Publication Date



Many taxpayer dollars are paid to private contractors supplying goods and services necessary to carry out federal programs in areas like healthcare, defense, and education. These private contractors profit heavily from their dealings with the federal government, but unfortunately not all of these contractors are so patriotic. Indeed, some steal from the treasury by invoicing goods or services they did not actually provide. Congress attempted to reel in this dishonest practice with its enactment of the False Claims Act during the Civil War. To supplement the enforcement effort of the Department of Justice, Congress included a qui tam provision allowing private citizens to sue fraudsters on behalf of the United States. As an anti-fraud statute, the issue regarding the necessary form of pleadings under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8 and 9 naturally arose as dispositive motions were argued on the grounds of insufficient 'particularity." This Note examines the background of the False Claims Act, the purpose of notice pleading under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the current circuit split regarding the interpretation of "particularity." Then, it will argue that a strict interpretation is inconsistent with notice pleading and fails to supplement the Act by requiring hard to access documentation too early in the litigation. Finally, it will propose that a more lenient interpretation sufficiently serves the purposes of notice pleadings while more effectively supplementing the DOJ's effort.