How to sue the federal government

How to Sue the Federal Government – Lawsuit Against the Fed Government

Do I Have a Case?

If you or a loved one were hurt or died due to the negligence of a federal agency or employee, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) gives you the right to file a claim for your damages. The FTCA provides certain procedural steps you must follow in order to successfully file an injury claim. Before initiating legal action, you should know what you can sue for and how you must go about it.

Your FTCA claim must be against a federal employee, not an independent contractor, for negligent conduct conducted during the scope of the federal employee’s employment. Usually, only claims of negligence and not willful misconduct are allowed under the FTCA unless the misconduct was perpetrated by a federal law enforcement official. State laws where the incident took place must also allow claims to be filed for the tortious action perpetrated against you.

Standard Form 95 – SF95

Before bringing a lawsuit under the FTCA, you must file a Notice of Claim with the federal agency responsible for your injury. A Notice of Claim is an administrative action seeking restitution from the federal government. Using the Standard Form 95 (SF95), claimants will state basic information about themselves; name, address, date, marital status, and employment status.

Additionally, claimants must include information about their accident. SF95 will ask for the time, date, nature of any property damage or personal injury/death. Claimants may list witnesses to the incident and include their addresses. Claimants must list specific dollar amounts of damages they are seeking. A failure to list a specific dollar amount may result in a forfeiture of their rights. Claimants will also be asked about any insurance information to property damaged.

Can a lawyer file a SF95 Notice of Claim for me?

Yes. SF95 forms have a field to identify the legal representative filing your claim. Because there are specific procedural steps to be taken, an attorney familiar with the FTCA can help ensure your paperwork is processed correctly. Attorneys can help claimants with aspects such as:

Time deadlines: Notice of Claims often must be filed within two years of the injury (note: consult with an injury lawyer in order to calculate the filing deadline applicable to you). Utilizing the services of an attorney can help ensure your claim is filed in a timely manner to preserve your rights. Once your claim is submitted, the federal government has six months to make a decision on your claim.

Once the government rules on your notice of claims, you have six months to file a lawsuit if you are not awarded the full amount of money you asked for. Consult with a DC personal injury lawyer to determine which deadline applies to your injury case.

Supporting documents: Notice of Claims usually must include supporting documents for their injuries and/or property damage. Attorneys can assist in collecting documentation recording the extent of the injury, hospitalization, treatment, the degree of any disabilities. In wrongful death cases, you may need to include invoices for burial expenses.

If there was property damage, itemized receipts of repairs performed must be submitted with your Notice of Claim. If the repairs are not performed, two estimates from reliable parties must accompany with the Notice of Claim. Damages for property beyond repaired should include statements as to the date of purchase, original cost, and the value of the property, both before and after the accident. A qualified attorney can help assist claimants will compiling all the necessary paperwork for seeking restitution for damages.

Filing a Federal Tort Claims Act lawsuit

If you do not receive a favorable ruling in your administrative action, you may proceed with a lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Your FTCA lawsuit should be filed in the United States District Court which covers the jurisdiction where your accident took place (there may be other jurisdictions where you can file, but as always, we strongly recommend consulting with an attorney prior to proceeding).

Your case will be assigned to an attorney with the United States Department of Justice and an experienced attorney on your side should be familiar will all the legal proceedings and defenses the federal government may use to keep from paying you the compensation you deserve. Under the FTCA, you may not sue the federal government for more money than you asked for in your SF95 Notice of Claim. Retaining a qualified attorney from the very beginning can help ensure you file for all the injury damages you are entitled to.

Federal Tort Claims Act attorneys in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia

If you’ve been hurt due to the negligence of a federal entity, The Cochran Firm, D.C. has a team of dedicated and experienced personal injury attorneys who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our team of seasoned attorneys can guide you through the complicated legal processes of suing the government and maximize your recovery.

We offer free, prompt, and confidential case reviews. Since we represent our clients on a contingency basis, there are absolutely no legal fees unless we recover for you. Call us locally during business hours at 202-682-5800 or at 1-800-THE-FIRM to reach us 24 hours a day. You may also fill out a contact form here on our website. Because of the strict time deadlines associated with pursuing personal injury claims against the federal government, we ask that you please contact us at your earliest convenience in order to preserve your rights.

If you or a family member have suffered a serious personal injury as a result of the negligence of a government employee or agency, you may ask, “can I sue the United States government?” The answer is yes, you may be able to bring a claim against the U.S. government and receive compensation for your losses. But suing the government for personal injury can be a difficult and complicated process. Those who achieve the best results usually do so when they seek the assistance of attorneys who are experienced with this type of case from the outset.

Our firm handles a wide range personal injury cases against the United States government. Many of the cases we handle are medical malpractice cases. We often represent military service members and veterans, but our firm represents anyone who has been injured by the federal government. As our track record and case results suggest, we are experienced in this field and have been able to help many clients recover damages from the government. To discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced member of our team, contact the law firm Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees, Cheng, Alsaffar, Higginbotham, and Jacob, PLLC today.

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Suing the Federal Government After an Accident

The federal government, its employees and agents are responsible for many personal injuries each year. Many of these are caused by traffic accidents involving a federal government vehicle such as:

  • Military vehicles or convoys
  • U.S. Postal Service mail transport trucks
  • U.S. Postal Service letter carrier vehicles
  • Other government agency vehicles (FBI, DEA, ATF)

The federal government is also responsible for injuries that happen at federal venues, also known as premises liability accidents. These cases involve situations where the government failed to make reasonable effort to maintain safe conditions for visitors. Those who are hurt due to unsafe conditions in federal government buildings (e.g. post offices, museums, courthouses, office buildings, etc.) may be wondering, “can I sue the federal government for personal injury?” The answer is yes, provided you follow the proper procedures which includes timely presenting an administrative claim first.

Property Damage by Federal Employees

Negligence of federal government personnel can also damage property. If a U.S. Postal Service truck collides with other vehicles in an accident, the owners of those vehicles can sue the government for property damage. If federal park rangers setting controlled burn fires lose control of them and homes are destroyed, the homeowners may seek restitution from the federal government for the damage to the homes and their contents. These are just two examples of cases in which the U.S. government may be liable for property damage under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

Do you need permission to sue the government? No, but you must comply with the provisions of the Federal Tort Claims Act. In 1946, Congress passed the Federal Tort Claims Act which allows plaintiffs injured by the negligent acts of federal employees to file claims against the United States for damages. Our firm has a national FTCA practice and has represented many clients in cases against the US Government.

Suing the government for personal injury or property damage is not an easy process. Before you can sue the U.S. government for personal injury, you must present an administrative claim within 2 years of the date of negligence to the appropriate federal agency. After the claim is filed, the U.S. government has a minimum of six months to take action on the claim before suit can be filed. During this time, the government usually conducts an investigation on the matter and may or may not offer the plaintiff a settlement.

If, after six months, the government takes no action or if a settlement is not reached, a suit can be filed in federal court. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may have to comply with additional state laws before you can file your case, depending on the jurisdiction. Talk to your lawyer about what conditions must be satisfied before bringing a lawsuit against the U.S. government. You have a limited amount of time in which to file suit in federal court and if you don’t file in a timely manner, you forfeit your right to sue.

Attorneys for Suing the U.S. Government

If you have been injured by a U.S. Government employee, the Federal Tort Claims Act is your only recourse. It is usually better if you work with a law firm to present your administrative claim because there are many details of the law that a non-lawyer may not be aware of in presenting an administrative claim. You can lose valuable time or unknowingly make mistakes that limit your recovery. Your safest bet is to consult with a law firm experienced in handling FTCA cases and work with them to present the best administrative claim possible. Don’t delay because the more time your law firm has to review the file and prepare your claim before the statute of limitations expires, the better.

Everyone wants to know how to sue the government and win. There is no simple formula for victory. When it comes to suing the federal government, the best strategy is to gather as much information as possible and work with the most experienced, knowledgeable attorneys you can find. The lawyers at Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees, Cheng, Alsaffar, Higginbotham, and Jacob, PLLC have decades of experience filing FTCA claims, negotiating with federal attorneys, and trying cases in federal court. Call us today for a complimentary consultation.

Contact Our Attorneys

It is extremely time-consuming and expensive to pursue a complex military case, but our firm can skillfully guide you through the litigation process. Contact our attorneys today to schedule a consultation.

How to sue the federal government

The federal government, like any other entity, is often responsible for causing innocent people to be harmed. For those of us who live in the Washington metropolitan area, the chances of being harmed by a government employee are increased because of the prevalence of government workers here. The situations in which we encounter the government are both frequent and varied. Common places one might encounter government workers include but are not limited to, visiting a government hospital, being struck by a driver operating a government vehicle, or in one of the many government run buildings in Washington DC and the surrounding areas.

If you have been victimized by the negligent acts of a federal worker, here is some basic information you should know. Even though the thought of going up against the government is intimidating to say the least, if a government worker, representative, or entity has wronged you, you may need to do this for your safety and to protect your rights. The federal government is a powerful entity with vast resources to use against people who call them out on their mistakes but it is important to stand up for your and your family’s rights. By doing this, you may also be helping others who find themselves in situations similar to yours in the future.

Notice of Claim

The very first task to be performed when suing the federal government is to file a document known as a Notice of Claim. Essentially, this means that you must file a claim with the agency that committed the negligence (i.e., Department of Education, Secret Service, etc.) The Notice of Claim is filed on a standard form 95, commonly known as the “SF95.” It is worth mentioning that the SF95 must contain a “sum certain” claim, meaning that the claimant must identify a specific dollar amount that the claimant is seeking. The SF95 must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations, which is two years from the date the claimant knew, or should have known, of the negligence. If the SF95 is not timely filed, the claim cannot be brought.

Once the claim has been filed, then “notice” is considered given. At that point, the agency has six months by which to take action on the claim. This means that the government can investigate the matter, and in some situations settle claims. If the government has not taken action then suit can be brought. The legal standard is whether the government has taken a “final administrative action.”

Next, if (a) either settlement has not been effectuated, or (b) no action has been taken, then suit can be filed. Suit must be brought against the United States in the United States District Court. Usually, the claimant is not entitled to a jury trial. This means that a federal judge will decide what compensation, if any, is appropriate.

There was once a time, not long ago, when you couldn’t sue the federal government for injury because of a legal doctrine known as sovereign immunity. However, in 1945, a pilot crashed a B-25 bomber into the Empire State Building in foggy skies. Several months later, due in part to this highly publicized event, the U.S. government offered money to families of the victims.

The FTCA And Its Effect On You

How to sue the federal government

Thereafter, in 1946, a federal stature was created called the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which constituted a limited waiver of sovereign immunity and permitted citizens to pursue claims against the government for injuries, death or damage to property caused by a federal employee, or due to an accident on federal property.

The catch was that you needed to prove that a) the federal employee was within the scope of his employment; b) his negligent conduct (not an intentional act) caused the accident and; c) if you could find a similar lawsuit successfully litigated against a private party. Typical examples of lawsuits against the federal government would be a person hit by a postal truck or someone slipping and falling at a federal building.

What You Need To Do To Succeed

In current times, the federal government pays out millions of dollars each year. Yet, like any good bureaucracy, they make the victims jump through hoops. To succeed, you must:

  • File an SF95 claim form (specialized federal form) within two years of the accident with the federal agency responsible for your situation, and you must include as many facts as possible and the exact amount you want in damages.
  • After submitting your claim, the agency has to issue a ruling within six months of receipt of your SF95.
    • If you have a strong case, the federal agency may admit your claim and offer to compensate you in full or in part.
    • If the federal agency refuses to compensate you or rejects your claim, you then need to file your lawsuit within six months from the date when the decision was, or should have been, mailed to you.

    Suing the United States is a complicated process and definitely a lot more work than suing a private person or company. For this reason, it’s generally a good idea to engage the services of an experienced lawyer as early as possible. Many attorneys, even those attorneys who have practiced for years, are not familiar with the rules of federal court and have never brought a lawsuit against the United States of America.

    Our attorneys have vast experience in these cases and the skill set to succeed. If you have been injured by a federal or government employee, call the attorneys at Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP : 212-571-7171 . You can also reach us by email.

    Today our topics are government organization, lawsuits, and tomatoes.

    If there’s any entity that is commonly the subject of complaint for not doing what it’s expected to do, it’s the US government. But can you actually sue the government for money damages if they, say, negligently perform their duties and that causes you losses?

    Generally, the answer is no, because of an age-old principle called “sovereign immunity.” (Discussion for another day: Why do we have any concept with the word “sovereign” in it in America?) However, there’s a law called the Federal Tort Claims Act that makes exceptions to sovereign immunity, that is, it lists situations in which you can in fact sue the government for negligently causing you damage.

    Why does all this matter? First, because a food packager recently learned a hard lesson about the broad scope of the government’s protection from getting sued, and second, because we might soon see changes to some of the principles and concepts that have long guided the organization and accountability of our government.

    If you’re a packager of food or other FDA-regulated products and have ever been confronted with a possible health issue involving your product, and have had to make real-time decisions about what to do, you know how tough it is. You certainly don’t want to under-react if there’s real risk your food might be dangerous to people, but you also don’t want to over-react (conduct a recall, attract bad publicity) if your food really isn’t a danger.

    These decisions are often made together with some involvement by the FDA, which might have brought the potential problem to your attention in the first place, and might be pressuring you to act quickly. But did you know that FDA has the legal power to simply publicize the potential danger presented by your food? That is, FDA can put out a public announcement warning people that your food could be a danger to health, regardless of any action you may or may not take.

    And the question is, what happens if FDA does that, but it turns out later to have been wrong?

    Such a thing happened a few years ago to Seaside Farm, Inc., of South Carolina, which grows and sells tomatoes. Here’s a summary of the story as told by a recent court decision. Back in 2008, after there was an outbreak of Salmonella illnesses in New Mexico and Texas, the government’s investigators at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a strong statistical association between those illnesses and raw tomatoes. FDA issued a contamination warning to consumers in those states, said the outbreak was “likely associated with tomatoes,” but said it didn’t know the exact type and source of the contaminated tomatoes. About a week later, FDA sent out another warning, this time to consumers throughout the country, telling them to avoid “certain types” of raw red tomatoes, but the court said FDA didn’t make particularly clear that some tomatoes were safe. The outbreak eventually affected over 1,200 people.

    Within a month, CDC had figured out that it was jalapeno and serrano peppers imported from Mexico that caused the outbreak and FDA withdrew its warning about fresh tomatoes. In the meantime, lots of people had stopped buying and eating tomatoes, including those packed by Seaside, even though, Seaside noted later, “no tomato in the United States ever tested positive” for the strain of Salmonella associated with the outbreak.

    Seaside says it lost over $15 million dollars in crop losses because of FDA’s contamination warning. Seaside said that warning was issued due to FDA acting negligently, and therefore FDA should pay damages to Seaside. They sued FDA in federal court.

    They lost. The trial court ruled against them and then an appellate court agreed with that decision. The courts said that this wasn’t one of those cases in which you were allowed to sue the government for negligence, that is, not one of the exceptions from sovereign immunity.

    Why not? Because when FDA issued its warnings, it was performing one of the “discretionary functions” the law gives it to do. And while that Federal Tort Claims Act does say you can sue the government for some claims that grow out of “the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment,” that right isn’t as broad as it sounds. That’s because you can’t in fact sue if the action you are suing over is a “discretionary function or duty” and “whether or not the discretion involved be abused.” That’s a mighty big exception.

    The appellate court ruled that even though it was wrong, FDA had been exercising a discretionary duty when it issued those incorrect warnings, and therefore couldn’t be sued for being negligent in the way they did it. The court said that FDA gets to decide how to investigate, interpret the information it collects, and decide what to do, and the courts don’t get to second-guess FDA.

    This was a very tough decision for Seaside, of course. More broadly, these kinds of issues about who’s supposed to do what in our government system, and what kind of accountability might apply to government actions, are getting a good hard second look right now. With the incoming Trump administration, you can expect to see new and different approaches to such things, maybe even significant changes in laws.

    For now, there are rather broad protections for the government from being sued for damages, even when it pretty clearly makes errors. PW

    Eric Greenberg can be reached at [email protected] , or visit his firm’s Web site at

    This article is informational only and is not intended as, and should not be considered to be, legal advice.

    Be sure to check for any updated information about the topics discussed in this article.

    Our firm is a proud member of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms, a select organization with member law firms throughout the United States and “strategic partners” around the world.

    The sovereign immunity refers to the fact that the government cannot be sued without its consent.


    Sovereign immunity was derived from British common law doctrine based on the idea that the King could do no wrong. In the United States, sovereign immunity typically applies to the federal government and state government, but not to municipalities. Federal and state governments, however, have the ability to waive their sovereign immunity. The federal government did this when it passed the Federal Tort Claims Act, which waived federal immunity for numerous types of torts claims.

    Various Considerations Related to Federal Immunity

    Under the Feres Doctrine, those who are injured during their military service cannot sue the federal government.

    Under the Westfall Act, federal employees cannot be sued for torts committed during the scope of their employment .

    Citizens Suing Their Own State

    When determining whether a citizen may sue a state actor (someone acting on behalf of the state: i.e. a state worker), courts will typically use one (1) of four (4) tests:

    1. Governmental v proprietary function test (Was the actor functioning in a governmental fashion or a proprietary fashion?)
      1. If the actor was performing a proprietary function (i.e. acting for financial gain for itself or its citizens; doing something that is not historically a governmental function; doing something that can be performed by a private corporation/contractor), then the actor is subject to liability
      2. If the actor was performing a governmental function (i.e. acting for the general public; doing something ordained by legislature; performing a historic gov function), then the actor is not subject to liability
      1. If the actor is performing a ministerial/operational action, then there is not immunity.
      2. If the actor is performing a discretionary action, then there is immunity.
      1. If the actor’s planning of policy results in harm, then there is immunity
      2. If the harm happens due to the government’s implementation of the plan, then there is not immunity
      1. If the action is justiciable under regular tort principles, then there is no immunity. If the issue is not justiciable under regular tort principles, then there is immunity.

      Citizens Suing Other States

      In Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 419, 1793, the Supreme Court found that a citizen of state A has the ability to sue state B. However, this rule was later superseded by the Eleventh Amendment, which states that “The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.” As such, a citizen of State A can no longer sue State B.

      Further Reading

      For more on sovereign immunity, see this Stanford Law Review note and this Georgetown Law Review note.

      When you are injured due to someone’s negligence or wrongdoing, usually you can file a lawsuit to recover damages. But, what if a government worker is responsible for your injury – is the government liable for damages?

      The short answer is yes, but it can be a tedious process. Here we discuss the applicable state and federal laws that apply when the government is sued for negligence including when the government is liable for personal injuries, property damage, and harm to your business.

      What is Sovereign Immunity?

      Sovereign immunity means that the government cannot be sued unless its immunity is waived. The Federal Tort Claims Act waived federal immunity for several types of tort claims. All states have also adopted a local version of this waiver.

      Federal Tort Claims Act

      The federal government waived its immunity for claims of injury, property loss, and wrongful death by adopting the Federal Tort Claims Act. Basically, if you are injured by the government’s negligence, you can sue the government for damages. For the government to be liable, there must be harm caused by the negligent act of a federal employee or independent contractor treated as a government employee.

      California Tort Claims Act

      The states have also adopted their own set of laws waiving immunity for certain tort claims. California’s version permits premises liability cases where the government had notice of a dangerous condition that caused an injury and instances where the government is vicariously liable for the negligence of its employee.

      When is the Government Liable for Your Injuries?

      In short, the government is responsible when a negligent act, performed in the scope of an employee or contractor’s work OR in the course of carrying out a government function, causes an injury. Liability may also flow from injuries caused by dangerous conditions on government property or when a public entity breaches a duty imposed by law causing an injury.

      Can the Government be Liable for Property Damage?

      California and its municipalities may be liable for money losses or property damage caused by the action or inaction of the public entity. To prove liability, you must file a Notice of Claim with the appropriate government agency within six months of the date of the damage to your personal property or crops. The statute of limitations is extended to one year for damage to real property.

      Is the Government Responsible for Your Business Losses?

      The facts of your claim are very important in determining whether the government can be held liable for damage to your business. Generally, the government is not responsible for having a passive role in causing harm to a business. However, when damages are caused by the negligent act of someone working for the government and that act was within the scope of their employment, the government may be liable.

      If you were harmed by the negligence of a government employee or if you think you may have a claim against the government, contact our office to discuss your options.

      How to sue the federal government

      The doctrine of sovereign immunity doesn’t allow one to sue a government entity without its consent. Thus, it is more complicated to file a lawsuit against a federal government agency for damages than suing a private individual or business entity.

      Nonetheless, suing the federal government for constitutional violations is still possible . In this article, we will explore legal grounds for suing the local and federal government, the procedures for suing, and how DoNotPay simplifies the process.

      When Can You Sue the Federal Government?

      When your constitutional rights have been violated by employees who work for federal and state offices, you may file a Section 1983 lawsuit or Bivens Claims against them . Here are the common legal grounds for filing a lawsuit against constitutional violations:

      Violation Example
      Fourth Amendment Rights Police brutality. Law enforcement officers shoot unarmed citizens.
      False arrests and malicious prosecutions without probable cause or evidence.
      Policemen search or seize property without a valid warrant.
      Eighth Amendment Rights Guards physically abuse an inmate or reject their request for medical assistance.
      First Amendment Rights Government employers or school administrators punish staff or students for exercising free speech or the right to religion.
      Fifth Amendment Rights US Congressman terminates an employee as retaliation for filing a sexual harassment complaint.

      Suing the Local Government: The Section 1983 Lawsuit

      Individuals whose constitutional rights are violated by the state government are legally entitled to file a civil action to recover damages. This can be done because of Section 1983 , an abridged term for 18 U.S.C. Section 1983, which provides US citizens the right to sue government officials and employees. To establish a claim under Section 1983, it requires two elements:

      1. Specifically, citing the constitutional right that was violated, and
      2. The defendant was acting for or on behalf of a government office during the violation of rights.

      Therefore, some examples of scenarios where Section 1983 can be a cause of action are:

      • A local government official abusing his position or authority
      • A county sheriff violating your constitutional rights
      • State officials implementing an unconstitutional law

      The above scenarios involve suing the local government where one of its personnel committed the violation. However, there is also another way of suing the local government itself — it’s when a policy caused the violation of rights. In this case, “policy” is defined in legal terms as inclusive of official rules, policy makers’ decisions, and common practices that are informal policies.

      Suing the Federal Government: The Bivens Claims

      The Bivens claims are named after the case Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents. They are similar to Section 1983 except that they are aimed at the federal government and its employees . However, they differ from Section 1983 where:

      • Bivens action may not be used against any federal government office, but it can be used as a premise for a lawsuit against federal employees
      • Bivens claim is restricted to constitutional violations only and does not apply for statute violations

      Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

      Citizens may sue the federal government for damages in a personal injury claim using the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) . It is a law that lets you file a lawsuit against a federal agency and its personnel. The downside is, it can be restricted at times as plaintiffs need to follow certain rules. Filing FTCA proceeds as follows:

      1. Find out if FTCA applies to your case. For example, if a janitor at the post office negligently left the floor wet and you slipped on it hurting yourself, you may follow the FTCA. However if the janitor was employed as an independent contractor, then you may not be able to use FTCA action.
      2. File an administrative claim with the specific federal agency. The claim must include facts and monetary damages and should be filed within six months to one year from the incident.
      3. Wait for the agency to respond within six months. If the federal agency agrees with your claim, then you may receive financial compensation.
      4. If the agency rejects your claim or fails to respond to your claim after six months, then you may proceed to file a lawsuit at the United States District Court where you reside or where the incident happened.

      Other Ways to Sue the Government

      Aside from Section 1893, Bivens claim, and the FTCA, you may also join a larger class-action lawsuit that has already been filed . This is especially common where plaintiffs challenge a law that violates constitutional rights. An example is a law that bans same-sex marriage which can be deemed unconstitutional. Same-sex couples who were refused the right to get married could join the lawsuit.

      How to Sue the Federal Government with DoNotPay

      In practice, filing a civil rights lawsuit against the federal government can be complex and most often requires specific procedures prescribed by the law. Not only that, but it is sometimes confusing for an ordinary citizen to figure out where to start when suing the federal government. Let DoNotPay do the work for you! DoNotPay helps streamline the suing process so you can file a lawsuit in just a few clicks . All you have to do is:

      1. Log in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now Product
      2. Enter the dollar amount you are owed
      3. Select whether you want a demand letter or court filing forms
      4. Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including photo proof

      That’s it! DoNotPay will then generate a demand letter or court filing forms for you. The robot lawyer will also mail a copy of your demand letter to the Federal Government on your behalf!

      What is DoNotPay and What Do We Do?

      How to sue the federal government

      DoNotPay is the world’s first robot lawyer . We help users sue anyone in small claims court without the need for a lawyer , saving them hundreds of dollars in lawyer fees. Our track record of successfully suing companies include big names such as:

      Learn how to file a complaint to your federal or local government and its agencies.

      On This Page

      • File a Complaint with the U.S. Postal Service
      • File a Complaint About a Law Enforcement Officer or Judge
      • File a Complaint Against a Federal or State Government Agency
      • Suing the Federal Government

      File a Complaint with the U.S. Postal Service

      Do you have a complaint, compliment, or suggestion for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS)? Maybe you’re looking for more information about USPS’s services. There are several ways to let them know:

      Use the USPS website’s Email Us form. Select an inquiry type that most closely relates to the complaint or question that you have. On the website, you can also file a claim or request a refund for shipping.

      Speak to the station manager (postmaster) at a local post office.

      Contact the district the postal consumer and industry affairs office that handles questions for your district. Find your district consumer office.

      Email or write to the U.S. Postal Service’s Headquarters Consumer Advocate office at:

      United States Postal Service

      Office of the Consumer Advocate

      475 L’ Enfant Plaza, SW

      Washington, D.C. 20260-0004

      Theft, Fraud, or Waste by the USPS or a USPS Employee

      File a complaint with the USPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) by:

      Finding more information about contacting the OIG

      Mail Fraud or Theft by a Person or Company

      The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the federal law enforcement agency that protects the mail system. Contact them to report:

      Comment or Complain About a Policy Change

      To comment or complain about a major policy change, such as postage rates, contact the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). You can do so by using their online contact form.

      File a Complaint About a Law Enforcement Officer or Judge

      You can file complaints about misconduct by law enforcement officers and by judges.

      Complaints About Police Officers

      If you have experienced police misconduct:

      • Contact the law enforcement agency involved.
      • Submit your complaint in writing to the chief of police or the head of the law enforcement agency involved.
      • Send a copy of your complaint to the Internal Affairs Division of the law enforcement agency. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself.

      If the problem remains unresolved, learn how to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division.

      Finally, as with any potential legal dispute, you may want to contact a licensed attorney.

      Complaints Against Judges

      Federal Judges

      Learn how to file a complaint about a federal judge. You can report alleged misconduct or disability that interferes with their ability to perform their duties.

      State and Local Judges

      The rules for filing complaints about state and local judges vary by state.

      To complain about a state judge, contact your state's commission on judicial conduct. It may be listed under state agencies on your state government web site.

      File a Complaint Against a Federal or State Government Agency

      Learn how to file a complaint against a state or federal government agency.

      Federal Government Agencies

      To file a complaint against a federal agency:

      First, contact the agency. View an A-Z index of federal agencies.

      If you can not solve the issue with the agency, contact the Office of the Inspector General (IG) of that agency.

      State Government Agencies

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      For three years, Donald Rochon experienced a systematic campaign of racial discrimination and harassment from his coworkers that extended far beyond their mutual workplace. In addition to being subjected to racially discriminatory stories regarding African Americans told by his coworkers, Rochon had his competence impugned behind his back, received hate mail and harassing phone calls, experienced assault and battery, and bore threats of death, mutilation, castration, and rape, among other abusive events.

      Had Rochon worked for a private employer, there is little question that he could recover under a Title VII employment discrimination claim as well as under several state tort causes of action. The Supreme Court affirmed the nonexclusivity of Title VII’s remedies for private-sector employees in cases such as Alexander v Gardner-Denver Co and Johnson v Railway Express Agency, Inc. In these cases, the Court recognized that “the legislative history of Title VII manifests a congressional intent to allow an individual to pursue independently his rights under both Title VII and other applicable state and federal statutes,” and that the “clear inference is that Title VII was designed to supplement, rather than supplant, existing laws and institutions relating to employment discrimination.”

      However, because Donald Rochon worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, one of the first motions against him in his employment discrimination lawsuit was a motion to dismiss the tort claims as precluded by Title VII’s provisions regarding discrimination in federal employment. The basis for such a distinction is the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v General Services Administration, in which the Court held that a black employee who filed a Title VII racial discrimination claim twelve days past the statutory deadline could not instead sue for a violation of his constitutional rights with a 42 USC § 1981 claim. The Court concluded that Title VII “provides the exclusive judicial remedy for claims of discrimination in federal employment.” While federal employees may, at least in theory, have previously had the right to sue under the general § 1981 statute for violations of their constitutional rights in the context of employment discrimination, the Supreme Court ruled that amendments to Title VII had foreclosed that remedy.

      Courts have struggled to apply Brown to cases in which the legal claims do not overlap as they did in that case. In particular, courts have often responded in different ways to federal employees who bring both Title VII and state tort claims. The main point of disagreement concerns whether Title VII precludes state torts under Brown, or whether the torts vindicate rights that can be considered entirely distinct from Title VII. In Rochon’s case, the court denied the motion to dismiss the tort claims, holding that Title VII did not preclude such claims to the extent they were based on his “right to be free from bodily or emotional injury caused by another person.” However, the conflict over whether Brown applies to Title VII–tort cases is far from settled among various federal district and circuit courts, and cases that present these issues continue to arise. Often, though not exclusively, such cases present facts alleging serious harms done to the employee. The uncertainty as to what relief, if any, the employee may be granted is a significant problem. Indeed, the availability of relief may vary across district and circuit courts even though the employees work for the same employer—the federal government—and this presents problems of consistency and fairness. Because the federal government is the nation’s largest employer, this issue has the potential to affect hundreds, if not thousands, of people each year.

      This Comment reviews the varying approaches and decisions by federal courts over whether and how federal employees can maintain both state tort claims and Title VII actions stemming from the same or substantially overlapping facts. While a few courts have held that such claims cannot proceed with a Title VII action when the claims are based on the same set of facts, most other lower courts have used a grab bag of justifications for allowing state tort claims to proceed. Such justifications include that tort law seeks to remedy something legally distinct from employment discrimination law, that at least some tort claims are highly personal and thus deserve separate treatment, that simultaneous Title VII–tort cases that do not indicate an attempt to circumvent Title VII do not fall under Brown, and that tort actions against individual federal employees do not implicate the sovereign immunity concerns of Brown. This Comment proposes to resolve that split with a presumption that the state tort claims can proceed. It reaches this conclusion through a reexamination of the legislative history of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act and the implied-repeal doctrine in federal law.

      However, distinguishing torts that do not vindicate substantially separate rights from employment discrimination is also an important part of the inquiry. Congress chose to amend Title VII to include a cause of action for federal employees largely based on its understanding that such employees could not obtain relief for employment discrimination due to the government’s sovereign immunity. Federal employees could sue the government in tort under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), however. This raises important questions about the interplay of each act given the importance of strictly construing waivers of sovereign immunity. This Comment proposes to distinguish these torts with a test that assesses whether the tort in question is serving as the functional equivalent of an employment discrimination claim. Such an inquiry will add clarity to the existing case law, which has unsuccessfully attempted to apply more formalistic tests to determine whether the tort causes of action vindicate distinct legal rights. By asking whether the cause of action serves functionally the same purpose as a Title VII employment discrimination claim, courts can more clearly balance the congressional goals of providing federal employees with substantially similar remedies as private employees without overextending the federal government’s waivers of sovereign immunity for Title VII and state torts.