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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you represent United States citizens?

The United States Attorney (USA) and Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSA) do not represent individuals in matters or lawsuits that you may bring against another person, company or government agency.  We represent the United States and its agencies, such as the Department of the Interior, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Social Security Administration, Department of Defense (DoD), among others.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts is responsible for representing the federal government in virtually all litigation involving the United States in the District of Massachusetts. This includes all criminal prosecutions for violations of federal law, civil lawsuits by and against the government, and actions to collect judgments and restitution on behalf of victims and taxpayers.

Many federal agencies also have local offices

Can you suggest someone who could represent me?

Our office is not permitted to make direct referrals; however, we suggest that you contact one of the following lawyer referral services for assistance.

Legal Advocacy and Resource Center
(800) 342-LAWS or (800) 342-5297

Boston Bar Association
(617) 742-0625              

Massachusetts Bar Association
(617) 654-0400 (Boston)
(866) 627-7577 (Toll Free)

For referrals outside of Massachusetts, contact the state's or city’s bar association

Can you file something in court for me?

Although the United States Attorney’s Office is located in the same building as the United States District Court and the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, we are separate offices.  The United States Attorney’s Office cannot file a motion, notice, or complaint with a court for you.  You need to contact the appropriate court directly to make a filing.

To make a filing with the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, contact the Court Clerk’s Office at (617) 748-9152.  If you are representing yourself in court (also called pro se), the District Court has additional resources on their website. 

It is important to make your filing with the correct court.  The United States District Court is for Federal lawsuits only. The state of Massachusetts has its own court system that includes Municipal, District, Superior, Probate and Family, and Housing Courts.  If you are unsure which court you need to file with, please consult an attorney.

  • Boston Municipal Court Department – (617) 788-8700
  • District Court Department – (617) 788-8810
  • Housing Court Department – (617) 788-8485
  • Juvenile Court Department – (617) 788-6550
  • Land Court Department – (617) 788-7470
  • Probate and Family Court Department – (617) 788-6600
  • Superior Court Department – (617) 788-8130

A full listing of contact information for these Courts can be found here.

How do I learn about federal grant opportunities?

If you wish to receive notice of federal grant opportunities, please register at www.grants.gov. If you would like to partner with the U.S. Attorney's Office on a specific enforcement, community policing or outreach strategy, please call and ask to speak with the Law Enforcement Coordinator.

To report waste, fraud, abuse, or misconduct by Department of Justice grantees, please visit the website for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

How do I report a crime/make a complaint?

If you or someone else is in immediate danger, please call 911.

The United States Attorney’s Office is not an investigative office.  If you would like to report a crime or file a complaint, the most effective way is to contact the appropriate agency directly.

Many federal agencies also have local offices.  A list of the most common complaints and their corresponding agencies can be found here.

If you need further assistance, you may file your complaint with our office and we will assist you in making the appropriate referral, if necessary.  You can file your complaint online here, or mail a letter to the following address.

United States Attorney’s Office
John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse
One Courthouse Way, Suite 9200
Boston, MA 02210
ATTN: Duty Paralegal

I’ve received a subpoena to appear/produce documents.  If I have questions, who do I call?

If you received a subpoena from this office to appear in person for Grand Jury or court testimony, and you have questions about travel or reimbursement, contact the witness travel coordinator listed on the subpoena or referenced in the accompanying travel and reimbursement instructions. If you are unsure who to call, call the Victim Witness Unit at 617-748-3140 or 617-748-3299.  If your inquiry concerns producing documents, please call 617-748-3100 (dial 0 for the operator), and ask for the duty paralegal.

I am a victim or witness of a crime.  Can you help me?

If you are a victim of a crime, you may be eligible to receive assistance.  If you are the victim of a federal crime in Massachusetts contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (617) 748-3100.  Dial 0 for the operator and ask to speak to a Victim Witness Specialist.

More information about Victim Witness Services at the United States Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts, can be found here.

For state crime matters, contact the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance at (617) 586-1340.

I am a victim or witness to a crime and have been threatened or harassed. Who do I call?

If you are a victim or witness in a federal case and you are threatened or harassed because of your cooperation in the case, please report the threats/harrassment to the appropriate law enforcement authority. If you are in immediate danger, call 911 for assistance.

You should report threats or harassment to the federal investigative agent or agency with whom you have had prior contact. The investigative agency will evaluate the situation and discuss appropriate measures with you. It is important to report incidences of harassment or threats as soon as possible.  Information on how to report a federal crime can be found here.

What are the directions to your office?

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts has offices in Boston, Worcester and Springfield.

Boston
United States Attorney’s Office
John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse
One Courthouse Way, Suite 9200
Boston, MA 02210
Directions: http://www.moakleycourthouse.com/
Hourly and daily parking is available in lots across and on the same street as the Courthouse.

Worcester
United States Attorney’s Office
Donohue Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse
595 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Worcester, MA 01608
Directions: http://www.mad.uscourts.gov/worcester/worcester-directions.htm
Hourly and daily parking is available in a municipal lot directly across from the Courthouse.

Springfield
United States Attorney’s Office
Federal Building and Courthouse
300 State Street, Suite 230
Springfield, Massachusetts 01105
Directions: http://www.mad.uscourts.gov/springfield/springfield-directions.htm
Hourly and daily parking is available in the Civic Center parking garage.

Does your office recover unpaid child support? 

If you have a problem recovering unpaid child support, it is best to first contact the following agencies.

Massachusetts Child Support Enforcement Division
1-800-332-2733

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Child Support Enforcement
1-800-477-8477

I have a question about penalty or restitution payments to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The Financial Litigation Unit (FLU) at the U.S. Attorney’s Office litigates debt collection issues and enforces collection of criminal and civil debts owed to the United States or to victims of federal crimes.

Information on making a payment, contacting FLU, and other common questions regarding debt collection by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, can be found here.

I want to report a civil rights abuse.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is committed to enforcing violations of federal civil rights. The Office divides its cases between civil and criminal enforcement.

The Civil Rights Unit (CRU) enforces federal civil statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, family status, and national origin. For instance, CRU ensures compliance with federal statutes, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act, to name a few.

The Civil Rights Enforcement Team (CRET) enforces federal criminal civil rights violations, such as hate crimes, the use of excessive force by police, and human trafficking.

To report a civil rights violation, please call the main number of the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (617) 748-3100 (dial 0 for the operator), and ask to speak to the duty attorney.

Alternatively:

I want to report mortgage fraud/illegal foreclosure. 

To report alleged mortgage fraud or an illegal foreclosure, please contact the Federal Trade Commission at (877) FTC-HELP or (877) 382-4357.

There are also several free or low-cost legal services in the Boston-area specializing in housing matters, including mortgage fraud and foreclosures.  Please contact them directly for more information.

I want to report identity theft.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office cannot give legal help or advice to individuals, however, if you believe you have been the victim of identity theft or fraud, we suggest that you contact the following agencies.

  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Your local District Attorney’s Office – A listing of District Attorney Offices in Massachusetts can be found here, or call the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association at (617) 723-0642;
  • and the following credit reporting agencies

I have my own attorney and I’m having a problem with them.  Where can I make a complaint?

Inquiries concerning the professional conduct of an attorney admitted to practice in Massachusetts are initially handled by the Attorney and Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP) of the Office of the Bar Counsel. The ACAP staff is available to discuss your concerns by telephone during normal business hours and can be reached at (617) 728-8750. If you would prefer to communicate your problem in writing, you can contact ACAP by fax at (617) 482-2992 or by letter at the 0ffice of Bar Counsel. ACAP cannot accept inquiries over the internet.

For more information on how to file a complaint, visit the Massachusetts Office of Bar Counsel.

I am having a problem with a business.  Where can I make a complaint?

The U.S. Attorney’s Office cannot give legal advice to individuals. Contact the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Division at (617) 727-8400 and the Better Business Bureau nearest to the address of the business for which you want to file a complaint. 

I want to file a Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act request for documents in your office.

All requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for this office are handled through the Executive Office of the United States Attorney (EOUSA) in Washington, DC.  All correspondence concerning Freedom of Information/Privacy Act requests must be directed to the Washington office first.

Please send your request to the following address.

Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Unit
Executive Office for United States Attorneys
600 E Street, N.W., Room 7300
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

If you believe the documents you seek are held by this office (United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts), please indicate that in your letter.  Once the Washington Unit reviews the request, our office will respond.

 

Updated February 23, 2017