2006 Code of Virginia § 8.01-271.1 - Signing of pleadings, motions, and other papers; oral motions; sanctions

8.01-271.1. Signing of pleadings, motions, and other papers; oral motions;sanctions.

Every pleading, written motion, and other paper of a party represented by anattorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in his individualname, and the attorney's address shall be stated on the first pleading filedby that attorney in the action. A party who is not represented by anattorney, including a person confined in a state or local correctionalfacility proceeding pro se, shall sign his pleading, motion, or other paperand state his address.

The signature of an attorney or party constitutes a certificate by him that(i) he has read the pleading, motion, or other paper, (ii) to the best of hisknowledge, information and belief, formed after reasonable inquiry, it iswell grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good faithargument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law, and(iii) it is not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or tocause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation. If apleading, written motion, or other paper is not signed, it shall be strickenunless it is signed promptly after the omission is called to the attention ofthe pleader or movant.

An oral motion made by an attorney or party in any court of the Commonwealthconstitutes a representation by him that (i) to the best of his knowledge,information and belief formed after reasonable inquiry it is well grounded infact and is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for theextension, modification or reversal of existing law, and (ii) it is notinterposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to causeunnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.

If a pleading, motion, or other paper is signed or made in violation of thisrule, the court, upon motion or upon its own initiative, shall impose uponthe person who signed the paper or made the motion, a represented party, orboth, an appropriate sanction, which may include an order to pay to the otherparty or parties the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred because ofthe filing of the pleading, motion, or other paper or making of the motion,including a reasonable attorney's fee.

(1987, cc. 259, 682; 1998, c. 596.)


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