Graham County Soil & Water Conservation District, et al. v. U.S.
SUPREME COURT CASES RELATED BY THIS ISSUE
Whether an audit and investigation performed by a State or its political subdivision constitutes an "administrative ... report ... audit, or investigation" within the meaning of the public disclosure jurisdictional bar of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730 (e)(4)(A).
NCLC urged the Supreme Court to hold that the False Claims Act (FCA) bars the use of publicly available state and local audits or investigations as the basis of qui tam lawsuits. In this case, the plaintiff relied on publicly available state audits to support her claim that Graham County committed fraud against the United States when it accepted payments as part of a disaster relief program. The combination of widely available state and local compliance audits and the possibility of lottery-sized "paydays" for plaintiffs creates the perfect environment for opportunistic, costly litigation under the FCA that will affect almost every segment of the nation's economy.
NCLC also filed a brief supporting cert. in this case.
The Supreme Court granted review and held that the False Claims Act (FCA) bars the use of publicly available state and local administrative reports as the basis of qui tam lawsuits. The False Claims Act prohibits the use of "a congressional, administrative, or Government Accounting Office report" in qui tam lawsuits. The Supreme Court held that the term "administrative" includes not only federal reports, but state and local administrative reports as well.
Justices in Majority
Justices in Minority
Amicus brief supporting cert. filed 10/8/08. Call for the Views of the Solicitor General 12/8/08. Cert. granted 6/22/09. Amicus brief on the merits filed 9/3/09. Moot court held 11/19/09. Oral argument held 11/30/09. Decided 3/30/10.