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Civil Division

The Civil Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey represents the United States in a broad array of defensive and affirmative civil lawsuits arising primarily in the U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts for the District of New Jersey, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the New Jersey Courts. The Civil Division, which has personnel in all three of the District’s offices, consists of Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are assigned to General Litigation, Affirmative Civil Enforcement ("ACE"), Financial Litigation ("FLU"), and Civil Rights Enforcement.

General Litigation

The majority of the division's Assistant U.S. Attorneys are assigned to the General Litigation team. This team principally defends the United States in employment discrimination and sexual harassment actions, along with vehicular, medical malpractice and other personal injury matters brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act. These attorneys also are responsible for cases in a variety of disciplines, including Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act, Administrative Procedures Act, immigration, constitutional torts, Social Security, subpoena enforcement, constitutional law, prisoners' rights, civil rights, defense of government employees in criminal or quasi-criminal cases brought in state court, condemnation, bankruptcy and government contracts.

ACE Unit

The ACE unit primarily prosecutes non-healthcare civil actions to recover damages as a result of fraud, false statements and other misconduct against the United States; and seeks civil penalties against those who violate the nation's defense, safety, social and economic welfare laws. The ACE Unit also pursues parallel proceedings to coordinate civil and criminal fraud investigations -- including by using prejudgment and pre-indictment remedies to freeze assets and seeking injunctions to prevent or stop unlawful activity.

The ACE Unit is involved in numerous cases and matters resulting in, or which will result in the recovery of multiple millions of dollars over the course of FY 2013-14. Recently, a $2.7 million recovery was achieved in a case involving an Iraqi contractor.


The FLU primarily litigates and enforces the collection of criminal and civil debts owed to the United States, including criminal restitution, fines, civil settlements, judgments and penalties. In FYs 2012-13, the FLU collected nearly $760 million in debts owed to the United States, approximately $424 million of which resulted directly from  the work of the unit in recovery of debts owed in New Jersey.

Civil Rights Unit

The Civil Rights Unit enforces civil federal civil rights statutes, such as the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; laws that protect voting rights, servicemembers’ rights and religious freedom; laws that prohibit patterns and practices of police misconduct, and other federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by the Department of Justice.

Updated September 21, 2016

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