United States Court of Claims
The Fed. CI or C.F.C. stands for the United States Court of Federal Claims. This administration handles all monetary claims against the United States. This government agency originated in 1855, when it was called the United States Court of Claims, one of the oldest federal courts in the nation. It has been revised numerous times and modified to meet the needs of the public and government more efficiently.
The Congress established this court under Article One of the Constitution. Unlike other courts, which were created under Article Three of the Constitution, these judges do not hold their seats for lifetime term; their term is limited to 15 years which may be renewed after expiration. The President of the United States appoints each judge who serves on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims only after Senate approval.
A justice that sits on the Court of Federal Claims may be removed from office based on one of the following reasons:
- Neglect of duty
- Engaging in the practice of law
- Physical disability
- Mental disability
The U.S. Court of Claims is different in that is only hears cases for monetary damages about The Constitution, federal statutes, regulations or a contract with the United States government. This court may work alongside the U.S. District Courts in matters pertaining to claims less than 10,000. There are specific timetables, which must be honored. The statue of limitations for a claim within this court in only six years from the time it is first filed.
In cases where a contractor has an issue with the federal government, they have the choice to file suit in the U.S. Court of Claims or the Board of Contract Appeals. They have to choose either one, but cannot file a lawsuit in both. They have a time limit of 90 days during which they can present.
One of the helpful features of this court is they have jurisdiction over the entire country, not just local disputes within a specific state or location. The justices often travel to accommodate and hold proceedings in local courthouses where the issue arises.
Every trial processed through the U.S. Court of Claims is considered a bench trial with no jury present. Some of the types of claims this court deals with are:
Breach of contract claims
Illegal exaction claims
Takings claims under the 5th Amendment
Claims involving military pay
Claims for patent and copyright infringement against the government
Federal tax refund claims
Protests regarding contract bidding procedures
The majority of the claims processed are for tax refund issues.
The U.S. Court of Claims was established in 1855 by Congress and signed into law by President Franklin Pierce. Its mission was to protect the monetary rights of U.S. citizens with claims directly relating to government actions.
This agency is another way our system of checks and balances work to keep the government from imposing too much power over the people.