criminal complaint. In the latter situation, the question is what the defendant
believed,rather than what the defendant
believed. Moreover, the defendant is not liable in sucha situation if he or she made a full and fair disclosure of the facts to the prosecuting authorities.On the other hand, in the context of a criminal case, the complainant's failure to fully andfairly disclose all material information or knowing provision of false information to theprosecutor, while relevant to the malice and causation elements of a malicious prosecutionaction, have no bearing on probable cause. This is because the existence of probable causedepends only on the complainant's reasonable belief, based on the information available to thecomplainant before criminal proceedings began, that the elements of a crime had beencommitted. The reasonableness of such a belief is not negated by the failure to disclose fully allrelevant facts to the prosecutor.Furthermore, proof that a defendant provided false information is not sufficient. Proof that the false information ''caused a criminal prosecution'' is also required. In other words, theremust be proof that the prosecutor acted based on the false information and that but for such falseinformation the decision would not have been made. For instance, in a malicious prosecutionaction based on theft charges, the owners of a company planned to book guided hunts based onarrangements made by the guides, but spoke to police after becoming concerned that the guideshad misappropriated a deposit. The guides contended that false information was given to thepolice, including knowingly false information that the business had booked several hunters andthat the guides had not reserved any animals. But, even assuming the truth of these contentions,the prosecutor testified that the determinative issue for him was whether the guides had acceptedmoney without being ready, willing, and able to perform their agreement to provide huntingguide services. Because the decision to prosecute was within another's discretion, the guides hadthe burden of proving that the decision would not have been made but for the false information.Even if the guides' contention was true, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the false statementswere not the determining factor in the decision to commence the prosecution. Although theguides argued that causation could be inferred from the falsity of the statements, the Courtdisagreed because this was not the only information that the prosecutor and the subsequent grandjury relied on in deciding to prosecute the guides. King v. Graham, 47 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 85, 126S.W.3d 75, 78-79 (Tex. 2003).Significantly, the decision in the
King v. Graham
case raises the bar for maliciousprosecution claimants a notch higher than the Texas Supreme Court's prior decisions. It appearsthat, in future cases, testimony from the prosecutor will be needed that, but for the falseinformation, no prosecution would have been made. It is anticipated that it will be difficult toobtain this kind of exculpatory testimony.The defendant has not acted on probable cause in instituting a criminal prosecution if heor she knew that the plaintiff was not guilty of the charge that the defendant lodged against theplaintiff. Nevertheless, if all the objective elements of a crime reasonably appear to have beencompleted, the complainant has no duty to make a further investigation into the suspect's state of mind.