Sham Pleading Law and Legal Definition

Sham pleading means an obviously frivolous or absurd pleading that is made only for purposes of vexation or delay. It is a written pleading that is factually false, not made in good faith, and that may be struck. It is entered for the mere purpose of delay and of a matter which the pleader knows to be false.

Sham pleading also refers to a civil pleading that appears to have merit, but for which no supporting facts exist, and that has been brought for no purpose but to vex or harass a defendant. In civil practice, it is a pleading that is sufficient on its face but so clearly and indisputably false that it presents no real issue of fact to be determined by a trial. A complaint or answer will be stricken as sham only when it is clear and undisputed that the alleged claim or defense is wholly unsupported by facts. These sham pleas are generally discouraged, and in some cases are treated as a nullity.

Sham pleading is also called sham plea or false plea.