The Civil Division represents the United States in all civil actions brough to federal or state court in the Western District of Texas. The Civil Division also represents the United States in civil actions on appeal before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Civil Division represents the interests of the United States where the federal government or one of its agencies is named as a defendant. These defensive matters include employment disputes, medical malpractice, wrongful death, auto accidents, other tort actions, judicial review of agency decisions (including in immigration matters), claims under the Freedom of Information Act, and cases challenging the constitutionality of federal statutes and regulatory schemes.
The Civil Division’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) Unit brings litigation on behalf of the United States to recover taxpayer funds lost due to fraud on government programs or other misconduct. Many of these cases arise under the False Claims Act, which permits private parties to bring fraud claims to the government’s attention and share in any recovery. Individuals and entities that violate the False Claims Act must pay the government three times the amount of damages incurred by the United States, plus a penalty for each violation. The ACE Unit has obtained substantial recoveries in cases involving healthcare fraud (including fraud on the Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE programs), government contracts and procurement fraud, and federal grant fraud.
The ACE Unit also brings litigation to impose civil penalties for violations of the nation’s health, safety, and economic welfare laws. In partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the ACE Unit is frequently called upon to enforce the civil penalty provisions of the Controlled Substance Act to prosecute drug diversion and combat the opioid epidemic.
The Civil Division also pursues claims under various civil rights laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, and represents the interested of the U.S. and its agencies in bankruptcy proceedings.