Who Can Bring a False Claim or Qui Tam Complaint?
California Qui Tam Lawyers Explain Who Can Bring a False Claim or Qui Tam Complaint
The whistleblower or qui tam plaintiff is called a relator under both state and federal law. The relator is considered to be bringing the case on behalf of the government. For example, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b): “A person may bring a civil action for a violation of section 3729 for the person and for the United States Government. The action shall be brought in the name of the Government.”
Once the relator’s complaint is filed, the government is given a chance to investigate the case and decide whether to intervene. Our San Francisco qui tam lawyers want to assure clients that a qui tam or false claims complaint is always filed confidentially under seal. In order to give the government an opportunity to investigate the allegations before deciding whether to intervene, the complaint must be filed under seal and the summons is withheld. The defendant is not served with the complaint and does not receive notice that a complaint has been filed until the government decides whether to serve a subpoena or the complaint is somehow shared with the defendant during the government’s investigation.
Common bars to bringing a false claims case:
The facts underlying the complaint cannot have been publicly disclosed, such as in criminal, civil, or administrative hearing, in a congressional, administrative, or Government Accounting Office report, hearing, audit, or investigation, or from the news media. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A) .
The relator must be an “original source” of the information in the complaint, meaning that they must have direct and independent knowledge of the information on which the allegations are based and has voluntarily provided the information to the Government before filing an action under this section which is based on the information. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(B).
For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced lawyer from our San Francisco qui tam law firm, please call 888-503-8267 or 415-441-8669 or send an email under the Contact Us portion of this website.