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Malicious prosecution. Clayton Superior Court. Before Judge Kemp.
This case involves a suit for damages in which plaintiff alleges the defendant maliciously prosecuted him by taking out a peace warrant without reason therefor and for the purpose of injuring him. The petition alleges that the prosecution ended in his favor when the charges against him were dismissed after a hearing. Defendant answered, denying the claim for damages against him, but admitting that he had dismissed the plaintiff from his job and requested that he leave the premises, at which time plaintiff became angry, calling him a "low down s.o.b.," and knowing that the plaintiff carried a pistol in his tool box which was readily available to him and being in fear of his life, he admitted that he took out a peace warrant for his protection. He also alleges that a personal friend of the plaintiffs in the shop became enraged over the firing and advised him that he would return with the plaintiff and that they would kill him and he also called him a "low down s.o.b."
After trial a verdict was returned in favor of the plaintiff in the sum of $17,500 and the judgment followed the verdict. A motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or in the alternative, motion for new trial, was filed by the defendant, and after a hearing the same was denied. Defendant appeals. Held:
Creighton, 56 Ga. App. 467 (193 SE 78); Campbell v. Tatum, 71 Ga. App. 58 (30 SE2d 56); Stinespring v. Fields, 139 Ga. App. 715 (1).
2. Defendant contends that the verdict should be set aside because plaintiff failed to prove malice or want of probable cause but, again, the evidence was sufficient to authorize the jury to find that the defendant was without probable cause in taking out the peace warrant against him. A total want of probable cause is a circumstance from which malice may be inferred, but such inference may be rebutted by proof. Code 105-804; Progressive Life Ins. Co. v. Doster, 98 Ga. App. 641, 642 (4) (106 SE2d 307).
3. Defendant also contends the verdict is excessive. In such cases there is no exact measure of damage, but the jury should weigh the worldly circumstances of the parties and all the attendant facts, as well as any proof of expenses, loss of time, and other damages, if any. See Code 105-2003; Coleman v. Allen, 79 Ga. 637, 638 (5) (5 SE 204). See also Stinespring v. Fields, 139 Ga. App. 715 (4), supra. However, defendant has not pointed out any evidence which shows that the jury was guilty of bias and prejudice in its verdict. No bias or prejudice of the jury being indicated, the verdict will not be disturbed.
W. Ron Bryan, for appellee.
Leiter & Leiter, Robert Paul Leiter, Beulah J. Leiter, for appellant.
Friday May 22 07:56 EDT

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