Things are actually slightly better
than this would suggest. Michigan court rule 2.114 includes this
(D) Effect of Signature. The signature of an attorney or
or not the party is represented by an attorney, constitutes a
the signer that
(1) he or she has
(E) Sanctions for Violation. If a document is signed
violation of this rule, the court, on the motion of a party or on its
initiative, shall impose upon the person who signed it, a represented
both, an appropriate sanction, which may include an order to pay to the
party or parties the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred because
filing of the document, including reasonable attorney fees. The court
assess punitive damages.
(2) to the best of his or her knowledge, information, and belief
formed after reasonable inquiry, the document is well grounded in fact
warranted by existing law or a good-faith argument for the extension,
modification, or reversal of existing law; and
(3) the document is not interposed for any improper
such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in
cost of litigation.
(F) Sanctions for Frivolous Claims and Defenses. In
to sanctions under this rule, a party pleading a frivolous claim or
subject to costs as provided in MCR
2.625(A)(2). The court may not assess
And MCR 2.625(A)(2) provides:
civil action or defense to civil action; awarding costs and fees to
prevailing party; definitions.
Upon motion of any party, if a court finds that a civil action or
defense to a civil action was frivolous, the court that conducts the
civil action shall award to the prevailing party the costs and fees
incurred by that party in connection with the civil action by assessing
the costs and fees against the nonprevailing party and their attorney.
The amount of costs and fees awarded under this section shall include
all reasonable costs actually incurred by the prevailing party and any
costs allowed by law or by court rule, including court costs and
reasonable attorney fees.
(3) As used in this section:
(a) “Frivolous” means that at least 1 of the following conditions
The party's primary purpose in initiating the action or asserting the
defense was to harass, embarrass, or injure the prevailing party.
(ii) The party had no reasonable basis to believe that the facts
underlying that party's legal position were in fact true.
(iii) The party's legal position was devoid of arguable
(b) “Prevailing party” means a party who wins on the entire record.