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.
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.
Our Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) unit brings civil actions to enforce federal regulatory requirements and to recover damages against those who submit false claims or commit fraud against the government. The majority of ACE 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.
ACE cases also include actions to enforce out Nation’s environmental and civil rights laws, including protecting the rights of members of the military who are serving our country.
Our Asset Forfeiture unit investigates and prosecutes both civil and criminal cases that involve the possible forfeiture of real property, currency, vehicles and other items of value that were used in, or are the proceeds of criminal activity. Forfeiture AUSAs and support staff handle all civil forfeiture matters and work in conjunction with Criminal Division AUSAs on criminal forfeiture cases. The unit also works to enhance cooperation among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies through the equitable sharing of assets recovered through forfeiture.
The Civil Division include a Financial Litigation Unit (FLU) having responsibility for recovering monies owed the government because of breach of contract, defaulted loans, and failure to pay administrative fines and penalties. The FLU also pursues legal proceedings to enforce criminal fines, restitution orders, and civil judgments.