If the respondent (the person against whom the complaint is filed) in a criminal complaint wins, which means that the complaint is dismissed, is the respondent entitled to payment by the complainant (the person who filed the complaint)?
As a rule, the respondent is not entitled to the payment of damages if the criminal complaint is dismissed. This appears to be wrong considering that the respondent, in defending the case, most probably hired and spent for a lawyer to defend the suit. However, every person has the right to file a complaint for redress of grievances. The mere filing of a complaint does not entitle the respondent to damages. Otherwise, as the Supreme Court noted, “peaceful recourse to the courts will be greatly discouraged and the exercise of one’s right to litigate would become meaningless and empty.”
On the other hand, the respondent may claim damages in a civil case for malicious prosecution. The culprit is not the filing of the criminal complaint, but the deliberate initiation of an action with the knowledge that the charges were false and groundless.
The respondent may successfully claim for damages against the complainant if the following are shown by sufficient evidence: (1) the complainant caused the prosecution in the criminal complaint; (2) the criminal action was dismissed or the accused was acquitted; (3) the complainant, in bringing the action, had no probable cause; and (4) the complainant was impelled by legal malice — an improper or a sinister motive — in filing the criminal charges.