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Civil Division

The Civil Division represents the United States, its agencies and employees at the trial and appellate levels in a wide variety of both defensive and affirmative civil actions in federal and state courts. Our attorneys engage in the full range of civil litigation from the filing and answering of complaints through discovery, motions, trials, and appeals. The Civil Division handles four major types of cases: defensive litigation, affirmative civil enforcement, asset forfeiture, and debt collection. The civil division also handles a variety of miscellaneous civil cases including foreclosures, summons enforcements, bankruptcies, and subpoenas of federal officials.

Defensive Litigation

Civil AUSAs defend the United States and its agencies in a wide array of civil suits brought against the government. Such defensive cases include suits under the Federal Tort Claims Act; allegations of discrimination in federal employment; challenges to agency actions and government procurement under the Administrative Procedure Act; appeals under the Social Security Act; suits seeking the release of records under the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act; and the defense of government officials sued in their individual capacities.

Affirmative Litigation Unit ("ALU")

Our Affirmative Litigation Unit (ALU) unit, under the supervision of the Deputy Civil Chief, brings civil actions to enforce federal regulatory requirements, to recover damages against those who submit false claims or commit fraud against the government, to recover assets, and to collect debts owed to the United States. A number of ALU cases are brought to enforce the federal False Calims Act, with a significant portion of this work devoted to pursuing health care fraud and defense procurement fraud. Some of these cases are initiated by private citizens who may bring suit on behalf of the United States in appropriate circumstances.  ALU cases also include actions to enforce our nation’s environmental and civil rights laws, including protecting the rights of members of the military who are serving our country.  In addition to handling civil forfeiture cases, the ALU assists criminal prosecutors in the enforcement of our nation's asset forfeiture laws, seeking to deprive those who commit crime the proceeds of their efforts, the tools, equipment or other property they used to faciliate their crime, and other "tainted" assets. 

Debt Collection

The ALU includes a Financial Litigation Program (FLP) having responsibility for recovering monies owed the government because of breach of contract, defaulted loans, and failure to pay administrative fines and penalties. The FLP also pursues legal proceedings to enforce criminal fines, restitution orders, and civil judgments.

How to Pay Debts Owed to the United States

Updated March 8, 2021

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