United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 26, 2023
It shall be a complete defense to a civil action brought under paragraph (2) of subsection (a) that the officer or employee had a reasonable good faith belief in the lawfulness of his conduct.
The United States, a State, or any other governmental unit liable for violations of this chapter under subsection (a)(1), may not assert as a defense to a claim arising under this chapter the immunity of the officer or employee whose violation is complained of or his reasonable good faith belief in the lawfulness of his conduct, except that such a defense may be asserted if the violation complained of is that of a judicial officer.
The remedy provided by subsection (a)(1) against the United States, a State, or any other governmental unit is exclusive of any other civil action or proceeding for conduct constituting a violation of this chapter, against the officer or employee whose violation gave rise to the claim, or against the estate of such officer or employee.
Evidence otherwise admissible in a proceeding shall not be excluded on the basis of a violation of this chapter.
A person having a cause of action under this section shall be entitled to recover actual damages but not less than liquidated damages of $1,000, and such reasonable attorneys’ fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred as the court, in its discretion, may award: Provided, however, That the United States, a State, or any other governmental unit shall not be liable for interest prior to judgment.
The Attorney General may settle a claim for damages brought against the United States under this section, and shall promulgate regulations to provide for the commencement of an administrative inquiry following a determination of a violation of this chapter by an officer or employee of the United States and for the imposition of administrative sanctions against such officer or employee, if warranted.
The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under this section.