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Rule 13. Effect of Signing of Pleadings, Motions and Other Papers; Sanctions (1988)


The signatures of attorneys or parties constitute a certificate by them that they have read the pleading, motion, or other paper; that to the best of their knowledge, information, and belief formed after reasonable inquiry the instrument is not groundless and brought in bad faith or groundless and brought for the purpose of harassment. Attorneys or parties who shall bring a fictitious suit as an experiment to get an opinion of the court, or who shall file any fictitious pleading in a cause for such a purpose, or shall make statements in pleading which they know to be groundless and false, for the purpose of securing a delay of the trial of the cause, shall be held guilty of a contempt. If a pleading, motion or other paper is signed in violation of this rule, the court, upon motion or upon its own initiative, shall impose sanctions available under Rule 215-2b, upon the person who signed it, a represented party, or both.

Courts shall presume, that pleadings, motions, and other papers are filed in good faith. No sanctions under this rule may be imposed except for good cause, the particulars of which must be stated in the sanction order. "Groundless" for purposes of this rule means no basis in law or fact and not warranted by good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law. The court may not impose sanctions for violation of this rule, if before the 90th day after the court makes a determination of such violation or prior to the expiration of the trial court's plenary power, whichever first occurs, the offending party withdraws or amends the pleading, motion, or other paper, or offending portion thereof to the satisfaction of the court. A general denial does not constitute a violation of this rule. The amount requested for damages does not constitute a violation of this rule.

SB No. 5, Article 2. Trial; Judgment, Section 2.01. Subtitle A, Title 2, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Chapter 9 "Frivolous Pleadings and Claims" otherwise to be effective September 2, 1987, insofar as it conflicts with this rule, is repealed pursuant to Tex. Const. Art. 5 § 31, and Tex. Gov. Code §22.004(c).

Amended by order of July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
Oct. 29, 1940, eff. Sept. 1, 1941 April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990