This manual has been prepared by the U.S. Justice Department Criminal Division's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section to guide government attorneys in applying the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) statute in civil cases.
The RICO statute contains powerful civil provisions and, in some cases, a properly constructed civil suit can be more effective than a criminal prosecution. The main purpose of the manual is to discuss enough legal and practical points concerning civil RICO to provide a good introduction for government attorneys who have cases in which civil RICO provisions may be useful. An overview of civil RICO provisions differentiates criminal RICO prosecutions and private civil RICO suits from government civil cases. General and specific considerations in deciding when to use civil RICO are noted, and checklists for deciding whether to use civil RICO are included. Legal issues in government civil RICO cases are examined including subject matter jurisdiction, venue and service of process, limitations and laches, pleading, burden of proof, collateral estoppel, and fifth amendment issues. Substantive civil RICO issues and issues specific to treble damage suits and injunctive actions are discussed. The manual also covers special problems and issues in government civil RICO actions, obtaining approval to file a civil RICO suit, and Federal civil procedures. Appendixes contain descriptions of civil RICO suits, a sample RICO civil investigative demand, a sample complaint and summons for injunctive relief, a sample complaint for treble damages, and sample discovery requests and consent decrees. 429 footnotes
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