793 A.2d 1279 (D.C. 2002), 99-CV-1212, Joeckel v. Disabled American Veterans

Docket Nº99-CV-1212, 99-CV-910.
Citation793 A.2d 1279
Party NameCharles E. JOECKEL, Jr., Appellant/Cross-Appellee, v. DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS, Appellee/Cross-Appellant.
Case DateMarch 21, 2002
CourtCourt of Appeals of Columbia District

Page 1279

793 A.2d 1279 (D.C. 2002)

Charles E. JOECKEL, Jr., Appellant/Cross-Appellee,

v.

DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS, Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

Nos. 99-CV-1212, 99-CV-910.

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

March 21, 2002

Argued Feb. 5, 2002.

Page 1280

John W. Karr, with whom Theodore S. Allison, Washington, DC, was on the brief, for appellant/cross-appellee.

John L. Moore, Jr., Washington, DC, with whom Ada Fernandez Johnson and Christopher J. Clay were on the brief, for appellee/cross-appellant.

Before FARRELL, RUIZ, and GLICKMAN, Associate Judges.

RUIZ, Associate Judge:

Charles Joeckel, Jr. appeals from an order of the Superior Court which granted summary judgment against him and in favor of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) on Joeckel's complaint which alleged that DAV had "unlawfully, willfully, maliciously and without probable cause" brought a civil action against him in the state of Kentucky. Because Joeckel has not alleged that he has suffered the "special injury" required under the current state of our law to maintain such a suit, we affirm. [1]

I.

FACTUAL SUMMARY

Appellant served as National Adjutant of DAV from 1988 to 1993, having risen from a position as a clerk to one of DAV's highest ranking positions over the span of his 18 years as an employee for the veterans service organization. During Joeckel's tenure as National Adjutant, DAV paid $80,000 to a DAV employee and his wife as part of the settlement of a lawsuit which alleged that Joeckel had sexually harassed the employee's wife after a business meeting sponsored by DAV. [2] In the wake of controversy over the use of DAV funds to settle the suit, DAV ultimately terminated Joeckel's employment. That decision was upheld by a DAV termination review board, which found that Joeckel had, without proper authorization, used organizational funds to pay a private debt.

Subsequently, DAV sought recovery of the $80,000, which it alleged Joeckel had misappropriated, under the employee theft provisions of its insurance policy with Fireman's Fund Insurance Company (FFIC). When FFIC refused to indemnify DAV, the organization brought suit against the insurer in Jefferson County Circuit Court in Louisville, Kentucky. [3] In the same Kentucky court, DAV also filed suit against Joeckel, seeking recovery of the $80,000 on theories of conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and various equitable theories. [4] Joeckel counterclaimed for damages and equitable relief associated with his discharge and the revocation of his DAV membership. [5]

Page 1281

DAV eventually settled its claim against FFIC, but not for the full amount for which it had sought indemnification. The organization thus continued to pursue its action against appellant which culminated, after a full trial, in a jury verdict in favor of Joeckel on all of DAV's claims. With legal victory in hand, Joeckel then filed a one-count complaint for malicious prosecution in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, alleging that DAV's "initiation and prosecution of the Kentucky lawsuit against [him] was unfounded and known to be so by DAV, and was done unlawfully, willfully, maliciously and without probable cause, and with an intent to injure [him]." Joeckel asserted that, as a proximate result of DAV's actions, he had suffered "economic damages and losses, humiliation and embarrassment, emotional damages, and injury to his reputation," as well as "other damages."

DAV moved for summary judgment pursuant to Super. Ct. Civ. R. 56(b), arguing that Joeckel could not establish the necessary elements of a claim for malicious prosecution. DAV first submitted that Joeckel had failed to present any evidence that he suffered the requisite "special injury" as a result of the Kentucky action. Second, the DAV contended that it had ample probable cause for bringing the Kentucky suit against Joeckel; and third, DAV claimed that Joeckel's allegations of malice could not be sustained because they were based on acts and events that had been the subject of prior final judgments in DAV's favor. The trial court granted DAV's motion for summary judgment, explaining that the expense of defending the Kentucky suit, the emotional and physical distress of that litigation, and the harm to Joeckel's reputation, did not amount to the "special injury" necessary to support a cause of action for malicious prosecution. [6] Joeckel filed a timely notice of appeal from the trial court's order.

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52 practice notes
  • In re Ellipso, Inc., 020711 DCBC, 09-00148
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Bankruptcy Courts District of Columbia Circuit
    • 7 February 2011
    ...suit; and (4) special injury occasioned by plaintiff as the result of the original action." Joeckel v. Disabled American Veterans , 793 A.2d 1279, 1282 (D.C. 2002). While there is no dispute that Mann Technologies prevailed in the District Court lawsuit, there are unresolved questions ......
  • 108 A.3d 334 (D.C. 2015), 12-CV-403, Havilah Real Property Services v. VLK, LLC
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 29 January 2015
    ...review is the same as the trial court's standard in considering the motion for summary judgment." Joeckel v. Disabled Am. Veterans, 793 A.2d 1279, 1281 (D.C. 2002). Summary judgment is granted if there are no genuine issues as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to ju......
  • Johnson v. District of Columbia, 031220 DCCA, 17-CV-485
    • United States
    • 12 March 2020
    ...as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Joeckel v. Disabled Am. Veterans, 793 A.2d 1279, 1281 (D.C. 2002). Evidence should be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, but "mere conclusory alleg......
  • 960 A.2d 617 (D.C. 2008), 07-CV-551, Adolph Coors Co. v. Truck Ins. Exchange
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 26 November 2008
    ...of summary judgment in favor of TIE. I. We review the grant of a motion for summary judgment de novo. Joeckel v. Disabled Am. Veterans, 793 A.2d 1279, 1281 (D.C.2002). Summary judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to ......
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52 cases
  • In re Ellipso, Inc., 020711 DCBC, 09-00148
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Bankruptcy Courts District of Columbia Circuit
    • 7 February 2011
    ...suit; and (4) special injury occasioned by plaintiff as the result of the original action." Joeckel v. Disabled American Veterans , 793 A.2d 1279, 1282 (D.C. 2002). While there is no dispute that Mann Technologies prevailed in the District Court lawsuit, there are unresolved questions ......
  • 108 A.3d 334 (D.C. 2015), 12-CV-403, Havilah Real Property Services v. VLK, LLC
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 29 January 2015
    ...review is the same as the trial court's standard in considering the motion for summary judgment." Joeckel v. Disabled Am. Veterans, 793 A.2d 1279, 1281 (D.C. 2002). Summary judgment is granted if there are no genuine issues as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to ju......
  • Johnson v. District of Columbia, 031220 DCCA, 17-CV-485
    • United States
    • 12 March 2020
    ...as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Joeckel v. Disabled Am. Veterans, 793 A.2d 1279, 1281 (D.C. 2002). Evidence should be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, but "mere conclusory alleg......
  • 960 A.2d 617 (D.C. 2008), 07-CV-551, Adolph Coors Co. v. Truck Ins. Exchange
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 26 November 2008
    ...of summary judgment in favor of TIE. I. We review the grant of a motion for summary judgment de novo. Joeckel v. Disabled Am. Veterans, 793 A.2d 1279, 1281 (D.C.2002). Summary judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to ......
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