File a Complaint About a Law Enforcement Agency or Officer
You can file complaints about misconduct by law enforcement officers and by judges.
Complaints About Police Officers
If you have experienced police misconduct:
- Contact the law enforcement agency involved.
- Submit your complaint in writing to the chief of police or the head of the law enforcement agency involved.
- Send a copy of your complaint to the Internal Affairs Division of the law enforcement agency. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself.
If the problem remains unresolved, learn how to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division.
Finally, as with any potential legal dispute, you may want to contact a licensed attorney.
Complaints Against Judges
You can file a complaint against a federal judge alleging misconduct or a disability that interferes with the judge's ability to perform his or her judicial duties. Learn how to file a complaint about a federal judge. The rules for filing complaints about state and local judges vary by state. Contact your state government to learn more about filing a complaint.
File a Complaint About Federal Government Contracts
There are many government contracting regulations in place that provide alternatives when issues occur, including disputes and protests.
The contracting officer (CO) assigned to a specific contract must first address any questions about the terms and conditions of that contract. If there is a disagreement between the CO and the contractor based on different interpretations of a contract, the contract itself will offer information on how to resolve disputes. Disputes are issues or disagreements between the contractor and contracting officer that arise after contract award. Disputes claims must be made in writing to the contracting officer.
Protests are made when you want to challenge the award or proposed award of a contract for procurement of goods and services or challenge the terms of a solicitation for a contract. It is always preferable to resolve issues at the contracting agency level. If not resolved, you can file a bid protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Keep in mind, there are strict filing deadlines and bid protest regulations.
If you have a complaint about employment discrimination associated with a federal government contract, you can file a discrimination complaint or contact your regional or district office of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
Report Misuse of Federal Funds
If you want to report allegations of fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of federal funds, file a report with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
File a Complaint Against a Federal or State Government Agency
Learn how to file a complaint against a state or federal government agency.
Federal Government Agencies
To file a complaint against a federal agency:
- First, contact the agency directly. View an A-Z index of federal agencies.
- If you are unable to resolve an issue with a federal government agency, contact the office of the Inspector General (IG) of that agency.
State Government Agencies
To file a complaint against a state, local or tribal government agency, contact the agency directly. View state or territorial government websites.
You can also contact your congressional representative's constituent services office in your district:
File a Complaint with the U.S. Postal Service
If you have a complaint about the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), need more information, or have a suggestion or compliment, you can let them know in one of several ways:
United States Postal Service
Office of the Consumer Advocate
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, D.C. 20260-2200
Theft, Fraud, Waste, or Abuse Committed by the USPS or a USPS Employee
File a complaint with the USPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) by
Mail Fraud or Abuse Committed by a Person or Company
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the federal law enforcement agency that protects the mail system. Contact them to report:
- Mail fraud - file an online mail fraud complaint.
- Mail theft - use the email form to explain the issue. Under Inquiry Type, select Problem. Under Customer Service, select Support, and Mail Theft. Under Additional Information, explain why your complaint is mail theft-related.
The USPS, its inspector general, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service handle complaints about service-related issues. If you have a comment or complaint about a major policy change, such as postage rates, contact the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) using their online contact form.
Government Vehicle Involved in an Accident
If you were involved in an accident with a government vehicle, the following information may help:
Report Government Vehicle Misuse or Reckless Driving
To report the misuse or reckless driving of a government vehicle, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide the following information:
Date of the incident
Time of the incident
Location of alleged misuse
Activity that is the cause of your concern
License Plate (EX: GXX-XXXXX for GSA owned vehicles)
GSA leased vehicles all have license plates that have the following structure (GXX-XXXXX). If the license plate does not begin with a G, then it is not owned by GSA. But if the license plate follows the approved license plate codes for federal agencies, GSA can forward the report to the correct agency.
Other helpful information includes:
Description of vehicle (color, vehicle type, make/model, etc)
Description of driver and passengers
Any pictures or video of the incident
Suing the Federal Government
To bring legal action against a federal agency, you must begin by contacting the agency directly. The agency will provide you with information and forms, and attempt to settle the problem in-house.
If you decide to move forward with a lawsuit (tort claim), you should obtain a Standard Form 95 (SF-95) - Claim for Damage, Injury, or Death.
While you do not have to use a SF-95 form to file a claim, it is a convenient format for supplying the information necessary to process a claim. For more information about this process, contact the Tort Branch of the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Civil Division.
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Last Updated: June 11, 2019