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Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 11-L-1258. Honorable, John T. Elsner, Judge, Presiding.
In an action for malicious prosecution arising from plaintiff's acquittal in a criminal prosecution for using checks which were returned for insufficient funds to pay for automobile parts he purchased at defendant's store, the trial court properly entered summary judgment for defendants, since the criminal prosecution was not commenced or continued by defendants, but by two police officers who conducted an independent investigation based on information provided by defendant owner, and, in the absence of any evidence that the police acted without probable cause or any purpose other than seeking justice, plaintiff failed to show any malice was involved.
William G. Hutul, William G. Hutul, P.C., of Carol Stream, for Appellant.
Douglas J. Esp, Laura M. Maul, Esp Kreuzer Cores LLP, of Wheaton, for Appellees.
JUSTICE BIRKETT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Zenoff and Jorgensen concurred in the judgment and opinion.
[¶1] This case arose after plaintiff, Donald Szczesniak, was tried for knowingly passing to defendant CJC Auto Parts, Inc. (CJC), checks for which there were insufficient funds (720 ILCS 5/17-1(B)(d) (West 2008)). At a bench trial, plaintiff was acquitted. Plaintiff then filed against CJC and its owner/operator, defendant Gregory Verzal, a malicious-prosecution action, which resulted in the entry of summary judgment in favor of defendants and against plaintiff. Plaintiff appeals, contending that ...