Pines v. Bailey
To prevail on malicious prosecution, a plaintiff must prove: 1.) the defendant police officer brought criminal proceedings against the plaintiff; 2.) criminal proceedings terminated in the plaintiff's favor; 3.) the defendant police officer lacked probable cause; and 4.) the defendant police officer acted with malice. In April 2008, the plaintiff, James Pines, allegedly attempted to retrieve a toiletry bag that contained a gun from his former marital residence, and his wife, from whom he had separated, allegedly locked Pines out of the house and pointed a gun at him. James Pines called 911. Police investigated and discovered a loaded gun on top of the toilet and a loaded shotgun in an upstairs bedroom of the house where the Pines' children were sleeping. Police arrested James Pines, alleging reckless endangerment, improper storage of a firearm and risk of injury to a minor. Pines claimed that he believed the weapons were unloaded and that one of the weapons possessed a trigger lock. Superior Court Judge Richard Dyer dismissed criminal charges in November 2009. Pines sued Detective Michael Bailey, alleging malicious prosecution and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress as a result of alleged errors in the arrest warrant affidavit. Detective Bailey filed a motion for summary judgment and argued that he possessed probable cause to arrest, because the weapons were loaded and accessible to children. The court found that the alleged errors in the arrest warrant affidavit were not extreme and outrageous, as required to allege intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court granted Bailey's motion for summary judgment on the plaintiff's intentional-infliction-of-emotional-distress count. The court found that there were genuine issues of material fact with respect to whether Pines knew that weapons were loaded and accessible to children. A jury reasonably could find that police lacked probable cause to arrest, if the arrest warrant affidavit had been corrected. The court denied Bailey's motion for summary judgment on Pine's malicious prosecution and negligent-infliction-of-emotional-distress counts.