Malicious prosecution claims are among the oldest of tort claims under Kentucky law; the law reports discuss them nearly all the way back to when Kentucky became a state. See Frowman v. Smith, 16 Ky. 7 (Ky. 1800): "A person discharged from a prosecution for felony, without a trial on the merits, cannot, in an action for malicious prosecution, require proof of probable cause, until he shows express malice."
(1) the defendant initiated, continued, or procured a criminal or civil judicial proceeding, or an administrative disciplinary proceeding against the plaintiff;
(2) the defendant acted without probable cause;
(3) the defendant acted with malice, which, in the criminal context, means seeking to achieve a purpose other than bringing an offender to justice; and in the civil context, means seeking to achieve a purpose other than the proper adjudication of the claim upon which the underlying proceeding was based;
(4) the proceeding, except in ex parte civil actions, terminated in favor of the person against whom it was brought; and,
(5) the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the proceeding.
The Court added further that "procuring" a criminal or civil judicial proceeding means the same as "being the proximate and efficient cause of putting the law in motion against another person."
The Court's decision was 5-2; Justice Daniel Venters authored the majority opinion joined by Chief Justice John Minton, Justices Mary Noble, Elisabeth Hughes and Samuel Wright; Justice Bill Cunningham "forcefully" dissented and was joined by Justice Michelle Keller.