The Civil Division handles federal and state civil litigation filed in the District of Vermont that involves the United States, its agencies and/or employees.
Defensive Civil Litigation
In defensive civil litigation, Assistant United States Attorneys defend the United States in employment discrimination and harassment actions, tort actions including vehicular, medical malpractice and other personal injury matters, and litigate a wide array of other disciplines, including the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act, Administrative Procedures Act, bankruptcy, constitutional torts, Social Security, subpoenas, constitutional law, prisoners' rights, civil rights and government contracts.
Affirmative Civil Litigation
Affirmative civil litigation includes Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE), civil asset forfeiture, foreclosure and other financial litigation, including the collection of debts to the federal government. Attorneys handling affirmative litigation 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; 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.
Financial Lititgation Unit
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.