DEFAMATION AND MALICIOUS PROSECUTION CAUSES OF ACTION SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DISMISSED, ELEMENTS EXPLAINED (THIRD DEPT).
The Third Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff had stated causes of action for malicious prosecution and defamation Defendant, Goyer, was the town deputy clerk and plaintiff was the town supervisor. Goyer had filed a harassment complaint against plaintiff alleging he physically prevented her from entering a conference room at the town hall. Plaintiff was acquitted and then brought this lawsuit:
Accepting plaintiff’s allegations as true, as we must, the complaint adequately alleges that Goyer “knowingly provided false information to the police” and such allegations are “sufficient to state that the complainant initiated the proceeding by playing an active role in the other party’s arrest and prosecution” … . …
The incident report — which was attached to and incorporated into the complaint — indicates that, on the evening in question, Goyer attempted to enter a conference room at the Town Hall when plaintiff stepped to the side and blocked her from entering. Goyer indicated that, when she attempted to then go around him, plaintiff “put his arm up in front of [her] to block [her]” and “reached in front of [her,] grabbed [certain office supplies and] tried to pull them out of [her] hand” while screaming “[g]et out” and “[y]ou can’t come in here.” The statements contained in the information, supporting deposition and incident report were thereafter “published and/or republished to the press.” Inasmuch as these statements provide allegations of fact indicating that plaintiff subjected Goyer to unwanted physical contact while at the Town Hall, on the night of a Town Board meeting, at a time when plaintiff was acting in his official capacity as Town Supervisor, they provide “more than a general reflection upon [plaintiff]’s character or qualities” … . Higgins v Goyer, 2018 NY Slip Op 04067, Third Dept 6-7-18
DEFAMATION (DEFAMATION AND MALICIOUS PROSECUTION CAUSES OF ACTION SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DISMISSED, ELEMENTS EXPLAINED (THIRD DEPT))/MALICIOUS PROSECUTION (DEFAMATION AND MALICIOUS PROSECUTION CAUSES OF ACTION SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DISMISSED, ELEMENTS EXPLAINED (THIRD DEPT))