Phone: (503) 934-4400 | Fax: (503) 373-7067
Claudia Groberg, Chief Counsel
Joanne Southey, Chief Counsel
Civil Enforcement Division
Claudia and Joanne are co-chief counsels of the Civil Enforcement Division, which handles a wide range of issues including consumer protection/financial fraud; charities; civil recovery; medicaid fraud; and child advocacy. Joanne is chief counsel for child advocacy and Claudia is chief counsel for all the other areas of CED’s work.
Joanne has been with DOJ since 2003, starting as an Assistant Attorney General in the Family Law Section. She served as an AAIC and AIC in the Child Advocacy Section, and then served as Deputy Chief Counsel since 2012. Prior to coming to DOJ, Joanne was in private practice at a civil litigation firm in Portland after a clerkship at the Multnomah County Courthouse. Joanne received her undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon and her law degree from Willamette University College of Law.
Claudia joined DOJ in 2006 as an Assistant Attorney General also in the Family Law Section. She served as an AAIC in the Civil Recovery Section, and then served as AIC since 2013. Prior to coming to DOJ, Claudia clerked at the Lane County Circuit Court for the Honorable Lauren Holland and worked as a staff attorney at the Workers’ Compensation Board. Claudia earned her undergraduate degree from Idaho State University and her law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law.
The Civil Enforcement Division is organized as follows:
Charitable Activities Section
The Charitable Activities Section oversees the activities of charitable and other nonprofit organizations. It also enforces laws related to charitable trusts, charitable solicitations and nonprofit gaming. The Section can take civil legal actions against organizations breaking the law. For more information about charitable organizations and fundraising in Oregon, see the Charitable Activities Section ».
Civil Recovery Section
The Civil Recovery Section assists state agencies with litigation. Any state agency may refer cases to this Section. There are Civil Recovery attorneys and staff in Pendleton, Portland, Salem, Eugene and Medford. They handle child support enforcement hearings in all Oregon counties.
The Civil Recovery Section:
- Performs judicial foreclosure of mortgages, trust deeds and contracts for state agencies
- Represents state agencies in bankruptcy court
- Represents the Highway Divisions and Department of Administrative Services in cases involving damage to state property or monetary loss
- Collects overpayment of benefits to claimants and nonpayment of unemployment taxes by employers
- Assists the Department of Revenue’s efforts to collect on cases
- Recovers defaulted investments and development loans for state agencies
- Recovers environmental cleanup costs for the Department of Environmental Quality
- Assists the Oregon Child Support Program collect child support, establish paternity and support obligations
Child Advocacy Section
The Child Advocacy Section helps protect abused, neglected and abandoned children throughout Oregon. It provides court representation and legal advice to the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Child Welfare Program ».
There are Child Advocacy attorneys and staff in Portland, Salem, Eugene and Medford. Attorneys handle juvenile and circuit court hearings and child support enforcement hearings in all Oregon counties.
Child Advocacy attorneys provide a wide range of legal advice to DHS child welfare workers. They often represent DHS in contested juvenile and circuit court hearings and help achieve safe and permanent placement for children.
Consumer Protection Section
The Consumer Protection Section investigates and prosecutes violations of the Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA), commonly known as Oregon’s consumer law. Attorneys regularly participate in joint and multistate investigations with other state and federal consumer protection agencies. Through settlements and litigation, the Section can help consumers obtain restitution, but also ensure companies comply with the law.
Consumers can file an online complaint 24/7 through the DOJ website. Those who file complaints will work with consumer complaint specialists to informally resolve individual disputes with businesses, resulting in refunds, credits, repairs and other relief. The Section also operates a Consumer Hotline, staffed by dedicated volunteers who respond to over 30,000 calls each year.
The Section also educates consumers through events, consumer-friendly materials, in-person presentations, the Scam Alert Network » and Twitter account ». To schedule a presentation or request materials, contact Ellen Klem at 503-507-1061.
Antitrust and False Claims Unit
The Antitrust and False Claims Unit investigates and brings enforcement actions for violations of Oregon’s Antitrust Act and False Claims Act. Antitrust enforcement includes allegations of price fixing, bid rigging and other unlawful anticompetitive conduct. The section often participates with other states and federal enforcers in antitrust investigations and litigation. The unit’s enforcement actions arising from false claims violations involve circumstances where a benefit from a government entity has been obtained through false or misleading representations.
Medicaid Fraud Unit
The Medicaid Fraud Unit handles fraud by Medicaid providers. It also handles physical or financial abuse/neglect of residents of Medicaid-funded facilities.
The Medicaid Fraud Unit receives referrals from many sources, including federal, state and local agencies. The unit reviews referrals for potential criminal prosecution as well as civil remedies, when appropriate.