A claim from a malicious prosecution case is called a tort. This is typically a dignitary tort because the original case being pursued could bring injury to human dignity, cause emotional distress, or abuse to the plaintiff. For example, a tort action filed in civil court would be for the purpose of the plaintiff receiving compensation for the harm caused by the original lawsuit.
Civil or criminal malicious prosecution cases can occur, the difference between them is the evidence used to support these claims:
- Most cases filed under malicious prosecution can be pursued without tangible evidence, for example mental health damages and suffering would fall under general damages and would not require physical evidence
- However, civil cases would require quantifiable proof that damages have occurred
Any case brought forward with a questionable amount of evidence may be subject to malicious prosecution including an unreasonable search warrant.