Qui Tam Action

The decision by the Department of Justice to intervene in a case does not necessarily mean that it will endorse, adopt or agree with every factual allegation or legal conclusion in the relator’s complaint. It has been the usual practice of the Department to file its own complaint about 60 days after the intervention, setting forth its own statement of the facts that show the knowing submission of false claims, and the specific relief it seeks. In addition, the Department of Justice has the ability to, and often will, assert claims arising under other statutes (such as the Truth in Negotiation Act or the Public Contracts Anti-Kickback Act) or the common law, which the relators do not have the legal right to assert in their complaint, since only the False Claims Act has a qui tam provision. After the relator’s complaint is unsealed, the relator through his or her attorney has the obligation under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to serve its complaint upon each named defendant within 120 days. Each named defendant has the duty to file an answer to the complaint or a motion within 20 days after service of the government’s complaints. Discovery under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure begins shortly thereafter.

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