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Rule 15.01. Signature

Subdivision 1. Generally.

Except as otherwise provided in these rules, every pleading, written motion, and other similar document shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's individual name, or, if the party is not represented by an attorney, shall be signed by the party. Each document shall state the signer's name, address, telephone number, e-mail address if the document is filed or served electronically, and attorney registration number if signed by an attorney. Except when otherwise specifically provided by rule or statute, pleadings need not be verified or accompanied by affidavit. An unsigned document shall be stricken unless omission of the signature is corrected promptly after being called to the attention of the attorney or party. The filing, serving, or submitting of a document through the E-Filing System constitutes certification of compliance with Rule 15.02.

Subd. 2. Exception - Social Worker and Guardian Ad Litem Reports.

Reports filed by social workers and guardians ad litem under Rule 27 need not be signed.

Rule 15.02. Representations to Court

By presenting to the court, whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating, a pleading, motion, report, affidavit, or other similar document, an attorney or unrepresented party is certifying that to the best of the person's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an 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 nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of 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; and

(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.

Rule 15.03. Sanctions

If a pleading, motion, affidavit, or other similar document is not signed, it shall be stricken unless it is signed promptly after the omission is called to the attention of the pleader or movant. If a pleading, motion, affidavit, or other similar document is signed in violation of this rule, the court, upon motion or upon its own initiative, shall impose upon the person who signed it, a represented party, or both, an appropriate sanction, which may include an order to pay to the other party or parties the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred because of the filing of the pleading, motion, affidavit, or other similar document, including reasonable attorney fees.

2019 Advisory Committee Comment

Rule 15 is amended in 2019 as part of a revision of the Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure. Rule 15 was formerly codified as Rule 16. Former Rule 16 provided that filers could provide an address, e-mail address, or telephone number on a separate informational statement if providing that information would endanger a person. For consistency, those provisions have been moved to Rule 8.04, which governs access to juvenile protection case records.