Malicious prosecution occurs when one party has knowingly and with malicious intent initiated or caused baseless litigation against another party. This includes both criminal charges and civil claims.
Colorado allows recovery for claims based on civil suits so long as the plaintiff (who would have been the defendant in the original case) wins the original case and is able to prove the other party’s malicious intent and lack of probable cause.
Generally, any malicious legal action that lacks probable cause may give rise to a malicious prosecution claim.
Typically, plaintiffs in malicious prosecution cases seek to recover any expenses, or damages, they incur as a result of the maliciously prosecuted case. This can extend to attorney’s fees, costs of litigation, lost income from time spent incarcerated or being otherwise unable to work, and other compensation. In some cases, plaintiffs can receive compensation for the emotional distress of withstanding an abuse of the justice system. Plaintiffs may also sue for damaged reputation and lost future earning potential.