HEALTH MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES, INC., CLARKSDALE HMA PHYSICIAN MANAGEMENT, LLC, CLARKSDALE HMA, LLC INDIVIDUALLY AND d/b/a NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CENTER, MARK CATON, REGINA ROBINSON, MATTHEW TORMEY AND TEENA ROWE
ROGER WEINER, M.D.
OF JUDGMENT: 10/12/2017
COAHOMA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LINDA F.
COURT ATTORNEYS: RALPH E. CHAPMAN, DANA J. SWAN, ANDY LOWRY,
JAMIE F. JACKS.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS: ANDY LOWRY, THOMAS L. KIRKLAND,
JR., BILL LUCKETT, JR., JAMIE F. JACKS, GERALD H. JACKS
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: DANA J. SWAN, H. SCOT SPRAGINS,
LAWRENCE J. TUCKER, JR.
Dr. Roger Weiner brought a malicious-prosecution claim
against Health Management Associates Inc. and Teena Rowe. Dr.
Roger Weiner based his malicious-prosecution claim on the
federal district court's dismissal of his criminal
prosecution. The court had dismissed the case for lack of
jurisdiction. Health Management Associates Inc. and Teena
Rowe filed a motion for partial summary judgment on the
malicious-prosecution claim, arguing that a jurisdictional
dismissal is not a favorable termination for the purposes of
a malicious-prosecution claim. The trial court agreed. Later,
with a new trial judge on the bench, Dr. Weiner sought
reconsideration. The trial court reconsidered and reversed
the former judge's order. Health Management Associates
Inc. and Teena Rowe appealed. The Court reverses and remands
the judgment of the trial court, holding that it erred in
denying the partial summary-judgment motion.
Dr. Roger Weiner was prosecuted in federal district court for
violating the Mann Act. See 18 U.S.C. § 2422(a)
(2012). Dr. Weiner sought dismissal of the charges, alleging
that the interstate-commerce element was not met. The
district court dismissed the charges for lack of federal
jurisdiction, stating that "the federal nexus to
interstate commerce necessary to create federal jurisdiction
simply is not present in the case at bar." The order
stated that dismissal was jurisdictional and that "[i]n
this case the court is not ruling on whether prostitution was
never discussed and would never have been engaged in. If
state or local prosecutorial authorities want to pursue a
state law prosecution of solicitation of prostitution, that
is their prerogative."
Subsequently, Dr. Weiner brought a civil suit against Health
Management Associates Inc. (HMA) and Teena
Rowe. The suit alleged a number of claims,
including a claim for malicious prosecution. HMA and Rowe
filed a motion for partial summary judgment on the
malicious-prosecution claim. HMA and Rowe argued that the
malicious-prosecution claim should be dismissed because a
dismissal for lack of jurisdiction of the underlying criminal
prosecution did not amount to a "favorable
termination" under the elements of a
The trial judge granted HMA and Rowe's motion for partial
summary judgment. The trial judge then denied Dr.
Weiner's motion for reconsideration and certified the
order granting partial summary judgment as a final order.
Dr. Weiner filed a petition for interlocutory appeal and a
direct appeal on the grant of the partial summary-judgment
motion. The Court denied the petition for interlocutory
appeal, holding that a Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure
54(b) certification had been entered. Subsequently, HMA and
Rowe filed a motion to dismiss the direct appeal, arguing
that the order had been improperly certified as a final order
under Rule 54(b). The Court granted the motion and dismissed
Thereafter, the trial judge assigned to the case retired, and
a new trial judge was assigned to the case. Dr. Weiner filed
a "Motion to Reconsider the Former Trial Court[']s
Granting of HMA Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment." Under Rule 54(b) of the Mississippi Rules
of Civil Procedure, the new trial judge granted the motion to
reconsider and denied HMA and Rowe's partial
summary-judgment motion on the issue of malicious
prosecution. She stated that the prior federal case was
decided in Dr. Weiner's favor because the order of
dismissal "went to the substantive elements of the crime
of the Mann Act."
HMA and Rowe filed an interlocutory appeal. A panel of the
court granted permission for the appeal.
OF THE ISSUES
The parties argue two general issues regarding whether the
underlying termination supports a claim for malicious
prosecution and whether the grant of the motion to reconsider
was proper. The Court considers only one issue, as it is
dispositive. The Court restyles the issue as follows:
Whether the underlying termination of the federal criminal
action constitutes a favorable termination for the purposes
of a malicious- prosecution claim.
Whether the underlying termination of the federal
criminal action constitutes a favorable termination for the
purposes of a malicious-pr ...