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 the 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 public and members of the bar occasionally have questions regarding service of process issues in cases where the United States and/or its agencies, corporations, officers and employees are sued in their official capacities. For additional information concerning service of process issues in these types of cases see United States Attorney's Rule 4(i)(l)(A)(i) Designations; see also Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
The Civil Division represents the United States and its agencies in a wide array of civil suits brought by the United States (affirmative litigation) and against the government or its employees (defensive litigation).
Defensive cases handled by the Civil Division include suits under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), allegations of unlawful discrimination in federal employment, challenges to agency actions under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), suits seeking the release of records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act, and the defense of government officials sued in their individual capacities (Bivens actions).
Affirmative litigation handled by the Civil Division includes condemnation actions, actions involving trespasses upon federal property or resources, veterans' reemployment rights actions, and lawsuits of various kinds to vindicate and/or enforce various health and safety, environmental and civil rights laws. In addition, the Civil Division is responsible for representing the financial interests of the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies in bankruptcy proceedings and in foreclosure actions. The Civil Division also initiates affirmative actions to recover money owed to the United States government by those who submit false claims or commit fraud against the government, as well as actions against those who have failed to repay student or veteran loans or other debts to the United States.
The Financial Litigation Unit (FLU) initiates legal proceedings and takes other necessary actions to enforce collection of all federal debts in the District of Idaho. These debts include criminal fines, criminal restitution orders and civil judgments filed against "judgment debtors," as well as unsecured civil debts referred from a variety of federal agencies. FLU also represents the United States when judgment debtors file bankruptcy proceedings in this district.
The Asset Forfeiture Unit enforces both civil and criminal forfeiture statutes in all areas of criminal activity. One of its primary objectives is to take the profit out of crime. Members of the unit seek to accomplish this goal by tracing the proceeds of criminal activity and recovering them through the forfeiture process. Instrumentalities of crimes are also subject to forfeiture. Forfeited assets are used to fund federal, state, and local law enforcement activities to the extent permitted by federal law, and, similarly, in appropriate cases, to provide full or partial restitution to victims of criminal activity.