The completeness of the Attorney General's authority is further illustrated by the fact that once a matter has been referred to the Department of Justice, the referring agency ceases to have control over it. 1261, effected a Hoover Commission type reorganization whereby all functions of other employees and units in the Department, including Presidential appointees, were placed in the Attorney General to be redelegated by him/her. The Branch is also responsible for the government's affirmative civil claims arising from fraud and bribery and other official misconduct, as well as for the collection of civil fines and penalties in the areas assigned to the Civil Division. [updated April 2018] The responsibility of the Attorney General for civil litigation which has been delegated to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division (JM 4-1.200), has in a great many instances been redelegated to the United States Attorneys (28 C. If an agency makes an emergency referral or request as to the nondelegated case to the USAO, and the United States Attorney is satisfied that the requested action is proper but time does not permit contact with the Civil Division, protective action should be taken by the United States Attorney. Also, when constitutional questions or other significant issues arise in the course of such litigation, or when an appeal is taken by any party, the Civil Division must be consulted. 31998 (2015), suit authority for any claims or suits where the gross amount of the original claim does not exceed $10 million, upon the recommendation of branch, office, or staff directors. USAOs, however, are not involved in the execution of foreign service requests In addition to its use in civil cases, 28 U. The statute remains the primary means by which to secure evidence on behalf of prosecutors pursuing matters before international tribunals. Fraud claims are excluded from the coverage of the joint regulations implementing the Debt Collection Act. Any tort claim alleging acts or omissions on the part of any other government employee should be forwarded to the appropriate agency. The agency shall prepare a draft answer that responds to the complaint’s paragraph-by- paragraph allegations and that includes any recommended defenses and affirmative relief to be requested. Rule 26(a)requires that without waiting for a discovery request, the parties exchange lists of "each individual likely to have discoverable information" (whether or not an agency employee) and identify documents relevant to the claims or defenses raised in the complaint and in the answer, and that a party may use to support its claims or defenses.
The work of this Branch encompasses contract actions, whether brought by or against the government; most affirmative monetary and property claims (including foreclosures, reclamation claims, and actions to recover damages for conversion of government property) arising from government loan, grant, subsidy, and insurance programs; all non-tax bankruptcy litigation; and a broad variety of other monetary litigation, including patent or copyright infringement suits. The Civil Rights Division has responsibility for discrimination claims under the 1986 reforms. Liaison between the United States Attorneys and the Civil Division on such cases is discussed at JM 4-1.513. Agencies may, however, if special handling is desired, refer these cases to the Civil Division. 31, 132 (1988); and letters rogatory submitted through diplomatic channels. § 1782 is available to secure judicial assistance for use in criminal proceedings brought before foreign and international tribunals, including criminal investigations conducted before the filing of an accusation. Non-fraud claims should normally be reported to the affected administrative agency. Any tort claim arising from any USAO employee's acts or omissions should be forwarded to EOUSA. An agency may be called upon to make certifications to the court regarding its continuing efforts in this regard.
The Branch handles cases involving national security and defense, personnel issues and discrimination claims, government information and privacy suits, housing and human services cases, and miscellaneous claims challenging other programmatic activities of agencies. 3359, and cases arising under the enforcement reforms of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, Pub. Information for use in asserting the government's claim will be provided by the United States Shipping Commissioner attached to the Coast Guard at the locale. United States Attorneys may execute requests for evidence on a voluntary basis or may need to compel the evidence. [updated April 2018] United States Attorneys are requested to report any infringement of, or dereliction with respect to, the property or other interest of the United States warranting the institution of civil proceedings, when such matters have not been referred for handling. With respect to information, documents, and discoverable things within the legal possession, custody, or control of the agency, it remains the obligation of agency counsel, in consultation with DOJ, to conduct the inquiry required by Fed. DOJ will take the agency’s position into consideration in making the final determination regarding which privileges, if any, will be asserted. In such circumstances, agency counsel should seek guidance from DOJ.
Counsel for other government agencies may not be heard in opposition to the United States. This includes litigation against Cabinet officers and agencies under the Administrative Procedure Act, and institution of affirmative suits to enforce federal laws or regulations or to impose civil penalties. [updated April 2018] Pursuant to section 4(b) of the Civil Directive No. In the case of petitions for the return of funds of deceased or deserting sailors pursuant to 46 U. In such cases, the United States Attorney should appear as attorney for the United States as another claimant to the funds. United States Attorneys should not attempt to execute foreign evidence requests in civil cases without first contacting the Office of International Judicial Assistance. As with civil requests, United States Attorneys should not attempt to execute foreign requests for judicial assistance in criminal cases without obtaining the approval of the Office of International Affairs. Unless DOJ indicates otherwise, the litigation report should include all the information necessary for the "initial disclosures" required by Fed. [updated April 2018] Agency counsel has primary responsibility throughout the course of the litigation to investigate the facts, draft responses to interrogatories, provide written responses to requests for admissions, and provide draft written responses to requests for production of documents, and if appropriate, provide information that may limit the scope of discovery permitted against the agency on proportionality grounds. DOJ will make legal objections; negotiate protective orders, claw-back agreements, and Fed. The agency shall timely provide all documents responsive to any discovery request, including any privileged documents, along with all information required to show the applicability of any privilege it suggests should be asserted. There can be more than one agency representative for these purposes, depending on the circumstances.
The compromise and closing authority exercised by the Assistant Attorney General and subordinate Civil Division officials is described in JM 4-3.110 through 4-3.120. Four Staffs are responsible for the Torts Branch's litigative responsibilities as follows: Aviation and Admiralty Constitutional and Specialized Torts Environmental Torts Staff FTCA Staff A helpful source for contact information for supervisors within each Area of the Torts Branch can be found in the routinely updated internal compendium “Expertise in the Civil Division.” NOTE: Federal Torts Claims Act matters pertaining to aviation or environmental issues are within the responsibilities of the Aviation and Admiralty and Environmental Torts staffs, respectively. § 0.172, presently details this redelegation of authority to United States Attorneys, 80 Fed. Where authority for direct handling has been redelegated to the United States Attorneys, they are generally authorized to take all necessary steps to protect the interests of the United States without prior approval of the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, or his/her representative ( Directive 1-15§§ 1(e) 4(a) and 4(b)), except as may otherwise be specified in a redelegation letter or as provided in Directive 1-15, §§ 4(a) and 4(b). It is the responsibility of agency counsel, in consultation with DOJ, to (1) provide written notice to all agency employees (and contractors, if necessary) who are likely to have documents or electronically stored information (ESI) relevant to any potential claim or defense of their obligation to preserve such documents and information, (2) obtain certification from every such employee (or contractor) that he or she understands these obligations and will comply, and (3) coordinate with the agency’s information technology personnel in instituting and maintaining the litigation hold.
The specific matters assigned to each component, insofar as they may be significant to the United States Attorneys, are summarized in JM 4-1.211 through 4-1.217. The Torts Branch also handles some contract matters in the environmental area. [updated April 2018] Upon service of the complaint, the agency shall confirm that an appropriate litigation hold was implemented or, only after consultation with DOJ, make a determination that the specific case does not require a litigation hold.The Office of the Attorney General was established by the Judiciary Act of 1789. The AG's statutory authority to conduct litigation to which the United States, its departments or agencies is a party was expanded and more fully developed by Congress in 1870 in the same legislation that provided for the creation of the Department of Justice. and no counsel or attorney fees shall hereafter be allowed to any person ... [updated April 2018] Agency referrals for litigation should be accompanied by sufficient information, whether in the form of a litigation report or otherwise, to permit an intelligent evaluation of the factual and legal merits of the case. Referrals of cases in excess of the United States Attorneys' authority should be made through the Civil Division. Section 35 of that Act vested the Attorney General (AG) with plenary authority to "prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned" and to give advice and opinions upon questions of law when requested by the President or the heads of various Departments. Among other things, the Act forbade the Secretaries of the Executive Departments to employ other attorneys or outside counsel at government expense, and required them to call upon the Department of Justice ... unless hereafter authorized by law, and then only on the certificate of the Attorney-General that such services could not be performed by the Attorney-General ... Bell, "The Attorney General: The Federal Government's Chief Lawyer and Chief Litigator, Or One Among Many? At the conclusion of the trial, the agency counsel shall consult with the Assistant United States Attorney or Trial Attorney about any post-trial proceedings and, in the case of an adverse judgment, provide the agency’s appeal recommendation. Where they involve amounts coming within the United States Attorneys' authority, the referrals should be made by the agencies directly to the National Central Intake Facility.Here's an example of a basic assignment of a contract: Tom contracts with a dairy to deliver a bottle of half-and-half to Tom's house every day.The dairy assigns Tom's contract to another dairy, and--provided Tom is notified of the change and continues to get his daily half-and-half--his contract is now with the new dairy. for services in such capacity to the United States ... Other objectives of the legislation advanced in the congressional debates were to ensure the presentation of uniform positions with respect to the laws of the United States ("a unity of decision, a unity of jurisprudence in the executive law of the United States"), and to provide the AG with authority over lower court proceedings involving the United States so that litigation would be better handled on appeal, and before the Supreme Court. 1049 (1978); Key, "The Legal Work of the Federal Government," 25 Va. When required by any court or by DOJ, an agency representative shall be available to attend the trial. The initial motivation for this legislation was the desire to centralize the conduct and supervision of all litigation in which the government was involved, as well as to eliminate the need for highly-paid outside counsel when government-trained attorneys could perform the same function. Agency counsel shall participate in the trial preparation as needed.In order to do that, the other party to the contract must be properly notified.Read on to learn how assignments work, including how to keep an assignment option out of your contract. [updated April 2018] If the litigation proceeds to trial, agency counsel is responsible for coordinating the appearance and travel, if necessary, of agency witnesses. When the interpretation or application of an Act of Congress or a departmental regulation or the Attorney General's authority to conduct litigation is involved, the Department may wish to file a brief amicus curiae to inform the court of the government's position. [updated April 2018] In any action, suit, or proceeding in a court of the United States, to which the United States or an agency or employee thereof is not a party, the court is required to certify to the Attorney General when the constitutionality of an Act of Congress is called into question, and the court must permit the United States to intervene to submit evidence or argument on the issue of constitutionality. Additionally, if requested, agency counsel may review and make timely comments on any briefs to be filed.