Requirements for Documents Presented to the Court Based on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Requirements for Documents Presented

In civil cases, such as claims of personal injury or wrongful death, many potential types of documents may be presented to the court. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) contain certain requirements that the courts impose that are procedural in nature, as well as stipulations concerning that the information contained is factual. For this reason, those bringing a claim should always seek capable legal representation from an experienced lawyer. When a party submits documents such as pleadings or motions, it must be signed by the attorney of record or the party themselves. The document must contain key contact information including address, email address and telephone number. An affidavit or other verification-related document is not necessary unless the rules or laws indicate otherwise. A document that is not properly signed may be rejected by the court unless the party remedies the omission quickly.

Court Document Representation Rules

When a document is formally presented to the court, it is implied that the attorney or party confirms that the information provided is:

  • Not being presented for purposes of harassment, to cause a delay, or to needlessly drive up litigation costs
  • Any legal contentions, such as claims made, are based on the existing laws and are not intended to challenge, modify or introduce new laws
  • Any contentions or denials of contentions include evidence to support them contained within, or that general investigation or the discovery process will reveal evidence to support it

Process of Determining if Sanctions Are Appropriate

If the court, after allowing for reasonable time to respond, finds that an attorney, firm or party to the case has violated Rule 11(b), they may impose sanctions. In the majority of circumstances, a law firm is deemed jointly responsible for violations committed among themselves, except in extraordinary situations. A party may file a motion requesting sanctions which state the specific violation. A motion for sanctions may not occur if a potential violating party has properly withdrawn or amended the document within the first 21 days. Courts may award attorney fees and related expenses to the party that prevails, based on costs that they accrued. Courts also may independently (on its own initiative) require a party to defend a claim of violating Rule 11(b).

Purpose & Limitations of Sanctions

Sanctions are imposed at a level that is sufficient to serve as a deterrent for others possibly conducting similar violations. Sanctions may be monetary or non-monetary in nature and may include legal (attorney) fees. When imposing sanctions the court will clearly explain the conduct that justifies a sanction.

The rules, regulations, and procedures associated with civil matters can be complicated. Fortunately, Colorado personal injury attorneys at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has years of experience navigating the Colorado courts and has delivered significant awards for victims. Make the call to our office in Denver for a complimentary initial consultation at (303) 825-2223.

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