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Civil Division

Civil Defensive

The Civil Division defends the United States, its agencies or officials in a wide range of cases. These actions pertain to torts (medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, negligence by government agencies or officials), federal officials sued in their individual capacity for constitutional violations, employment discrimination (race, sex, national origin, age, disability, reprisal, sexual orientation, sexual harassment), environmental, bankruptcy, state court foreclosures, Native American matters, Social Security appeals, subpoenas issued to federal employees for testimony in state courts, suits seeking injunctive relief, review of administrative agency action, and tax litigation. Civil Defensive Assistant U.S. Attorneys work through complex discovery, jurisdiction and statutory interpretation issues in each case to achieve a result favorable for the United States

Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE)

The ACE program engages in affirmative litigation against those who file false claims to government programs and enforces a wide variety of federal statutes and agency regulations.  ACE may also address matters in which the public health, welfare or safety has been threatened. These cases are brought in lieu of, or in addition to, criminal prosecution and encompass a broad range of enforcement actions pursuant to various statutes. The ACE Assistant U.S. Attorneys work closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration for Controlled Substances Act violations, Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, Department of Defense-Defense Criminal Investigative Service and FBI for health care fraud and the Small Business Administration for pandemic program fraud.  In addition, ACE works with the Civil Rights Division at Main Justice on cases involving violations of civil rights, such as Fair Housing and Americans with Disabilities Act.  Our ACE program also pursues nationwide fraud schemes in the pharmaceutical and durable medical equipment industries.

Goals of the Civil Division

The goals of the Civil Division are twofold.  First, the Division works to achieve justice in cases in which the United States (or its agencies or officers) are hailed to Court.  Where appropriate, the Division pursues a robust discovery and motion practice to see a case to conclusion. In other instances, a fair settlement may be accomplished, given the Assistant U.S. Attorney's investigation of the facts and consideration of applicable law. Second, the ACE program works to fairly achieve the maximum amount of recovery with the least amount of cost for each affirmative claim or debt, consistent with applicable laws, regulations, policies and other governmental interests. Most of the dollars recovered will be returned to the victims and defrauded agencies. However, three percent of the dollars recovered from civil judgments are deposited into a special Department of Justice fund which is used to purchase the physical resources needed to support future collection efforts by the Financial Litigation Units in all U.S. Attorney offices.

Updated December 1, 2022

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