The Civil Division represents the United States in all civil litigation involving the federal government in the District of the Virgin Islands.
The Civil Division defends the interests of the United States in cases where federal agencies are sued for alleged conduct by their officers or employees. These defensive matters include actions seeking monetary damages for personal injury, medical malpractice, employment discrimination, prison litigation, judicial review of agency decisions, such as Social Security disability cases, and actions for injunctive relief, which challenge a federal agency's compliance with federal law or the Constitution.
In addition to its defensive role, the Civil Division brings affirmative litigation on behalf of the United States. These cases seek monetary reimbursement, penalties, and damages pursuant to the False Claims Act, where persons or entities have made false claims to a federal agency. An example of such action would include false statements made to Medicare or Medicaid by health care organizations. Other affirmative litigation includes mortgage foreclosures on behalf of the Departments of Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development, negligence actions, land condemnation, affirmative environmental cases, and litigation conducted under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
As part of its role in affirmative litigation, the Financial Litigation Unit of the Civil Division diligently pursues debts owed to the United States in the form of defaulted student loans, criminal fines and restitution owed after sentencing, and unpaid judgments in favor of the United States. Affirmative civil enforcement produces funds which can equal or exceed the yearly cost of administering the United States Attorney's office.
The Civil Division also processes requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), represents the federal government in commercial litigation cases such as bankruptcy and foreclosure matters involving the United States as a creditor or lien holder, secures forfeiture of property used in criminal activities, and represents individual government employees when they are sued in connection with their federal employment.
Joycelyn Hewlett is the chief of the Civil Division.