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Icon-UpArrow Motion for Sanctions (11c)

How-To: Write a Motion for Sanctions

Background: Your civil opponent's misconduct has defiled the legal proceedings
Problem: Your civil opponent has refused to atone for his/her/its misconduct
Solution: You ask the Court to penalize your civil opponent

I. Definitions

Bad Faith
"breach of faith; willful failure to respond to plain, well-understood statutory or contractual obligations; dishonesty in fact in the conduct or transaction concerned."
CIVIL CONTEMPT consists of failure to do something ordered by the court for the benefit of another party to the proceedings (sometimes calleed RELIEF TO LITIGANTS);
Extrinsic Fraud
"fraud that prevents a party from knowing about his or her rights or defenses or from having a fair opportunity to present or litigate them at a trial. It is a ground for equitable relief from a judgment."
"clearly insufficient as a matter of law; presenting no debatable question. A claim is frivolous if it is insufficient because unsupported by the facts or because the law recognizes no remedy for the claim."
"3. a consequence of punishment for violation of accepted norms of social conduct, which may be of two kinds: those that redress civil injuries (civil sanctions) and those that punish crimes (penal sanctions)."
"grossly negligent or careless; with a reckless disregard of consequences."

II. Legal Citations

Rule 11(c) Fed. R. Civ. P. | Sanctions
(1) In General. If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court determines that Rule 11(b) has been violated, the court may impose an appropriate sanction on any attorney, law firm, or party that violated the rule or is responsible for the violation...

(2) Motion for Sanctions. A motion for sanctions must be made separately from any other motion and must describe the specific conduct that allegedly violates Rule 11(b). The motion must be served under Rule 5, but it must not be filed or be presented to the court if the challenged paper, claim, defense, contention, or denial is withdrawn or appropriately corrected within 21 days after service or within another time the court sets. If warranted, the court may award to the prevailing party the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred for the motion.

(4) Nature of a Sanction. A sanction imposed under this rule must be limited to what suffices to deter repetition of the conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated. The sanction may include nonmonetary directives; an order to pay a penalty into court; or, if imposed on motion and warranted for effective deterrence, an order directing payment to the movant of part or all of the reasonable attorney’s fees and other expenses directly resulting from the violation.

III. Samples

# PDF Comments
001logoAdobe± Pending | TBD case. Pro Se Filing. USFLMD. Defendant's lies, fraud & bad faith.iconPriceTag
002logoAdobe± Denied (Technicality) | TBD case. Pro Se Filing. USFLMD. Defendant's lies, fraud & bad faith.iconPriceTag
003logoAdobeUSFLMD | 2021 | Attorney Filing | ADA Case | Discovery | Sought defense prohibition + defaulticonPriceTag

IV. Templates

# Link Comments
1iconMSWordUSFLMD Version | Replace all placeholder tags (eg "[plfName]" becomes "John Doe").iconPriceTag

V. Application

VI. Quick Commentary

  • Bad News: Federal Courts cannot award attorney fees to pro se litigants (even if the pro se litigants are attorneys themselves)
    "Because a party proceeding pro se cannot have incurred attorney's fees as an expense, a district court cannot order a violating party to pay a pro se litigant a reasonable attorney's fee as part of a sanction."
  • Download as many sample documents as you'd like
    • Contact TBD for more free samples
  • Feel free to use the templates (see Part IV - above) to help draft your 'Motion for Sanctions'
  • Save the final version as a PDF file.
  • File the final version in court

VII. Additional Notes

VIII. Bibliography

IX. Conclusion

If your civil opponent is engaging in misconduct then you can ask the Court to penalize him/her/it with sanctions.


Congratulations! You're now booked up on how to write a Motion for Sanctions!

Please get the justice you deserve.


Pages That You
Might Also Like
How-To: Motion in Limine
Handbook: Item 1.02 FL HCDP
Reading List: Sanctions
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