A motion for sanctions is a document submitted to the court to describe conduct that violates rules of the court by the other parties in a civil proceeding, according to the Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute. The court may impose sanctions in response.
The specifics for a motion of sanction for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are given in Title III, Rule 11(c), as provided by Cornell University Law School. The American Bar Association explains that a person submitting a motion for sanctions must submit it properly and make appropriate inquiries to assert the validity of the petition. If issued, sanctions are imposed as a deterrent, not as compensation for the wronged party.