property without authority to obtain the name of the owner in order to deny the Defendant, a real estate agent, a commission on the vacant home. The Plaintiff was subsequently charged with trespass, petit theft, and battery. After the Plaintiff was found not guilty on all counts in the criminal trial, he sued the Defendant for malicious prosecution and negligence. 

The Court determined the plaintiff could not maintain an action for malicious prosecution, as the elements of probable cause were present, and the Defendant was not a legal cause of the criminal prosecution. As to the negligence claim, the Court agreed that the Defendant did not owe any legal duty of care to the Plaintiff arising out of the encounter. The Defendant’s motion for attorney’s fees and costs is pending. 

Edwin “Ted” Mortell, III