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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXXI
Chapter 440
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F.S. 440.32
440.32 Cost in proceedings brought without reasonable ground.
(1) If the judge of compensation claims or any court having jurisdiction of proceedings in respect of any claim or compensation order determines that the proceedings in respect of such claim or order have been instituted or continued without reasonable ground, the cost of such proceedings shall be assessed against the party who has so instituted or continued the proceedings.
(2) If the judge of compensation claims or any court having jurisdiction of proceedings in respect to any claims or defense under this section determines that the proceedings were maintained or continued frivolously, the cost of the proceedings, including reasonable attorney’s fees, shall be assessed against the offending attorney. If a penalty is assessed under this subsection, a copy of the order assessing the penalty must be forwarded to the appropriate grievance committee acting under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Penalties, fees, and costs awarded under this provision may not be recouped from the party.
(3) Every pleading, motion, and other paper of a party represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney’s individual name, whose address shall be stated. The signature of an attorney constitutes a certificate by the signer that the signer has read the pleading, motion, or other paper; that to the best of the signer’s 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 section, the judge of compensation claims or any court having jurisdiction of proceedings, upon motion or upon its own initiative, shall impose upon the person who signed it 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.
History.s. 32, ch. 17481, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 5966(32); s. 1, ch. 63-283; ss. 17, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 16, ch. 75-209; s. 23, ch. 78-300; ss. 25, 124, ch. 79-40; s. 21, ch. 79-312; s. 12, ch. 80-236; s. 43, ch. 89-289; s. 56, ch. 90-201; s. 52, ch. 91-1; s. 9, ch. 91-46; s. 33, ch. 93-415.