Rule 11. Signing of pleadings, motions,affidavits, and other papers; representations to court; sanctions.
(a)(1) Every pleading, written motion,and other paper must be signed by at least one attorney of record, or, if theparty is not represented, by the party.
(a)(2) A person may sign a paper usingany form of signature recognized by law as binding. Unless required by statute,a paper need not be accompanied by affidavit or have a notarized, verified oracknowledged signature. If a rule requires an affidavit or a notarized,verified or acknowledged signature, the person may submit a declarationpursuant to Utah Code Section 78B‑5‑705. If an affidavit or a paper with a notarized,verified or acknowledged signature is filed, the party must comply with Rule 5(f).
(a)(3) An unsigned paper will bestricken unless omission of the signature is corrected promptly after beingcalled to the attention of the attorney or party.
(b) Representationsto court. By presenting a pleading, written motion, or other paper to thecourt (whether by signing, filing, submitting, or advocating), an attorney orunrepresented party is certifying that to the best of the person's knowledge,information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under thecircumstances,
(b)(1) it is not being presented forany improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay orneedless increase in the cost of litigation;
(b)(2) the claims, defenses, and otherlegal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argumentfor the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or theestablishment of new law;
(b)(3) the allegations and otherfactual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified,are likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity forfurther investigation or discovery; and
(b)(4) the denials of factualcontentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, arereasonably based on a lack of information or belief.
(c) Sanctions. If, after notice and a reasonableopportunity to respond, the court determines that paragraph (b) has beenviolated, the court may, subject to the conditions stated below, impose anappropriate sanction upon the attorneys, law firms, or parties that haveviolated paragraph (b) or are responsible for the violation.
(c)(1) How initiated.
(c)(1)(A) By motion. A motion for sanctions under this rulemust be made separately from other motions or requests and must describe thespecific conduct alleged to violate paragraph (b). It mustbe served as provided in Rule 5, but may not be filed with or presented to the courtunless, within 21 days after service of the motion (or such other period as thecourt may prescribe), the challenged paper, claim, defense, contention,allegation, or denial is not withdrawn or appropriately corrected. Ifwarranted, the court may award to the party prevailing on the motion thereasonable expenses and attorney fees incurred in presenting or opposing themotion. In appropriate circumstances, a law firm may be held jointly responsiblefor violations committed by its partners, members, and employees.
(c)(1)(B) On court's initiative. On its own initiative, the court mayenter an order describing the specific conduct that appears to violate paragraph(b) and directing an attorney, law firm, or party to show cause why it has notviolated paragraph (b) with respect thereto.
(c)(2) Nature of sanction; limitations. A sanction imposed for violation ofthis rule must be limited to what is sufficient to deter repetition of suchconduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated. Subject to thelimitations 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) Monetary sanctions may not beawarded against a represented party for a violation of paragraph (b)(2).
(c)(2)(B) Monetary sanctions may not beawarded on the court's initiative unless the court issues its order to showcause before a voluntary dismissal or settlement of the claims made by oragainst the party which is, or whose attorneys are, to be sanctioned.
(c)(3) Order. When imposing sanctions, the court willdescribe the conduct determined to constitute a violation of this rule andexplain the basis for the sanction imposed.
Advisory Committee Notes
EffectiveMay 1, 2016