The Civil Division is primarily responsible for defending all civil actions brought against the United States, its agencies, officers and employees in the Eastern District of Virginia, taking affirmative civil actions to recover government money lost to fraud, and upholding the civil rights of the District’s citizens. The venues for these suits include the United States District and Bankruptcy Courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and, on occasion, state courts.
Defensive litigation on behalf of client agencies and employees makes up the greatest percentage of the Civil Division caseload. These cases comprise a broad array of issues, including employment discrimination, the Administrative Procedure Act, medical malpractice and other personal injury torts, constitutional torts, immigration, the Freedom of Information Act, and more. The presence of numerous agency headquarters and military installations in the District contribute to a robust defensive caseload.
Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE)
AUSAs who work on ACE matters investigate fraud and other misconduct committed against the United States, and, where appropriate, bring civil actions to recover damages and/or seek penalties against those who violate the nation’s health, safety and economic welfare laws. Qui tam suits under the False Claims Act are a bulwark of the ACE docket. The Office has a long history of fighting procurement fraud, given the presence of many agency and contractor headquarters in the Eastern District of Virginia. The Office also has a substantial health care fraud docket and a renewed emphasis on using civil remedies to combat the opioid crisis. The ACE Unit engages in parallel proceedings to coordinate civil and criminal fraud investigations.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia investigates and pursues enforcement actions in a wide variety of civil rights contexts, with a special emphasis on disability rights. Given the large military presence in the district, the Civil Division also protects the rights of servicemembers and veterans through the enforcement of statutes unique to their interests.
The Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office protects the government’s financial, contractual, and regulatory interests in cases pending before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in order to ensure compliance with applicable bankruptcy laws, and maximize recovery of obligations owed to the United States.
Financial Litigation Unit (FLU)
The primary function of the FLU is to litigate and enforce the collection of criminal and civil debts owed to the United States, including criminal restitution, fines, civil settlements, and penalties.