Definition of qui tam
Latin qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur, "[he] who sues in this matter for the king as [well as] for himself".
qui tam (plural qui tams)
- (law) A writ whereby a private individual who assists a prosecution can receive all or part of any penalty imposed.
In common law, a writ of qui tam is a writ whereby a private individual who assists a prosecution can receive all or part of any penalty imposed. Its name is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur, meaning "[he] who sues in this matter for the king as [well as] for himself." A more literal translation would be "who as much for [our] lord the king as for himself in this action pursues" or "follows."
The writ fell into disuse in England and Wales following the Common Informers Act 1951 but, as of 2010, remains current in the United States under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq., which allows for a private individual, or "whistleblower," with knowledge of past or present fraud committed against the federal government to bring suit on its behalf. There are also qui tam provisions in 18 U.S.C. § 962 regarding arming vessels against friendly nations, 25 U.S.C. § 201 regarding violating Indian protection laws, 46a U.S.C. 723 regarding the removal of undersea treasure from the Florida coast to foreign nations, and 35 U.S.C. § 292 regarding false marking. In February 2011, the qui tam provision regarding false marking was held to be unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court, and in September of that year, the enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act effectively removed qui tam remedies from § 292.
- Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.