The Civil Division consists of the Defensive Civil Litigation Unit and the Affirmative Civil Litigation Unit.
Defensive Civil Litigation Unit
The majority of the Civil Division's AUSAs are assigned to the general defensive litigation team. This team principally defends the United States in employment discrimination and harassment actions along with vehicular, medical malpractice and other personal injury matters brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act. General defensive litigation attorneys are also responsible for cases in a wide array of other disciplines, including the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act, Administrative Procedures Act, constitutional torts, Social Security, subpoenas, constitutional law, prisoners' rights, civil rights and government contracts.
Affirmative Civil Litigation Unit
Affirmative Civil Litigation Unit includes the Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE), the Asset Forfeiture and the Bankruptcy/Financial Litigation. Attorneys in the Affirmative Civil Litigation Unit represent the United States in a variety of cases in which the government typically is the plaintiff.
In ACE cases, the United States generally seeks to recover damages and penalties, or to obtain injunctive relief, against defendants who commit civil wrongs against the United States. The kinds of cases handled by attorneys who practice in this area include: fraud perpetrated against the government, including health care fraud, defense procurement fraud and grant fraud; kickbacks; whistle-blower cases; actions to recover for fires wrongfully ignited on federal land; consumer product safety cases; civil rights cases, including enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act; drug cases involving civil violations of the Controlled Substances Act; and actions involving misuse of Housing and Urban Development project funds.
In asset forfeiture cases, the United States typically seeks to forfeit the proceeds of criminal activity and property that facilitates the commission of crimes. Forfeited assets are used to fund federal, state and local law enforcement activities and to provide restitution to victims of crime.
In bankruptcy cases, the office represents the interests of federal agencies with claims against entities and individuals who have filed for bankruptcy protection.
In financial litigation cases, the government generally seeks to enforce the collection of debts owed to the United States through civil and criminal judgments, including restitution, fines and penalties.