Qui Tam Law and Legal Definition

Qui Tam is a Latin word which means who as well. The expression qui tam is, in fact, an abbreviated form of a maxim of Roman law, expressed in Latin, qui tam pro domino rege quam pro sic ipso in hoc parte sequitur which means who as well for the king as for himself sues in this matter. Qui tam is also known as informer or bounty statutes.

In the U.S. the principle of qui tam is applied in Civil False Claims Act which rewards and enables private citizens to litigate in the name of the U.S. Government against persons they suspect are committing fraud against the government, and then, if the litigation is successful, share fines or other monies recovered with the government.

A False Claims Act action may be commenced in one of two ways. First, the Government itself may bring a civil action against the alleged false claimant. 31 U.S.C.S. § 3730(a). Second, a private person (the "relator") may bring a qui tam civil action for the person and for the United States Government against the alleged false claimant, in the name of the Government. 31 U.S.C.S. § 3730(b)(1). [Vt. Agency of Natural Res. v. United States ex rel. Stevens, 529 U.S. 765 (U.S. 2000)]