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Supreme Court Rules

Section/Rule:55.03
Subject: Rule 55 - Rules of Civil Procedure - Rules Governing Civil Procedure in the Circuit Courts - Pleadings and Motions Publication / Adopted Date:January 19, 1973
Topic:Signing of Pleadings, Motions and Other Papers; Appearance and Withdrawal of Counsel; Representations to Court; SanctionsRevised / Effective Date:July 1, 2013


55.03 SIGNING OF PLEADINGS, MOTIONS AND OTHER PAPERS; APPEARANCE AND WITHDRAWAL OF COUNSEL; REPRESENTATIONS TO COURT; SANCTIONS (a) Signature Required. Every pleading, motion and other filing shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's individual name or by the self-represented party. An attorney who assists in the preparation of a pleading, motion, or other filing for an otherwise self-represented person is not required to sign the document. Every filing made electronically must add a certificate verifying that the attorney or party signed the original. The original signed filing must be maintained by the filer for a period of not less than the maximum allowable time to complete the appellate process.

Below the signature shall be printed the signer's name, Missouri bar number (if applicable), address, telephone number, facsimile number, and electronic mail address, if any. An unsigned filing or an electronic filing without the required certification shall be stricken unless the omission is corrected promptly after being called to the attention of the attorney or party filing same. (b) Entry of Appearance of Counsel. An attorney who appears in a case shall be considered as representing the parties for whom the attorney appears for all purposes in that case, except as otherwise provided in a written entry of limited appearance. If an entry of limited appearance is filed, service shall be made as provided in Rule 43.01(b).

An attorney appears in a case by:
(c) Representation to the Court. By presenting and maintaining a claim, defense, request, demand, objection, contention, or argument in a pleading, motion, or other paper filed with or submitted to the court, an attorney or party is certifying that to the best of the person's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances, that: (d) Sanctions. If after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond the court finds that Rule 55.03(c) has been violated, the court, subject to the conditions below, may impose an appropriate sanction upon the lawyers, law firms, or parties that have committed or are responsible for the violation. (e) Withdrawal of Counsel. An attorney may withdraw from a case:
Withdrawal memoranda, motions to withdraw, and notices of Termination of Limited Appearance shall include the client’s last known address and shall be served on the client in addition to all others required to be served.

(f) Inapplicability to Discovery. This Rule 55.03 does not apply to disclosures and discovery requests, responses, objections, and motions that are subject to the provisions of Rules 56 to 61.

(g) Sanctions for Conduct in Prior Action. If conduct constituting a violation of Rule 55.03(c) occurs but the civil action is dismissed and if a civil action based upon or including the same claim against the same party is thereafter filed, the court, on its own motion or on motion of a party to the first action, may impose an appropriate sanction in the second action for the violation of Rule 55.03(c). The sanction shall be imposed in the manner provided by Rule 55.03(d). In determining the sanction to impose, the court shall consider the costs and expenses incurred in the action previously dismissed, including the reasonable attorney's fees incurred in the first action.

(Adopted Jan. 19, 1973, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended Nov. 21, 1985, eff. July 1, 1986; June 1, 1993, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; June 17, 2004, eff. Jan. 1, 2005; Dec. 21, 2007, eff. July 1, 2008; June 23, 2008, eff. July 1, 2008; Dec. 22, 2009, eff. July 1, 2010; Dec. 27. 2012, eff. July 1, 2013.)