Qui tam is a situation where a person brings a court action on behalf of the government. It allows citizens to watch out for government entities and alert to fraud or other illegal actions that could cost taxpayer money.
If you wish to bring a quit tam action, the U.S. Department of Justice explains that you will need to initiate the process by taking two steps.
Starting the process
You must take two steps when starting a qui tam action. First, you will file a complaint with the court. The complaint goes under seal, which means it remains secret. You also must give a copy of the complaint and disclose the evidence you have to the U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney.
Taking next steps
Your next steps are to wait for the government to decide if it will take the case or not. If the government takes the case, then it will become the plaintiff and handle the court process. If the government does not take the case, then you become the person in charge of pursuing it.
The government has 60 days once you provide notice to make its decision, but it also has the right to ask for an extension to conduct a full investigation.
Once the government takes the case or hands it back to you, the next step is service on the defendant. This action occurs when the court notifies the defendant of the claims against him or her. The case then proceeds in a typical manner as any other civil court case.