Malicious Prosecution, Abuse of Process and False Imprisonment Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your® ID to access the full text of this chapter.
Order from the LexisNexis Store. Formats may include:
  • eBook for Mobipocket readers, including Amazon® Kindle

  • eBook for eReader, including Adobe® Digital Edition, Apple® iPad®, Sony® Reader

  • Print (Hardcover)


Alabama Tort Law
Copyright 2016, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

1-27 Alabama Tort Law 27.syn


Malicious Prosecution, Abuse of Process and False Imprisonment


Gregory S. Cusimano;; Michael L. Roberts

Chapter Summary


This chapter from Alabama Tort Law covers malicious prosecution, abuse of process, and false imprisonment. It begins with a discussion of actions for malicious prosecution by those who are wrongfully sued in a civil case or prosecuted in a criminal case. The chapter explains the elements of a malicious prosecution claim: (1) a judicial proceeding initiated by the defendant; (2) lack of probable cause; (3) malice on the part of the defendant; (4) termination of the proceeding in favor of the plaintiff; and (5) damage to the plaintiff as a result. The chapter further describes the Alabama Medical Liability Act, which provides a special cause of action for malicious prosecution damages arising from medical malpractice actions against health care providers. Next, the chapter discusses the Alabama Litigation Accountability Act of 1987, which empowers a court to award reasonable attorney fees and costs against attorneys and parties who bring civil actions, assert claims therein, or interpose defenses that a court determines to be without substantial justification.

In addition, the chapter covers the tort of abuse of process, which is the wrongful use of process after it has been issued. The chapter examines the elements of the tort as described in Alabama cases, which are the existence of an ulterior purpose, the improper use of rightfully issued process, malice, and a lack of probable cause.

Finally, the chapter describes false imprisonment, which is the unlawful detention of the person of another for any length of time whereby he is deprived of his personal liberty. It explains that false imprisonment and malicious prosecution claims are sometimes pleaded alternatively in the same case; if an arrest is made pursuant to a warrant issued by a lawfully authorized person, neither the arrest nor a subsequent imprisonment is "false," but the complaining party may have a remedy for malicious prosecution.

Alabama Tort Law (Matthew Bender) is the only truly comprehensive resource on tort law in Alabama. With expert discussion of proof requisites and defenses, it covers all the elements of each tort actionable under Alabama law. It provides the information necessary to determine if there is a case and what is needed to prove or defend it. Alabama Tort Law not only provides up-to-date coverage of relevant case law and analysis, it also includes comprehensive appendices with practical material, including checklists and sample complaints for frequently encountered topics.


Alabama,malicious prosecution,abuse of process,false imprisonment,probable cause,malice,Medical Liability Act,medical malpractice,health care provider,Alabama Litigation Accountability Act of 1987,Alabama Litigation Accountability Act,Litigation Accountability Act of 1987,Litigation Accountability Act,attorney fees,costs,ulterior purpose,process,unlawful detention,personal liberty


For a discussion of the state of mind of willfulness, see Chapter 3, Wantonness and Willfulness.

For more information on medical malpractice actions against health care providers, see Chapter 17, Medical Malpractice.

For more information on damages, see Chapter 40, Compensatory Damages; Chapter 41, Compensatory Damages for Injured Property Interests; and Chapter 42, Punitive Damages.

For more information on burdens of proof, see Chapter 44, Evidentiary Issues in Torts.


See Personal Injury: Actions, Defenses, Damages (Matthew Bender) for the largest and most comprehensive case law compendium in legal literature, with encyclopedic treatment of the personal injury law of every American jurisdiction and coverage of theories of recovery, elements of causes of action, necessary allegations, defenses, and damages.

See Personal Injury Defense Techniques (Matthew Bender) for a discussion of a wide range of the substantive and practical legal problems faced by defense counsel, along with suggestions for the best ways to remedy them, with coverage of such topics as insurance defense, liquor liability, medical malpractice, premises liability, products liability, toxic torts, and damages.

See Police Civil Liability (Matthew Bender) for a comprehensive guide to the personal injury and civil rights aspects of police misconduct, with coverage of negligence during police emergencies, false arrest and imprisonment, misuse of weapons, assault and battery, malicious prosecution, Section 1983 and other federal civil rights actions, duty to protect citizens and property, and immunity.

See Damages in Tort Actions (Matthew Bender) for in-depth legal and policy analyses of compensatory and punitive damages in personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage cases, plus case annotations to all jurisdictions and examples of illustrative awards and settlements.

See Louisell & Williams, Medical Malpractice (Matthew Bender) for coverage of actions in tort and for breach of implied contract, a physician's liability for the negligence of other medical personnel, informed consent, malpractice by specific health care providers, hospital liability, and circumvention of the "conspiracy of silence" to win without an expert witness.
If you are interested in obtaining a® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at
Search Documents
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities