If you’re charged with a crime and plead guilty, or are found guilty to the criminal standard of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’, it is generally considered an abuse of process to deny fault when sued for the same underlying conduct based on the lesser civil standard of ‘balance of probabilities’. Two members of a motorcycle club learned this lesson the hard way.
In the recent case (Thatcher v. Lowe) the Plaintiff sued several defendants for assault, battery, intentional infliction of mental suffering and false imprisonment following a 2016 confrontation. Prior to this defendants were charged criminally and plead guilty. The court summarized the following key facts from the guilty plea: