AUSAs working in the Civil Division represent the United States, whether as plaintiff or defendant, in civil lawsuits.
In defensive litigation, AUSAs defend the United States in cases involving allegations of employment discrimination and harassment, along with vehicular, medical malpractice, and other personal injury matters brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act. In addition, civil defensive AUSAs handle a wide array of cases involving the Freedom of Information Act, Administrative Procedures Act, Social Security, constitutional torts, prisoners’ rights, civil rights, and government contracts.
In affirmative litigation, including Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) cases, AUSAs bring cases under the False Claims Act, which empowers private citizens with knowledge of fraud to present those claims to the U.S. and share in any recovery.
The Civil Division’s award-winning and aggressive Financial Litigation Unit (FLU) enforces federal and non-federal restitution orders and fines, as well as civil judgments owed the United States. It advocates for the rights of crime victims because all funds collected through restitution enforcement are paid to victims. The FLU uses remedies provided by the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act to secure payment of these debts, and its collection work also involves filing suit to obtain judgments on default government loans, such as student loans, farm loans, or mortgages guaranteed by a federal agency. During fiscal year 2011, the FLU’s civil and criminal collections totaled nearly $33 million.