Occasionally, whistleblowers will come to us asking if the case will be made public. The desire to bring the case in private is understandable–putting your name out there as a whistleblower takes courage and can have real world impact on your life
Every False Claims Act case is first filed under seal, meaning that it is not public. Only the court and the government attorneys investigating the allegations will have access to the lawsuit or know that it has been filed. This sealing gives the United States a chance to investigate the allegations privately without the defendant’s knowledge.
False Claims Act cases remain under seal for at least 60 days. But the United States typically asks for (and receives) extensions keeping the case under seal for a longer period. In fact, False Claims Act cases can remain under seal for several years while the United States investigates the allegations.
Ultimately, however, the Court must unseal every False Claims Act case, at which point it will be a public record.