Challenging or Responding to a False Claims Act (FCA) Civil Investigative Demand (CID) From DOJ or OIG

A Civil Investigative Demand (CID) is an administrative subpoena allowing federal government agencies to demand large amounts of information, documents, and even testimony from individuals, corporations and government contractors without formal court procedures. When the OIG and or DOJ issues a False Claims Act (FCA) civil demand, how you respond, interact with, and present yourself is essential to the outcome of the investigation. Receiving a CID does not necessarily mean that you are a target or in trouble. However, the suggestion is always to act like you are a target.

Civil Investigative Demand CID LawyerTheodore P. Watson, Esq. It’s important to know how to address a Civil Investigative Demand (OIG or DOJ CID) if you receive one, as this is an indicator of the start of a federal investigation. For proper handling and protection of your interests, understanding CIDs and their process is key. Here, we discuss best practices in doing so, from getting familiar with relevant agencies all the way through compliance assurance.

Understanding Civil Investigative Demands

Federal agencies can issue Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs), which act as administrative subpoenas for collecting evidence before any legal proceedings are started. CID is powerful, allowing authorities to demand all relevant information and documentary material from entities even if they’re not under investigation themselves. Prompt action must be taken when a civil investigative summons arrives, or serious penalties could occur. It’s important to recognize the specific duties of government organizations giving out these orders, plus how it differs from other traditional discovery tools pertaining to possible false claims law violations.

What Should You Do When You Receive CID?

If you have been in business or a government contractor for some time, you would immediately call a False Claims Act civil demand attorney. Your FCA attorney would more than likely contact the DOJ or OIG, to first let them know that you are represented by legal counsel. Next, you will address the  CID schedule and any deadlines.

OIG or DOJ CID hold meaning

Alternatively,  you should also put a CID hold in place. This means placing an order throughout the company not to delete emails, get rid of documents or in any way destroy potential evidence to the investigation.

What are your legal obligations when you receive a CID?  To avoid any further liability for obstructing justice or counts fo lying to the government, you must make sure that you provide strict cooperation and provide a response to the CID and requested by the government.


Must You Respond to an OIG or DOJ Civil Investigative Demand False Claims ACT Request?

Generally, yes. You have a duty to cooperate during a federal investigation. However, if you do not want to respond, then your civil investigative demand False Claims Act lawyer should consider filing a motion to quash or communicate with the OIG or DOJ to dismiss the case. Note that the DOJ can ask the court to order a response. This may not put you in a favorable light. The bottom line is that you cannot simply ignore a CID request.

Key Federal Agencies Issuing CIDs

Federal law enforcement agencies, like the Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), are authorized to issue CIDs. As such, accurately recognizing which agency has released a Civil Investigative Demand is essential for efficiently responding to it.

The DOJ can investigate any potential violations of federal statutes, while the FTC investigates illegal business conduct or actions potentially involving antitrust breaches. Both constitute important elements when seeking proper compliance with the demand presented by an issuing agency.  Government contractors receiving CIDs may be served by the SBA OIG, VA OIG or the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Responding to a Civil Investigative Demand from DOJ or OIG

Responding to CIDsWhen an OIG or DOJ civil investigative demand is received, it’s important to promptly and carefully craft an answer with the help of federal defense attorneys. Such federal lawyers will provide expertise in navigating through all demands while protecting interests. This collaborative approach can also ensure that requirements are followed according to federal rules as well as meet any particular concerns raised by the investigating agency or issuing entity. Gathering relevant documents and proper communication between parties involved need consideration when formulating this response so no missteps occur down the line.

Challenging a Civil Investigative Demand?

Under the False Claims Act, CIDs may have a broad scope and that is why it can be challenging to contest a CID demands. Federal courts could assess an objection due to issues such as: lack of jurisdictional parameters, breadth beyond reasonable limits, inordinate amount or weight needed for compliance with the Civil Investigative Demand, inability to state claims distinctly, vagueness and inadequate informing about the request.

Thus, if someone does not respond effectively, there’s a risk of relinquishing rights provided by law. To achieve success when mounting this challenge against such demand, consulting with experienced legal counsel ought to become indispensable since they can make clear assessments regarding possible objections allowed under the False Claims Act Act given its wide range of capabilities.

Federal courts will contemplate subjective interpretations on matters like privilege or overreach, which should be taken into consideration at all times while putting forward any claim.

Challenging a Civil Investigative Demand DOJ Reqyest Should be Looked at With Care

Federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies have very broad discretion to issue CIDs and to gather documents and evidence to complete their investigations. It is not unusual that the federal government has such sweeping power to issue such demands.

Can you challenge civil investigative demands? Yes. However, one has to consider whether the approach should be to do so officially, or simply discuss the issue with federal attorneys. The bottom line is that challenging an OIG or DOJ CID can be very difficult to prevail. You have to challenge the CID with the agency that issues the demand. Basic reasons for challenging your CID could be an argument for being too burdensome; objecting based on the relevance of the information sought; sometimes the agency may already have the information sought? You may also try to argue that the agency is abusing its discretion. Even challenging asset and liability investigation documents as being irrelevant will most likely fail.

Speak with your DOJ civil investigative demand attorney to consider what would be a viable approach. Remember, CIDs are very difficult to challenge.

Evaluating Your Role As a Government Contractor in the Investigation

To respond suitably in a CID investigation for government contract fraud or False Claims, understanding one’s role as an individual government contractor is crucial. There are different implications for suspects, targets and witnesses when responding. Just because you cooperate or think you have done nothing wrong does not mean you can never become a target. Your role as a government contractor in an OIG or DOJ False Claims Act investigation is to truthfully respond, put forth a good faith effort to provide everything the government asks for, and simultaneously protect your statutory and or constitutional rights.

Government contractors should be aware that the cost of responding to a Civil Investigative Demand can be expensive if the DOJ or OIG requests years of emails and communications (this can require third-party services). Identifying markers indicating you may face scrutiny from such investigations can assist in preparing ahead by creating an effective defense strategy accordingly.

Confidentiality Concerns

Companies must protect confidential information from becoming public knowledge, though the Antitrust Division does not guarantee this. The law states that any info obtained in a CID has to be treated as private and organizations such as DOJ or CFPB are mandated to maintain discretion, except for use during legal testimony related to investigation purposes.

To help safeguard sensitive data when responding with a DOJ civil investigative demand, there are multiple strategies available including studying applicable laws, asserting privileges/confidentiality rights if possible, providing notices regarding the preservation of documents, determining whether confidentiality arrangements need to be implemented along with seeking advice from certified legal counsel who can offer more specific guidance based on individual circumstances.

A breach of security surrounding confidential material amid a Civil Investigative Demand may lead to serious repercussions like civil claims towards liable parties, regulatory probes & penalties so the steps mentioned above must be taken into consideration carefully by companies to prevent disclosure from occurring accidentally without approval given first.

Consequences of Non-Compliance with a CID

Failing to meet or provide an inadequate response to an OIG or DOJ civil investigative demand CID could result in potentially severe punishments to government contractors, like criminal contempt charges and stricter federal examination, along with stringent penalties. The prosecutor can utilize the court to compel a response if there is non-compliance. The particular CID process and penalty may differ based on the type of government agency issuing it and its scope. Criminal contempt is a legal consequence imposed when someone does not abide by court orders or edicts issued by governmental bodies such as CIDs. Thus, full comprehension and attentiveness are critical for contractors or individuals seeking to avoid any possible consequences due to these requests.

Federal Lawyers & Legal Representation for CID Cases

Having a civil investigative demand False Claims Act federal lawyer experienced with government contracts, plus criminal and civil investigations is necessary for protecting your interests when the federal government has launched an inquiry or investigation. The OIG or DOJ CID lawyer’s skill and knowledge in both government contracts and CID cases can help by retrieving records related to the investigation, discussing options of compliance terms with authorities such as the DOJ or OIG, and preparing defense strategies that could avert prosecution from either federal or national attorneys general. Employing a qualified civil investigative demand federal lawyer should be done urgently when dealing with any kind of civil inquiries if you wish to avoid criminal charges.

Best Practices for Protecting Yourself and Your Company

Adopting best practices like preserving attorney-client privilege, understanding risks, and cooperating with investigations are essential for protecting yourself and your business when dealing with government contracting CIDs. Such material should be handled carefully to minimize any potential risks while abiding by federal regulations of compliance that may arise during the process.

To stay on top of things, you must always keep up with changes in relevant laws and ensure a culture within the company based on transparency and accountability, which can help prevent issues from arising due to regulatory infractions or CIDs. A common practice for communicating with your attorney could be to include “privileged and confidential communications” in the Subject Line.


To handle a Civil Investigative Demand False Claims Act CIDs successfully, you should take prompt action and seek experienced legal counsel who also has experience in federal government contracting. Keeping up-to-date with federal regulations and enforcement practices is essential to protecting the company’s interests and its reputation in the face of this investigative demand from the feds.

Get Immediate Help from DOJ Civil Investigative Demand Professionals

If you or your company has been served with a Civil Investigative Demand (OIG or DOJ CID) please call a federal lawyer civil investigative demand attorney and False Claims Act legal expert immediately at 1.866.601.5518 for a free consultation or contact us online.