The Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office represents the United States and its departments and agencies at both the trial and appellate levels in civil actions filed in the state of Idaho. The activities of the Civil Division include defensive civil litigation and affirmative civil enforcement actions in the United States District Court in the District of Idaho and United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The types of cases handled by the Civil Division include tort cases filed against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA); claims against individual employees of the United States alleging constitutional violations (Bivens actions); discrimination cases brought by federal employees based upon race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability or age; Administrative Procedures Act (APA) litigation; Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act cases; appeals of denial of Social Security disability claims; and tax cases. The Civil Division also brings civil affirmative actions to recover money owed to the United States Government.
The U.S. Attorney's Office is not authorized to provide, and cannot provide, legal assistance to private citizens, nor can it represent them in litigation.
In the District of Idaho, the Civil Division is organized into three major units:
The U.S. Attorney's Criminal Division is responsible for enforcing federal criminal laws in the District of Idaho. The Division includes prosecutors in the main office in Boise and in the Pocatello and Coeur d'Alene branch offices. The Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) who comprise the Division bring a wealth of experience in the law at all levels.
When a federal crime is committed it is the responsibility of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate. If their investigation indicates a potentially prosecutable federal offense, they refer the case to the U.S. Attorney and an AUSA is assigned. The AUSA works closely with the investigating agency and, with the guidance of the U.S. Attorney, decides whether to present the case to a grand jury. Unlike state prosecutions, all federal prosecutions must go through a grand jury, which decides whether to charge the individual or individuals. A federal charge is called a bill of indictment.
Once a case has been indicted by a grand jury the AUSA is responsible for all stages of the prosecution, including plea agreements, trials and sentencing hearings. In general, cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Criminal Division fall into one of nine categories.
- Crimes in Indian Country
- Immigration Crimes
- Crimes Against Children
- Gun and Gang Violence in Idaho, called "Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN)"
- Drug Trafficking, and the "Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF)"
- Fraud and White Collar Crime
- Identity Theft
- Criminal Asset Forfeiture
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.