Florida Regulations 60Q-6.125

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§ 60Q-6.125 SANCTIONS

(1) Representations to the Judge. By filing a pleading or other document, an attorney or unrepresented party is certifying to the best of that person�s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after inquiry reasonable under the circumstances, that:

(a) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation;

(b) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions therein are warranted by existing law or by a non-frivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of a new law;

(c) the allegations and other factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, are likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery;

(d) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on a lack of information or belief.

(2) Determination of Violation. If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the judge determines that subsection (1) has been violated, the judge may impose an appropriate sanction.

(3) How Initiated.

(a) A motion for sanctions under this rule shall be made separately from other motions or requests and shall describe the specific conduct alleged to violate subsection (1). It shall be served but shall not be filed with or presented to the judge unless the challenged paper, claim, defense, allegation, or denial is not withdrawn or appropriately corrected within 21 days after service of the motion. If warranted, the judge may award to the party prevailing on the motion the cost of the proceeding and attorney's fees incurred in presenting or opposing the motion.

(b) On his or her own initiative, the judge may enter an order describing the specific conduct that appears to violate subsection (1) and directing an attorney or party to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed.

(4) Nature of Sanctions.

(a) A sanction imposed for violation of this rule shall be limited to what is sufficient to deter repetition of such conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated. Penalties, fees, and costs awarded under this provision may not be recouped from the party unless the party has committed the violation.

(b) Monetary sanctions may not be awarded against a represented party for a violation of subsection (1)(b).

(5) Order. Any order imposing sanctions shall describe the conduct determined to constitute a violation of the rule and explain the basis for the sanction imposed.

Specific Authority 440.45 (1)(a), (4) FS.

Law Implemented 440.32, 440.33(1), (2), 440.45 (1)(a), (4) FS.

History--New 2-23-03.