TT&H Attorney Julia Morrison Earns Dismissal of Malicious Prosecution Claim Asserted Against Her Client in York County Suit
August 10, 2022
On July 19, 2022, Attorney Julia Morrison of TT&H’s Camp Hill office won the dismissal, via Preliminary Objections, of a Count against her client which sounded in malicious prosecution and included a prayer for punitive damages. The case stemmed from an intersectional motor vehicle accident. Following the accident, the responding officer wrote a report that charged Julia’s client with a traffic violation for proceeding from a red light. When Julia’s client received the citation and reviewed the police report, he noted several errors and called the investigating officer to clarify the facts of the accident. The investigating officer and his supervisor reviewed dash cam footage of the accident that verified the facts as stated by Julia’s client, and, as a result, withdrew the citation issued to Julia’s client. They then issued a new citation to Plaintiff. Plaintiff was found guilty of turning left without a signal at the Magistrate level, but the citation was dismissed on appeal.
Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant, alleging both negligence in the happening of the accident, and asserting a claim for malicious prosecution. In the latter claim, it was alleged that Julia’s client called upon his “good old boy network,” making her (Plaintiff) the victim of the crime of official oppression. Julia filed Preliminary Objections, arguing that Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Julia argued that, based upon the facts of the Complaint, Plaintiff could not make out the elements of malicious prosecution, those being: (1) that Defendant instituted proceedings against Plaintiff without probable cause, (2) that Defendant instituted the proceedings with malice, and (3) that the proceedings terminated in Plaintiff’s favor. The Court agreed, confirming that no facts were pled establishing that Defendant’s contact compromised the officer’s independent discretion in investigating the accident or deciding whether to pursue charges against Plaintiff. The Court further confirmed that the conviction of Plaintiff by the Magistrate conclusively established the existence of probable cause to bring the citation.
Questions about this case can be directed to Julia Morrison at (717) 441-7056 or firstname.lastname@example.org.