Motion for Sanctions (Non-Discovery) in Illinois Circuit Court–At A Glance

Use this “At A Glance Guide” to learn the statewide rules of civil procedure (Illinois Compiled Statutes and Illinois Supreme Court Rules) applicable to bringing a motion for sanctions (non-discovery) in Illinois Circuit Court.  For a more detailed treatment, including local rules, please see the Illinois Circuit Court SmartRules Guides:  Motion for Sanctions (Non-Discovery), Opposition to Motion for Sanctions (Non-Discovery), and Reply in Support of Motion for Sanctions (Non-Discovery).


Motions for sanctions filed under Supreme Court Rule 137 (governing the signature requirement and bad faith or frivolous papers) must be filed within thirty (30) days of the entry of final judgment in the case, or, in the event of a post-judgment motion, within thirty (30) days of the ruling.  IL Supreme Court R. 137.

Certification Required:

Every pleading, motion, or other paper must be signed by at least one attorney of record, and the signing attorney’s individual name and address must be stated in the papers. An unrepresented party must sign his or her own papers.  By signing a paper, the signer certifies:

1. That he or she has read the paper;

2. That, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, the paper is well grounded in fact and warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law; and

3. That the paper is not interposed for any improper purpose, such as harassment, delay, or needless increase in litigation costs.

The Court may impose sanctions against anyone who signs a document in violation of any of these requirements. Unsigned papers will be stricken, unless the pleading party signs the pleading promptly after the omission is brought to his or her attention. IL Supreme Court R. 137.

Other Motion for Sanctions Rules:

If any party in a summary judgment proceeding files an affidavit in bad faith or solely for purposes of delay, the court shall order the party presenting the affidavit to pay to the other party reasonable expenses incurred as a result of the filing, including attorney’s fees. Any party or attorney found to have filed an affidavit in bad faith may also be held guilty of contempt. 735 ILCS 5/2-1005(f).

Sanctions under Rule 219(c) may be imposed for misconduct in arbitration proceedings. IL Supreme Court R. 91(b).

When sanctions are imposed, the judge shall set forth with specificity the reasons and basis of any sanction imposed either in the judgment itself or in a separate written order. IL Supreme Court R. 137. IL Supreme Court R. 219(c).

The authorities cited in this At A Glance Guide are current as of the publication date. For authorities updated in real time, please see the SmartRules Guide for the litigation document you are drafting.

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