Am I allowed to file a civil cause of action
for theft by extortion?
Utah has a criminal offense for theft by extortion:
I'm involved in real estate and car loans. Occasionally, people threaten to make up charges to authorities to get out of paying debts. Usually, I let them know they are engaging in "theft by extortion" and they realize it's a stupid thing to do, but some people are really stupid and do file police reports to see if they can get out of paying debts by making up charges.
In a recent situation someone told the cops I had stolen a car I had repossessed to get out of making a payment on it. The police arrived and I had to show them all the contracts
, etc. to show I had a right to the car. They apologized to me, but said they were "too busy" to press charges against the debtor for filing a false police report or for attempted theft by extortion.
This is especially frustrating to me. Law enforcement was ready to arrest me for auto theft, but will do nothing to the person who filed a false report.
So the question is: Do I have any civil remedies? May I sue under a criminal statute for civil damages for both filing a false police report and attempted theft by extortion and seek 100k in damages?