(a) The filing of a brief, motion or other paper in the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals constitutes a certification of the party or attorney that, to the best of his knowledge, information and belief formed after reasonable inquiry, the document is well grounded in fact; is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law; is not filed for an improper purpose such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation; and that the document complies with the requirements of Rule of Civil Procedure 5(c)(2) regarding redaction of confidential information. A party or an attorney who files a paper in violation of this rule, or party on whose behalf the paper is filed, is subject to a sanction in accordance with this rule.
(b) The Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals shall impose a sanction upon a party or attorney or both for (l) taking or continuing a frivolous appeal or initiating a frivolous proceeding, (2) filing a brief, motion, or other paper in violation of subdivision (a) of this rule, (3) prosecuting an appeal for purposes of delay in violation of Rule 6-2 of the Rules of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, and (4) any act of commission or omission that has an improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation. For purposes of this rule, a frivolous appeal or proceeding is one that has no reasonable legal or factual basis.
(c) Sanctions that may be imposed for violations of this rule include, but are not limited to, dismissal of the appeal; striking a brief, motion, or other paper; awarding actual costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees; imposing a penalty payable to the court; awarding damages attributable to the delay or misconduct; and, where there has been delay, advancing the case on the docket and affirming.
(d) A party may by motion request that a sanction be imposed upon another party or attorney pursuant to this rule, or the court may impose a sanction on its own initiative. A motion shall be in the form required by Rule 2-1 of the Rules of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, with citations to the record where appropriate, and will be called for submission three weeks after filing. The opposing party may file a response within 21 days of the filing of the motion. If the court on its own initiative determines that a sanction may be appropriate, the court shall order the party or attorney to show cause in writing why a sanction should not be imposed on the party or attorney or both.
Addition to Reporter’s Notes, 2008 Amendment: Subdivision (a) has been amended by adding a new element to the certifications made by a party or an attorney when that person signs a brief, motion, or other paper, including a petition for rehearing or review. The change parallels the 2008 amendment to Rule of Civil Procedure 11. When counsel or a pro se litigant signs a brief, motion, petition, or other paper filed with the appellate court, the person is also certifying compliance with Administrative Order 19’s mandate for redaction of necessary and relevant confidential information in the paper being filed. The redaction/filing-under-seal procedure for confidential information is outlined in Rule of Civil Procedure 5(c)(2)(A) & (B) and explained in the Addition to Reporter’s Notes, 2008 Amendment to that Rule.
History. Added November 18, 1996, effective March 1, 1997; Amended October 23, 2008, effective January 1, 2009.