TORTS - MALICIOUS PROSECUTION AND FALSE IMPRISONMENT - WOODRUFF V. CITY OF TUSCALOOSA
In Woodruff v. City of Tuscaloosa, [Ms. 1110355, Aug. 17, 2012] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2012), the Supreme Court held that the elements of a malicious prosecution claim a plaintiff must prove are: that the defendant instigated his prosecution "without probable cause and with malice; that the prior proceeding ended in favor of [plaintiff]; and that [plaintiff] was damaged thereby."Id. at * 9, quoting Fina Oil & Chem. Co. v. Hood, 621 So.2d 253, 256 (Ala. 1993). Evidence of a conviction in a municipal court is "prima facie evidence of probable cause for instituting the prosecution, even though the conviction was later vacated." Id. at * 10, quoting Gunter v. Pemco Aeroplex, Inc., 646 So.2d 1332, 1333 (Ala. 1994). Further, pursuant to Ala. Code ¤ 6-5-170 (1975), "false imprisonment consists in the unlawful detention of the person of another for any length of time whereby he is deprived of his personal liberty." Id. at * 12, quoting Crutcher v. Wendy's of North Alabama, Inc., 857 So.2d 82, 91 (Ala. 2003).