Malicious Prosecution Suit May Not be Based on Dismissal via Settlement, Middle Section Rules

THOMAS R. MEEKS v. CARRIE GASAWAY, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Joseph Napiltonia, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Thomas R. Meeks.

Dominic Joseph Leonardo, Nashville, Tennessee; Mitchell Todd Hingson, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Carrie Gasaway, Edward Farmer, and Gasaway, Long, & Farmer, PLLC; Fletcher Long, Clarksville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Judge: COTTRELL

A bail bondsman filed suit against an attorney over title to several pieces of land. The suit went to trial before a jury, but the parties settled before a verdict was announced. The attorney subsequently sued the bail bondsman’s attorneys for malicious prosecution and other torts. The defendant attorneys filed a Rule 12.02(6) motion to dismiss, arguing that the parties’ agreement to settle the underlying case negated one of the elements of a malicious prosecution claim, “a final and favorable termination” of the underlying suit in favor of the defendant. The motion also argued that the complaint did not sufficiently allege the elements of the other causes of action. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, finding that the plaintiff attorney had failed to state a claim for relief under any of the causes of action. We affirm the trial court.

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