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FAQs by CJA Panel Members

What are the compensation maximums?

Attorneys are required to review the CJA Guidelines.

Note: Receipts are required for parking and toll fees.

Where do I send my voucher for payment?

All vouchers should be submitted on eVoucher for payment.

How do I issue subpoenas under the CJA?

Subpoenas under the CJA are served by the Office of the United States Marshal upon the order of the court. Subpoenas should be prepared pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 17(b). The request for a subpoena may be filed ex parte. The Office of the United States Marshal requests that subpoenas be filed with its office not later than fourteen days prior to the start of trial.

Can I get the assistance of an expert or investigator for my CJA case?

Yes, the District Court has authority to approve up to $2,700.00 in expert or investigative compensation. Any request for more than $2,700.00 in funding must be certified by the District Court Judge and approved by the Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit. All requests for expert or investigative assistance must be made in writing and forwarded to the CJA Coordinating Attorney with a CJA Form 21.

How do I obtain interpreters?

If you require an interpreter for a client meeting, CJA funds are utilized. For an out of court meeting, you should seek authorization from the CJA Coordinating Attorney on a CJA Form 21. Attach a letter to the form explaining your need for an interpreter as well as your basis for the estimated compensation and forward the voucher and letter to the CJA Coordinating Attorney. The current rates for a certified interpreter are $418.00 for a full day and $226.00 for a half-day. A complete list of the rate schedule is available here. Since more than one meeting with the client will probably be required, it may be advisable to seek authorization from the CJA Coordinating Attorney for the statutory maximum of $2,700.00. The interpreter should use the interpreter worksheets on this Court’s web site for billing purposes. Please ensure that your interpreter does not exceed the statutory maximum of $2,700.00.

I need an interpreter, investigator or expert, but I don’t know whom to call. What should I do?

A current list of interpreters is posted on this Court's website.

The CJA Coordinating Attorney also has lists of experts and investigators willing to accept the court’s compensation rates. The Court does not vouch for or certify the quality of these experts or investigators; it simply provides referrals to experts accepting this Court’s rate structure. The Office of the Federal Public Defender can also provide referrals to qualified expert witnesses.


I have a question about a misdemeanor duty day assignment, whom should I contact?

IIf you have a question about your arrival time, court location, an appointment or voucher payment problem, contact the CJA office at 410-962-4647. If you have a question about a legal issue or a sentencing question, contact the Federal Public Defender at 301-344-0600 or 410-962-3962.

My client is detained, where should I call to determine his location?

Information regarding prisoner location can be obtained from the Prisoner Operation Section of the United States Marshal Service at 410-962-2518. It is advisable to call before visiting any institution.

How do I obtain a PACER account for my CJA work?

CJA attorneys may obtain an exempt PACER account by contactin g the PACER Service Center at 800-676-6856.

I need to travel overnight in association with my CJA appointment, what do I do?

Court permission is necessary for any travel associated with a CJA appointment. To obtain authorization for overnight travel or travel by common carrier, please send adetailed request to the CJA Coordinating Attorney. A travel authorization containing the applicable per diem will be prepared for the district judge’s signature. The CJA appropriation pays directly for all travel by common carrier. Reimbursements will be made for food and lodging based on the approved government per diem.

I have a defendant who is out on bond and resides out of state. How do I arrange for his transportation to Maryland to attend the court proceedings?

The Office of the United States Marshal is responsible for the defendant’s transportation costs under 18 U.S.C. §4285. This provision requires the Marshal’s Service to provide transportation and subsistence to the “place where the defendant’s appearance is required.” Counsel should seek a court order stating that the defendant is indigent and directing the U.S. Marshal to provide travel and subsistence for the defendant to the court location. The statute only provides for travel expenses to the court and subsistence expenses while en route.

It is important to note that the statute does not require the Office of United States Marshal to provide defendants with transportation home following a court appearance. Nor does the statute require this Court to provide subsistence payments to the defendant following arrival If a client requires subsistence following his arrival in Maryland, counsel should request this Court to order that lodging and food be provided to the defendant through Pretrial Service sunder 18 U.S.C. §3154(4). Housing can be provided through a halfway house such as Volunteers of America.

 Please note, that Criminal Justice Act funds are not available for lodging and subsistence of a defendant during trial. Nor is there any method to reimburse a defendant for expenses incurred in securing lodging during trial.


Where can I find instructions for completing the various CJA Forms?

Detailed information and instructions on the eVoucher system can be found at the link below. Once you click the link, the different manuals under ‘Materials for Attorney Training’:

The U.S. Courts website ( contains current and detailed instructions for completing each of the CJA Forms. The links are provided below. You may also call the CJA office at 410-962-4647 with your questions.