Harvill v. Tabor

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Citation240 Miss. 750,128 So.2d 863
Docket NumberNo. 41821,41821
PartiesM. C. HARVILL v. James A. TABOR et al.
Decision Date17 April 1961

J. Crawford Neill, Carrollton, Robertson Horton, Winona, for appellant.

J. W. Conger, Rupert Ringold, Winona, for appellee.


Appellant sued appellees, who compose a partnership engaged in the automobile business, for damages resulting from alleged malicious prosecution. One of the appellees, acting for the partnership, made affidavit against appellee in a court of a justice of the peace under the 'Bad Check Law', resulting in appellant being arrested and incarcerated in jail for several days, after which he was released on bail to await the action of the grand jury. Appellees did not appear before the grand jury and appellant was not indicted. The jury found for appellees and appellant appeals here.

The check involved was given appellees by appellant in connection with the purchase of a truck. Appellees contend it was given as the cash down payment on the truck. Appellant contends it was a post dated check, and this is the only significant dispute in the testimony. The transaction giving rise to the check was dated December 13, 1957. The check for which appellant was arrested was actually dated December 1, 1958. One of the appellees actually wrote the check and appellant signed it. James A. Tabor, who made out the check, testified that he inadvertently wrote December 1, 1958 as the date of the check instead of December 13, 1957. The jury apparently believed the testimony of James A. Tabor. There was other evidence tending to show the check was given as a note to be paid on or before December 1, 1958, as appellant contends. The check was deposited in the bank shortly after December 13, 1957, and was returned unpaid either because of insufficient funds or because the account of appellant in the bank on which it was drawn had been closed. James A. Tabor made out the affidavit against appellant on February 19, 1959, and appellant was thereafter arrested as above stated.

In order to maintain an action for malicious prosecution, the plaintiff must establish the following elements: (1) The institution or continuation of original judicial proceedings, either criminal or civil (the proceeding here is criminal); (2) by, or at the instance of the defendants; (3) the termination of such proceeding in plaintiff's favor; (4) malice in instituting the proceeding; (5) want of probable cause for the proceedings; and (6) the suffering of damages as a result of the action or prosecution complained of. 34 Am.Jur., Malicious Prosecution, Section 6, page 706; 54 C.J.S. Malicious Prosecution Sec. 4, p. 955.

In this case the pleadings admit or the plaintiff established without dispute elements (1), (2), (3) and (6), and as to those elements there can be no question. Appellant contends that the evidence established elements (4) and (5) as a matter of law and that appellant should have been granted his requested peremptory instruction.

On the question whether the evidence established elements (4) and (5) as a matter of law, we must and do consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the appellees. Therefore, we shall only consider the testimony of James A. Tabor, the appellee-partner who made the criminal affidavit and set in motion the criminal proceeding against appellant.

On the question of malice, Tabor testified without equivocation that he made the affidavit against appellant 'to collect my money' and for no other reason. He so testified several times. There is no evidence in the record to the contrary. The evidence shows without dispute that Tabor was not interested or motivated by any desire to bring an offender to justice. Tabor did testify that he had no malice toward appellant, but malice in fact and malice in law are not to be confused. The ordinary and popular meaning of malice is usually associated with anger, hatred, ill will, and the like. Such malice in fact may exist with malice in law, but malice in law may exist independently of malice in fact. And when, as here, there is no actual malice in fact, the element of malice is supplied by wantonly instituting the criminal proceedings to collect...

To continue reading

Request your trial
39 cases
  • Sanders v. Daniel Intern. Corp., 65529
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 18, 1984
    ...A.2d 981, 983 (1977); Sottile v. DeNike, 20 Mich.App. 468, 174 N.W.2d 148 (1969); Owens v. Kroger Co., supra, at 847; Harvill v. Tabor, 240 Miss. 750, 128 So.2d 863, 864-65 (1961); Miller v. Watkins, 653 P.2d 126, 131 (Mont.1982); Hackler v. Miller, 79 Neb. 209, 114 Page 810 N.W. 274 (1907)......
  • O'Toole v. Franklin
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • September 13, 1977
    ...433 (1808); Brand v. Hinchman, 68 Mich. 590, 36 N.W. 664 (1888); O'Neill v. Johnson, 53 Minn. 439, 55 N.W. 601 (1893); Harvill v. Tabor, 240 Miss. 750, 128 So.2d 863 (1961); Brady v. Ervin, 48 Mo. 533 (1871); McCormick Harvesting Mach. Co. v. Willan, 63 Neb. 391, 88 N.W. 497 (1901); Kolka v......
  • City of Mound Bayou v. Johnson, 07-IA-59507
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • April 18, 1990
    ...251 Miss. 398, 405-08, 169 So.2d 819, 821-22 (1964); Pulliam v. Ott, 246 Miss. 739, 743-44, 150 So.2d 143, 145 (1963); Harvill v. Tabor, 240 Miss. 750, 753, 128 So.2d 863, 864 (1961). We perceive no reason on principle why a different--and longer--period of limitations should apply to an ac......
  • Hyde Construction Co., Inc. v. Koehring Company, 4478
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Mississippi
    • December 31, 1974
    ...Brown v. Kisner, 192 Miss. 746, 6 So.2d 611 (1942); State Life Ins. Co. v. Hardy, 189 Miss. 266, 195 So. 708 (1940). In Harvill v. Tabor, 240 Miss. 750, 128 So.2d 863, 864 (Miss.1961), the Supreme Court of Mississippi delineated the six elements of malicious prosecution: "(1) The institutio......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT