Montgomery Ward & Co. (Montgomery Ward) (defendant) filed a criminal complaint against Leggett (plaintiff) for embezzlement in Wyoming. After posting bail, Leggett waived his right to a preliminary hearing. At trial, Leggett was acquitted. Leggett then sued Montgomery Ward for malicious prosecution. Leggett indicated that the preliminary hearing had been waived in the amended complaint. Montgomery Ward claimed that the waiver constituted prima facie evidence that probable cause existed and moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim, since there was no assertion that probable cause was lacking. The trial court dismissed the case. Leggett appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.