How to Sue Government Agencies: Essential Steps for Filing Claims

This article will provide guidance on How to Sue Government Agencies: Essential Steps for Filing Claims. Suing a government agency allows victims of negligence to seek compensation. However, this process requires solid legal backing, as the law seldom entertains baseless claims. In the U.S., sovereign immunity protects the federal government from lawsuits unless it consents to be sued. This principle also applies to states and cities like New York, which can only face lawsuits with their consent. Click here to watch our introduction video.

Breaking Down Sovereign Immunity

Sovereign immunity shields the federal government and subdivisions like New York from lawsuits without express consent. Overcoming this barrier is crucial for initiating legal action against government entities. Consent, while necessary, is obtainable through a case-specific process. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

Filing a Notice of Claim

The first step in suing a government agency in New York involves filing a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the incident. This notice alerts the agency about the lawsuit and provides an opportunity for settlement. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

Initiating a lawsuit against New York City requires understanding sovereign immunity and filing a Notice of Claim within a 90-day window. The New York City Comptroller’s Office will review the claim, potentially leading to mediation or a settlement. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked.

Notice of Claim Requirements

A Notice of Claim should include the claimant’s and their attorney’s name and address, the claim’s details, the injury nature, and the damages sought. Properly serving this notice on the Comptroller’s Office is essential for moving forward with the lawsuit.

Suing the State of New York

You must bring the lawsuit to the New York State Court of Claims to sue the state. While the court hears claims against the state, it does not cover lawsuits against individual employees. Municipal governments and some public authorities fall under different legal frameworks.

Suing in the Court of Claims involves filing a claim with the court clerk and serving the New York State Attorney General. Personal delivery is preferred, but certified mail is also valid. A $50 filing fee applies, with the claim officially filed once the Clerk of the Court receives it.

Understanding the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

The FTCA permits suing the federal government for negligence by federal employees. It represents a limited waiver of sovereign immunity for certain tort claims against the government.

Filing a Notice of Claim Under the FTCA

Before suing the federal government, file a Notice of Claim with the responsible agency. Use Standard Form 95 to detail the claim and the damages sought. This form helps streamline the submission process, though it is not mandatory.


Suing government agencies is more complex than suing a private citizen, but follows a structured process defined by statutes. By meeting filing requirements and understanding sovereign immunity, individuals can initiate legal actions against government entities to seek redress for their injuries.


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