Merrick Brock Files Malicious Prosecution Suit in the City of Richmond

Merrick Brock, PLLC, recently filed a lawsuit on our client’s behalf for malicious prosecution against Rimtyme Custom Wheels seeking $850,000.00 in the City of Richmond Circuit Court. The case is pending against Viola Leasing, Inc., d/b/a Rimtyme Custom Wheels and Tires of Richmond VA, Case No. CL19-5130, and alleges that Rimtyme improperly initiated and cooperated in a criminal prosecution against our client in an effort to collect money that it claimed to be due after leasing rims and tires. Our client was charged with a felony, which was eventually nolle prosequi (dismissed) by the Commonwealth’s Attorney. The lawsuit seeks $500,000.00 in compensatory damages for the shame, embarrassment, humiliation, and reputational damage suffered by our client, as well as $350,000.00 in punitive damages that are designed to punish a defendant for callous and malicious conduct and also serve as an example to other businesses who abuse the criminal system for their own pecuniary gain.

If you have been falsely charged with a crime, you may have a claim for malicious prosecution against the person or persons who initiated and/or cooperated in the criminal proceeding. In order to prevail on a claim for malicious prosecution, you must be able to prove: (1) the prosecution was instituted by, or with the cooperation of, the defendant; (2) the prosecution was terminated in a manner not unfavorable to the plaintiff; (3) the prosecution was without probable cause; and (4) the prosecution was malicious.

When someone is arrested, particularly in front of their family, friends and/or neighbors, it is embarrassing, humiliating, and terrifying. After the initial arrest, worry, fear and anxiety creep in as a court date approaches and with it, the potential for a jail sentence and significant fines. You lose sleep, time from work, and spend your hard-earned money to pay for your defense. If you are the victim of a malicious prosecution, you can recover money as compensation for this terrible experience.

Virginia law allows you to recover compensatory damages sustained as a result of the malicious prosecution. This can include such things as: (1) damage to your reputation; (2) the embarrassment and humiliation of being arrested; (3) the inconvenience of being arrested, booked, arraigned, and potentially jailed until you obtain bond or get the charges dismissed; (4) the cost of paying for a criminal defense lawyer; (5) the emotional toll from the uncertainty of the criminal process, including the fear of being sentenced to jail or prison and having a permanent criminal record; and 6) any lost wages or other financial impact.

Virginia law also allows for the recovery of punitive damages whenever a defendant’s conduct is found to be so willful and wanton that it shows a conscious disregard of the rights of others. Punitive damages are available to punish the wrongdoer and to serve as a deterrent to others.

If you are the victim of a malicious prosecution, contact Merrick Brock, PLLC, to discuss whether you may be entitled to money damages for this terrible injustice.

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