FLORIDA STATUTES §57.105 SANCTIONS AGAINST PARTIES AND THEIR COUNSEL
Florida lawyers have both ethical and statutory duties not to file actions that are not supported by facts or law. The duty against “frivolous” filings or proceedings is governed and imposed by Rule 4-3.1 of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar. The party seeking the sanctions is in essence advising the party and their counsel, that their pleading is wholly unsupported by fact or law, and asking them to withdraw it from the Court. Attorney’s fees are awarded under Florida Statutes 57.105 when there is a total or absolute lack of justiciable issue of either law or fact, which is tantamount to a finding that the action or defense is frivolous.
Due process requires that an opposing party and their counsel be given notice of a party’s desire to seek sanctions under 57.105(1). Therefore, the statute specifically requires that a motion seeking sanctions be served 21 days before it is filed in order to give the party and their attorney enough time to review the case and/or withdraw it. Counsel or the party, if unrepresented must be served with a 21 day “Safe Harbor letter” advising them of this and allowing the 21 days to review or withdraw. Caselaw provides that if the other side fails to provide the 21 day safe harbor letter, then the motion can not proceed.
Moreover, if the 21 day safe harbor letter is not sent correctly, that is, as required by the Rules of Procedure, it too will not survive at hearing.
Whether sending, or being the recipient of a §57.105 Sanction Motion, there are rights and duties for each party. At the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA we are well versed in assisting parties and their attorneys with Motions for Sanctions filed against them. Consult with attorney Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA in order ascertain what can be done in your case.
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