General Counsel

Claims against NARA for property damage or personal injury or death

What is the purpose of this page?

This page discusses how to file a claim against the National Archives for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or death. Claims believed to be related to the activities of any other entity, including any other federal government entity, should not be filed against the National Archives. Such claims should be filed against the entity believed to be responsible. Filing your claim in the wrong place may delay processing of your claim and could ultimately lead to your claim being denied for failure to file within the lawfully mandated deadline.

What law governs filing a claim against the National Archives?

The Federal Tort Claims Act (the “Act”), as amended, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2671-2680, governs how a claim may be made against the federal government for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or death. Such claims should be submitted to the federal agency involved, and not to the National Archives unless the act or omission involves the National Archives or a National Archives employee. For example if a National Archives employee is driving a National Archives vehicle and strikes a private party's vehicle, the individual could file a claim against the National Archives for the damage to the car. The National Archives would then, as per the Act, determine if the claim should be granted, granted in part, or denied.

How do I file a claim against the National Archives?

  1. Generally, a claim against the National Archives must be filed by the person who suffered the damage, loss, or injury (or that person's representative). A claim based on death may be presented by the executor or administrator of the decedent's estate or other person legally entitled to assert such a claim.
  2. You must file your claim within two years of the date the claim accrued. This means that the National Archives must receive the completed claim form (see below) within two years of the accident or injury which gave rise to the claim.
  3. Submit a completed Standard Form 95 "Claim for Damage, Injury or Death." Forms should be mailed to: Office of General Counsel, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, Suite 3110, College Park, MD 20740.
  4. The General Counsel will evaluate your claim and may settle or deny your claim. Acceptance of a settlement is final and conclusive and constitutes a complete release of any claim against the United States and against any employee of the Government whose act or omission gave rise to the claim by reason of the same subject matter. If your claim is denied, notice of denial will be sent to you. If you are dissatisfied with the National Archives' denial, you may file suit in the appropriate U.S. District Court within six months after the date the notification was mailed to you.