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Frequently Asked Questions

The Office is called the "U.S. Attorney;" does that mean you represent individual "U.S." citizens? We do not represent individuals in matters or lawsuits you may wish to bring against another person, company or government agency. We represent the United States of America and its agencies, such as the United States Department of Interior, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Defense, etc. The United States Attorney's Office also represents the United States of America in criminal matters filed against individual or corporate defendants.

Can you suggest someone who could represent me? Sorry, our office is not permitted to make referrals to legal counsel. We suggest that you look at the Lawyer Referral Service web page sponsored by the State Bar of Washington. It contains information about finding an attorney in good standing who handles your particular type of litigation.

Is your office under the "Attorney General?" Our office is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, headed by United States Attorney Merrick B. Garland. We are separate from the Washington State Attorney General's Office currently headed by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. For state matters refer to the Washington State Attorney General's Office web page.

Does your office pursue "deadbeat parents?" Yes, federal law allows us to become involved when the non-custodial parent is in another state. The parent must have failed to pay a past due child support obligation for over one year or have an obligation greater than $5,000. If you have a problem with unpaid child support, it is best to first contact the Family Support Division of the county District Attorney´s Office where the support order was issued.

I am having a problem with a local business. Where can I turn for help?
We cannot provide legal advice to the general public. You may wish to contact any of the following resources: The Better Business Bureau for Western Washington and Oregon has a clearinghouse for consumer complaints; The Consumer Division of the Washington State Attorney General's Office or the Federal Trade Commission.

I need to contact a federal agency other than the Department of Justice. Can you tell me how?
If the agency has a local office, you can find its number in the blue pages of the telephone book under United States Government listings. If not, or if you need to contact its Washington, D.C. office, go to the Federal Citizen Information Center where you will find toll-free contact telephone numbers.

Where can I get a copy of the ADA (American with Disabilities) regulations?
Toll-free numbers and regulations are available on the American with Disabilities Act web site.

Does your office handle civil rights cases? While the scope of our civil rights practice is broad, the authority of the United States Department of Justice to investigate and seek relief for individual complaining parties for alleged civil rights violations is limited. We may investigate and seek to remedy alleged discriminatory conduct only where and in the manner specifically authorized by law. For more information click here.

What is the website for the U.S. District Court for Western Washington?
Click here to go to the Western Washington U.S. District Court website.

Updated November 28, 2022