2011 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 39 — Public finance
RS 39:2157 — Qui tam action; civil action filed by private person
§2157. Qui tam action; civil action filed by private person
A. A private person may institute a civil action to seek recovery on behalf of hurricane relief programs and himself, except for the civil monetary penalty provided in R.S. 39:2156(C), for a violation of this Chapter. The institutor shall be known as a "qui tam plaintiff" and the civil action shall be known as a "qui tam action".
B.(1) A qui tam plaintiff shall be an original source of the information which serves as the basis for the alleged violation. More than one person may serve as a qui tam plaintiff in a qui tam action arising out of the same information and allegations provided each person qualifies as an original source.
(2) For purposes of this Section, the term "original source" means a person who has direct and independent knowledge of the alleged violation and who has voluntarily provided the information to the attorney general before filing a qui tam action with the court.
C. No qui tam action shall be instituted later than one year after the date a qui tam complaint is received by the attorney general.
D.(1) No court shall have jurisdiction over a qui tam action based upon a disclosure of allegations or transactions in a criminal, civil, or administrative hearing or as the result of disclosure of a governmental audit report, investigation, or hearing unless the person bringing the action is an original source of the information.
(2) No court shall have jurisdiction over a qui tam action based upon a disclosure through the media unless the person bringing the action is an original source of the information and that fact is confirmed by a person with knowledge of who provided the information.
E.(1) A person who is or was a public employee or public official or a person who is or was acting on behalf of the state shall not bring a qui tam action if the person has or had a duty or obligation to report, investigate, or pursue allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct by persons who apply for relief from or work for hurricane relief programs.
(2) A person who is or was a public employee or public official or a person who is or was acting on behalf of the state shall not bring a qui tam action if the person has or had access to records of the state through the normal course and scope of his employment or other relationship with the state.
F. No employer of a qui tam plaintiff shall discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, or discriminate against a qui tam plaintiff at any time arising out of the fact that the qui tam plaintiff brought an action pursuant to this Chapter unless the court finds that the qui tam plaintiff has instituted or proceeded with an action that is frivolous, vexatious, or harassing.
G. The court shall allow the attorney general to intervene and proceed with the qui tam action in the district court at any time during the qui tam action proceedings.
H. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a qui tam complaint and information filed with the attorney general shall not be subject to discovery or become public record until judicial service of the qui tam action is made on any of the defendants, except that the information contained therein may be given to other governmental entities or their authorized agents for review and investigation. Such entities and their authorized agents shall maintain the confidentiality of the information provided to them under this Subsection.
Acts 2006, No. 479, §1, eff. June 22, 2006.
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