Qui Tam Case Procedure

If the government decides to pursue the Qui Tam case they will assume the burdens of litigating the matter. Of course, the government also has the authority to settle the case. If the investigation clears the defendants of a Qui Tam case procedure of wrongdoing the allegations do not have to be aired publicly in Court.

If you are interested in filing a Qui Tam, an experienced Qui Tam lawyer can help. Qui Tam case procedures can be difficult to navigate without the help of a skilled Qui Tam lawyer

Filing a Qui Tam Claim

A plaintiff must file the Qui Tam case under seal and allow the government to investigate the case prior to determining whether the government wants to join the case.

Generally, individuals should file the cases, which are not publicly disclosed or for which they can claim to be an original source of the information. The seal provision of this law grants the government has an initial period of 60 days to review the complaint by a Qui Tam relator.

The government can extend the seal period for good cause and almost always does so. As a result, the Qui Tam case procedure can take some time while the government is investigating the claim.

Rules and Procedures

Even before filing a case in court, most Qui Tam relators want to submit their allegations to the government because that is an initial and important step in the establishing of the Qui Tam relator as an original source of the information that they are providing to the government.

Qui Tam case procedures filed in court are subject to all the general federal rules. Therefore, when the case is unsealed, if either the government decides to intervene or the Qui Tam relator wishes to pursue it on their own.

Qui Tam Litigation

The complaint will be served on the defendant and litigation would proceed as other litigation in court. Before that happens, the government may take the time to investigate the allegations and make a determination as to whether they want to pursue the case.

Qui Tam case procedures are multi-step processes and a Qui Tam relator first must prepare the case to present it to the government at best as possible and then count on the fact that the government will take the time to investigate the allegations.

Benefit of Seal Provision

As part of Qui Tam case procedures, the seal provision was enacted to be a benefit to the government and allow the government to investigate the claims, but it can also benefit the plaintiff and even defendants.

Quite often as a matter of practical use, the seal will keep the identity of the plaintiff confidential. At least for some period of time prior to the allegations coming out in court or being known publicly, the plaintiff-relator may file in a manner that prevents anyone from knowing about the case at all.

This is not a protection that can last indefinitely, but it can last for enough time to allow the plaintiff-relator to move on with life. If it is necessary to seek employment elsewhere and get out from under employment with the defendant.

Qui Tam Roles

Qui Tam case procedures make it important for any relator to establish their connection to the information. Congress wanted to reward individuals for new information and created provisions of the law that reflect that intent. 

There is a public disclosure bar as part of Qui Tam case procedures, which can operate to prevent individuals from being able to sue. The main exception to this bar is for a plaintiff to establish the individual as an original source of the material.

If the person filing under the Qui Tam provisions can demonstrate that they were an original source of this information, they can maintain an action even when there has been a public disclosure. This would mean that they had independent knowledge of it and provided it to the government prior to filing the case.