(a) Signing by Attorney. - Every pleading, motion, and other paper of a party represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in his individual name, whose address shall be stated. A party who is not represented by an attorney shall sign his pleading, motion, or other paper and state his address. Except when otherwise specifically provided by rule or statute, pleadings need not be verified or accompanied by affidavit. The signature of an attorney or party constitutes a certificate by him that he has read the pleading, motion, or other paper; that to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief formed after reasonable inquiry it is well grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law, and that it is not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation. If a pleading, motion, or other paper 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, or other paper 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, or other paper, including a reasonable attorney's fee.
(b) Verification of pleadings by a party. - In any case in which verification of a pleading shall be required by these rules or by statute, it shall state in substance that the contents of the pleading verified are true to the knowledge of the person making the verification, except as to those matters stated on information and belief, and as to those matters he believes them to be true. Such verification shall be by affidavit of the party, or if there are several parties united in interest and pleading together, by at least one of such parties acquainted with the facts and capable of making the affidavit. Such affidavit may be made by the agent or attorney of a party in the cases and in the manner provided in section (c) of this rule.
(c) Verification of pleadings by an agent or attorney. - Such verification may be made by the agent or attorney of a party for whom the pleading is filed, if the action or defense is founded upon a written instrument for the payment of money only and the instrument or a true copy thereof is in the possession of the agent or attorney, or if all the material allegations of the pleadings are within the personal knowledge of the agent or attorney. When the pleading is verified by such agent or attorney, he shall set forth in the affidavit:
(1) That the action or defense is founded upon a written instrument for the payment of money only and the instrument or a true copy thereof is in his possession, or
(2) a. That all the material allegations of the pleadings are true to his personal knowledge and
b. The reasons why the affidavit is not made by the party.
(d) Verification by corporation or the State. - When a corporation is a party the verification may be made by any officer, or managing or local agent thereof upon whom summons might be served; and when the State or any officer thereof in its behalf is a party, the verification may be made by any person acquainted with the facts. (1967, c. 954, s. 1; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1027, s. 55.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014