What to Know About False Claims Act Cases Under Seal

There are many factors regarding False Claims Act Cases under seal. Failure to pay attention to the rules set by a case under seal or reluctance to follow through with such requirements could have a negative impact on a False Claims Act Case. Consult with a knowledgeable attorney to learn more about why it is imperative to adhere to the rules of a case under seal. A lawyer can go into detail regarding what to know about False Claims Act cases under seal.

What is Included in the Disclosure?

All relevant information pertaining to a False Claims Act case would be included in a disclosure. This would include the Relator’s allegations and how the Relator came to understand those allegations. Other information not entirely related to the case that may be included in a disclosure may include the Relator’s resume and background.

Rules Surrounding a Case Under Seal

When a False Claims Act is under seal, one cannot confirm the existence of the case, but in most cases, it is mostly advisable to not speak of the case in any way. Sanctions for violating this requirement are quite severe. The Relator can lose the right to collect compensation if they choose to break the seal. The Relator and their attorney could also be subject to court sanctions for violating the seal as well. The government is required to respect the seal as well. However, these requirements are lifted once the seal becomes absent.

In order for a seal to be extended, the case must be filed for at least 60 days. However, the seal can only be extended for “good cause” shown by the government. In practice, the government can, and does, request to extend the seal for years. That being said, the court is responsible for determining whether the seal should be lifted.

Length of Time it Takes for the Government to Conduct a Case

The longevity of a case depends mostly on the court’s, the judge’s, and the government’s own progress. If the government can demonstrate to the judge that they require more time for to continue their investigation, the judge, in most instances, would likely provide them with more time to investigate. Unfortunately, such investigations are not entirely under the control of any one party. The government may issue an investigative demand and the defendant may need a considerable amount of time to comply with the demand.

Instances in which the government may ask for more time is regarding the discovery of evidence. In some cases, evidence may be residing in a foreign county. These cases may have been filed with respect to USAID, the Department of Defense, and the Iraq and Afghanistan war efforts. Under such circumstances, the government may extend the seal and work to conduct negotiations with the defendant and, attempt to settle the matter prior to unsealing it.

There is no deadline with respect to how long the government may take to conduct an investigation. As a result, many judges have become more attuned to the idea that the government should not have an endless period of time to pursue a case. However, the government itself should not have an endless period of time to pursue a case. In recent years, the government itself has been more aggressive in attempting to move investigations along

Contact an Attorney Today

If you are unsure or unaware about the requirements pertaining to a case under seal, it is recommended to get in touch with an attorney for more information. A lawyer could review with you the consequences of failing to adhere to the rules set by a case under seal. For more information on what to know about False Claims Act cases under seal, schedule a consultation today.