Can I sue my ex wife for having me falsely arrested? 21 Answers as of June 26, 2013

My ex, who was living with me at the time, had me falsely arrested for felony domestic assault and felony unlawful restraint.

That evening she was extremely out of control on pills. I told her she needed to leave and I was tired of her drug abuse.

She refused to leave and became even more irratic. I called the police to come and take care of the situation.

She tried to flee before they arrived but she was stopped in the driveway. The cops asked what would resolve the situation and I told them i didn't want her at my house, so they told her to leave.

Before she left they asked the two of us separately if there was any physical contact and we both said no, as there wasn't.

The next afternoon she changed her story and went to the police department and wrote a statement saying that I punched her in the face, and held her in the house against her will.

She also had a temporary relief from abuse order put on me and i was forced to leave my own house for 5 days even though she wasn't there.

We went to court for the abuse order and she told a completely different story then the statement she wrote originally and coulnd't remember most of it.

Because of her inability to remember her facts and obvious lying in the courtroom, a permanent abuse order was not issued and all criminal charges were dismissed.

I have not been able to find work due to the felony charges I had pending. The charges were only dismissed last week after 5 months. Is there any action i can take on this matter?

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Lapin Law Offices
Lapin Law Offices | Jeffrey Lapin
You might have a case of "malicious prosecution" against your ex-wife. To win a case for "malicious prosecution" you must prove all of the following: (1) that your ex-wife caused criminal proceeding to be filed against you; (2) that your ex-wife did not have probable cause for causing the criminal case to be filed against you; (3) that your ex-wife was motivated by malice; (4) that the criminal case was a proximate cause of some damage to you; and (5) the nature and extent of that damage. The first element is established as you were arrested and charged. The fourth and fifth are also probably established. What you would need to prove is that your ex-wife did not have "probable cause" and was acting out of "malice." These may be more difficult to prove as you indicate that the charges were dropped because of your ex-wife's "inability to remember her facts and obvious lying in the courtroom." This does not mean what she said about being assaulted was not true, at least in her mind, and that she called the police out of "malice" instead of paranoia or a genuine fear for her safety. You were not proven to have not assaulted her; the charges were dismissed because your ex-wife gave conflicting versions of what occurred. This distinction is important. I would suggest contact an attorney to further discuss your rights and options.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/30/2012
Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
Yes, but will it be worth it?
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/27/2012
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
As a practical matter, no. you are in a typical domestic case. Women have been doing this to their husbands for many years. Works too, as you found out.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 8/24/2012
Timiney Law Firm
Timiney Law Firm | Leigh Anne Timiney
I would suggest you contact a civil attorney in your area and discuss this case more fully with an attorney. It does appear you have suffered damages as a result of your ex-wife's false claims.

That being said, if you were to bring a lawsuit against her and prevail in court, would she have the means to pay you for any damage you have suffered?

Lawsuits are expensive and time consuming and you could end up spending a significant amount of money and time pursuing a claim against her and finding in the end you are not able to collect from her.

Additionally, in most jurisdictions, making a false police report is a criminal matter. Perhaps you could press criminal charges against her for the false accusation and claim and pursue the matter that way.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 8/24/2012
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
Perhaps, but is it worth it? Are you going to sue her for damages? What money does she have?

If you want to pursue it, get in touch with a personal injury attorney to go over your options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/24/2012
    Law Office of Ronald G. Draper | Ronald G. Draper
    Yes, you could sue her for abuse of legal process, slander, etc,. However, is it worth it to you? Does she have assets worth trying to pursue a claim?
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    The wagon of love breaks under the baggage of life. Your story is a broken record the cops and the courts have heard a billion times. Your arrest wasn't false. It was all too real now wasn't it. You should have left the house before shit hit the fan. Leave her alone, pay your child support, all of it, and carry on.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    You can sue your ex-wife. Is she a millionaire? If not, what are you going to get?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/22/2013
    Behren Law Firm
    Behren Law Firm | Scott Behren
    Might be claims for malicious prosecution, false arrest, abuse of process.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    You can theoretically sue her for false arrest. Does she have assets or a liability insurance policy that would satisfy a judgment?
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    There is a civil cause of action for "Malicious Prosecution". According to the case of BANKS v. NORDSTROM, INC., 57 Wn. App. 251, 787 P.2d 953 (1990), "In order to maintain an action for malicious prosecution, the plaintiff must establish "(1) that the prosecution claimed to have been malicious was instituted or continued by the defendant; (2) that there was want of probable cause for the institution or continuation of the prosecution; (3) that the proceedings were instituted or continued through malice; (4) that the proceedings terminated on the merits in favor of the plaintiff, or were abandoned; and (5) that the plaintiff suffered injury or damage as a result of the prosecution." You can read cases on the MRSC.org website.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    You have a very good case against her, but I suspect your problem will be collecting any judgment that you get. Does she have money or assets that could be used to satisfy a judgment against her? If she does, then you should retain an attorney who has tried this type of case in the past and knows how to do this.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/22/2012
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