The Civil Division represents the United States, its agencies and employees at the trial and appellate levels in a wide variety of civil actions in federal and state courts.
These Assistant United States Attorneys frequently defend employment discrimination cases, personal injury actions, medical malpractice claims arising out of treatment at a Veterans Hospital or other federally supported health facilities, challenges to agency determinations such as the denial of social security disability benefits, and decisions by the immigration authorities to deport or detain aliens. They are also responsible for a broad range of other matters, including requests to amend records under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts, appeals and/or challenges under the Administrative Procedure Act, defense of government officials sued in their individual capacities, and motions to quash subpoenas that fail to comply with applicable federal regulations. While the bulk of litigation against the United States is filed in federal court, some cases are filed in state courts throughout Georgia. There is a tremendous volume of lawsuits generated in the Northern District of Georgia against the United States in large part due to the number of federal agencies and their headquarter offices located in Atlanta. Some of these include branches of the Department of the Treasury, Department of Health and Human Services, and the United States Postal Service. Atlanta is also home to a federal prison and a Veterans Administration Medical Center.
Affirmative Civil Enforcement Litigation.
Attorneys in the Civil Division also prosecute civil actions to recover damages for fraud and other offenses against the United States and its agencies, impose civil penalties for violations of the nation's health, safety and economic welfare laws, and use the Fraud Injunction Statute to enjoin ongoing mail, wire or bank frauds and to freeze ill-gotten gains derived from those frauds. Investigations or cases may be initiated by a federal agency's investigation or by claims presented by "whistleblowers" under applicable federal statutes. Typical cases involve claims for payment submitted to Medicare by health care providers, claims for payment submitted by contractors for government contracts, and claims by individuals for certain federal benefits. The Assistant United States Attorneys and support staff work closely with Criminal Division Assistant United States Attorneys and federal, state, and local agencies to share information and coordinate parallel investigations and cases arising from the same or related facts and circumstances. They also actively participate in a health care fraud task force to improve coordination among the various agencies involved in the fight against health care fraud. They represent the interests of the United States and federal agencies which make claims against debtors in bankruptcy cases.
Asset Forfeiture Litigation
The Asset Forfeiture attorneys use the federal forfeiture laws to disrupt and deter criminal activity, to dismantle criminal enterprises and to separate criminals and their associates from their ill-gotten gains. Assistant United States Attorneys and support staff pursue all civil forfeiture matters and cases and assist Criminal Division Assistant United States Attorneys with forfeiture related issues in criminal prosecutions. Forfeited assets are used to fund federal, state, and local law enforcement activities to the extent permitted by federal law, and, similarly, in appropriate cases, to provide full or partial restitution to victims of criminal activity.
The Financial Litigation attorneys collect criminal and civil debts owed to the United States, including judgments, fines, restitution and penalties. The United States and its agencies seek recoveries from corporate or individual debtors who have obtained loans through many federal programs, such as student loan programs and Small Business Administration loan programs as only two examples. The work of the Financial Litigation Unit is important to the taxpayer and victims of crime depend heavily upon its dedicated pursuit of monetary restitution for criminal losses.