Rule 11. Signing of pleadings, motions, affidavits, andother papers; representations to court; sanctions.
(a)(1) Every pleading,written motion, and other paper must be signed by at least one attorney ofrecord, or, if the party is not represented, by the party.
(a)(2) A person may signa paper using any form of signature recognized by law as binding. Unlessrequired by statute, a paper need not be accompanied by affidavit or have anotarized, verified or acknowledged signature. If a rule requires an affidavitor a notarized, verified or acknowledged signature, the person may submit anunsworn declaration as described in Title 78B, Chapter 18a, UniformUnsworn Declarations Act. If an affidavit or a paper with a notarized, verifiedor acknowledged signature is filed, the party must comply with Rule 5(f).
(a)(3) An unsigned paperwill be stricken unless omission of the signature is corrected promptly afterbeing called to the attention of the attorney or party.
(b) Representations to court. By presenting apleading, written motion, or other paper to the court (whether by signing,filing, submitting, or advocating), an attorney or unrepresented party iscertifying that to the best of the person's knowledge, information, and belief,formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances,
(b)(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such asto harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost oflitigation;
(b)(2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions arewarranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolousargument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or theestablishment of new law;
(b)(3) the allegations andother factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically soidentified, are likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonableopportunity for further investigation or discovery; and
(b)(4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on theevidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on a lack ofinformation or belief.
(c) Sanctions. If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond,the court determines that paragraph (b) has been violated, the court may,subject to the conditions stated below, impose an appropriate sanction upon theattorneys, law firms, or parties that have violated paragraph (b) or areresponsible for the violation.
(c)(1)(A) Bymotion. Amotion for sanctions under this rule must be made separately from other motionsor requests and must describe the specific conduct alleged to violate paragraph(b). It must be served as provided in Rule 5, but may not be filedwith or presented to the court unless, within 21 days after service of themotion (or such other period as the court may prescribe), the challenged paper,claim, defense, contention, allegation, or denial is not withdrawn or appropriatelycorrected. If warranted, the court may award to the party prevailing on themotion the reasonable expenses and attorney fees incurred in presenting oropposing the motion. In appropriate circumstances, a law firm may be heldjointly responsible for violations committed by its partners, members, andemployees.
(c)(1)(B) Oncourt's initiative. On its own initiative, the court may enter an orderdescribing the specific conduct that appears to violate paragraph (b) anddirecting an attorney, law firm, or party to show cause why it has not violatedparagraph (b) with respect thereto.
(c)(2) Nature ofsanction; limitations. A sanction imposed for violation of this rule must belimited to what is sufficient to deter repetition of such conduct or comparableconduct by others similarly situated. Subject to the limitations in paragraphs(c)(2)(A) and (c)(2)(B), the sanction may consist of,or include, directives of a nonmonetary nature, an order to pay a penalty intocourt, or, if imposed on motion and warranted for effective deterrence, anorder directing payment to the movant of some or all of the reasonable attorneyfees and other expenses incurred as a direct result of the violation.
(c)(2)(A) Monetarysanctions may not be awarded against a represented party for a violation ofparagraph (b)(2).
(c)(2)(B) Monetarysanctions may not be awarded on the court's initiative unless the court issuesits order to show cause before a voluntary dismissal or settlement of theclaims made by or against the party which is, or whose attorneys are, to besanctioned.
(c)(3) Order. When imposingsanctions, the court will describe the conduct determined to constitute aviolation of this rule and explain the basis for the sanction imposed.