Wilbourn v. WilbournAnnotate this Case
This interlocutory appeal stemmed from a trial judge granting partial summary judgment, dismissing a claim of malicious prosecution. Richard and Victoria Wilbourn were in a longstanding domestic matter. Victoria accused Richard of misconduct towards their children, but the chancellor determined that the accusations were unfounded. Victoria went to the Ridgeland Police Department for help and filed an eight-page report against Richard, restating his alleged misconduct. The Ridgeland Police Department followed protocol, investigated, and referred the case to the district attorney’s office. The case was presented to a grand jury; the grand jury returned no bill. Notably, Richard was never charged, indicted, or arrested in connection with the investigation, and Victoria did not swear an affidavit against him. In the summer of 2016, Richard discovered the investigation and grand jury presentment and responded by filing suit, claiming malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. In response, Victoria moved for summary judgment. And after a hearing, the trial judge granted partial summary judgment, dismissing Richard’s claim of malicious prosecution but retaining the others. Definitively, the trial judge found that “no criminal proceedings were instituted and therefore [Richard] cannot satisfy the first element of his claim.” With no arrest or indictment, or Richard otherwise being subjected to oppressive litigation of criminal charges for the report that Victoria gave to the Ridgeland Police Department, the Mississippi Supreme Court concluded the trial court did not err in dismissing Richard's malicious-prosecution claim. The matter was remanded for further proceedings.