State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_1 > GS_1-608

§ 1‑608.  Civil actionsfor false claims.

(a)        Responsibilities ofthe Attorney General. – The Attorney General diligently shall investigate aviolation under G.S. 1‑607. If the Attorney General finds that a personhas violated or is violating G.S. 1‑607, the Attorney General may bring acivil action under this section against that person.

(b)        Actions by PrivatePersons. – A person may bring a civil action for a violation of G.S. 1‑607or under G.S. 108A‑70.12 for the person and for the State, as follows:

(1)        The action shall bebrought in the name of the State, and the person bringing the action shall bereferred to as the qui tam plaintiff. Once filed, the action may be dismissedvoluntarily by the person bringing the action only if the court and Attorney Generalhave given written consent to the dismissal.

(2)        A copy of thecomplaint and written disclosure of substantially all material evidence andinformation the person possesses shall be served on the Attorney Generalpursuant to applicable rules of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.The complaint shall be filed in camera, shall remain under seal for at least120 days, and shall not be served on the defendant until the court so orders.The State may elect to intervene and proceed with the action within 120 daysafter it receives both the complaint and the material evidence and information.

(3)        The State may, forgood cause shown, move the court for extensions of the time during which thecomplaint remains under seal under subdivision (2) of this subsection. Any suchmotions may be supported by affidavits or other submissions in camera. Thedefendant shall not be required to respond to any complaint filed under thissection until 30 days after the complaint is unsealed and served upon thedefendant pursuant to the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.

(4)        Before theexpiration of the 120‑day period or any extensions obtained undersubdivision (3) of this subsection, the State shall:

a.         Proceed with theaction, in which case the action shall be conducted by the State; or

b.         Notify the courtthat it declines to take over the action, in which case the person bringing theaction shall have the right to conduct the action.

(5)        When a person bringsan action under this subsection, the federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729et seq., or any similar provision of law in any other state, no person otherthan the State may intervene or bring a related action based on the factsunderlying the pending action; provided, however, that nothing in this subdivisionprohibits a person from amending a pending action in another jurisdiction toallege a claim under this subsection.

(c)        The AttorneyGeneral may retain a portion of the damages recovered for a State agency out ofthe proceeds of the action or settlement under this Article as reimbursementfor costs incurred by the Attorney General in investigating and bringing acivil action under this Article, including reasonable attorneys' fees andinvestigative costs. Retained funds shall be used by the Attorney General tocarry out the provisions of this Article.  (2009‑554, s. 1.)