As a whistleblower who has filed a qui tam case, your goal is to convince the government to prosecute your case. However, this is usually not an easy task. In fact, there are many situations in which the government may choose to dismiss your False Claims Act (“FCA”) claim, and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has outlined seven circumstances under which your qui tam claim may be dismissed. If you believe you have a strong qui tam claim, contact the qui tam attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to learn more about the strength of your case and your options moving forward.
False Claims Act
Section 3730(c)(2)(A) of the False Claims Act provides the following: “The Government may dismiss the action notwithstanding the objections of the person initiating the action if the person has been notified by the Government of the filing of the motion and the court has provided the person with an opportunity for a hearing on the motion.”
Earlier this year, the DOJ sent an internal memorandum to its attorneys responsible for prosecuting FCA claims elaborating on the above provision and providing specific examples of when the government should dismiss qui tam claims. The examples are outlined below.
Seven Circumstances That May Lead the Government to Dismiss Your Qui Tam Claim
The guidance provided in the DOJ’s internal memorandum encourages government attorneys to consider the following seven situations when determining whether to dismiss a qui tam claim:
- Curbing meritless qui tams: Government attorneys should ask themselves whether the legal theory might be defective or the factual allegations might be frivolous. If so, dismiss the claim.
- Preventing parasitic or opportunistic qui tam actions: Government attorneys should ask themselves whether the tips provided by the relator offer any additional information that the government did not already have through its own investigations.
- Preventing interference with agency policies and procedures: Government attorneys should ask themselves whether allowing the claim to proceed would interfere with the relevant agency’s policies and procedures.
- Controlling litigation brought on behalf of the United States: Government attorneys should ask themselves whether allowing the claim to proceed would result in excessive lawsuits or create any unfavorable precedents.
- Safeguarding classified information and national security interests: Government attorneys should ask themselves whether dismissing the claim might help safeguard classified information.
- Preserving government resources: Government attorneys should ask themselves whether the costs of litigation would far exceed the expected gains.
- Addressing egregious procedural errors: Government attorneys should ask themselves whether the relator has failed to provide any material information to the government or otherwise impeded the government’s ability to investigate the claim.
Contact a California Qui Tam Attorney Today
If you believe you have a strong qui tam claim you would like to pursue, or you have simply witnessed corporate fraud that you believe needs to be reported, contact the qui tam attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to learn more about your options. Our Santa Rosa and San Francisco qui tam lawyers have helped numerous whistleblowers report corporate fraud and seek justice for the victim(s) and taxpayers in general. Contact us today at (800) 427-7020 or visit us online to schedule your confidential and free consultation.
(image courtesy of Kyle Glenn)