Haygood v. Boothby Realty Company

In Haygood v. Boothby Realty Company (1961) 272 Ala. 95 128 So.2d 497, a landlord sued its tenant for nonpayment of rent. (Id., 128 So.2d at p. 500.) The trial court initially entered judgment for the landlord; after an appeal and new trial, judgment was entered for the tenant. (Ibid.) The tenant then filed an action for malicious prosecution, in which she asserted that the landlord's initial victory in the rent case was obtained through fraudulent testimony. (Id., at p. 501.) The trial court sustained the landlord's demurrer, and the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed. (Ibid.) It explained that the tenant's claim of fraud was "based on the alleged untruthfulness of the testimony of James H. Roberts, Vice-President of Boothby Realty Company, a corporation. In the Municipal Court his testimony was given credibility. On the trial de novo in the Circuit Court his testimony was apparently not believed. But the credibility of his testimony was a matter which was presented and considered in the trial of those cases." (Id., at p. 503.) Thus, the court said, because the veracity of Roberts's testimony had already been evaluated by two juries in the underlying case, it could not be relied upon to avoid the conclusive presumption of probable cause created by the landlord's initial victory. (Ibid.)