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cja25 Notice to CJA Panel Attorney Regarding Availability of Investigative, Expert and Other Services


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All attorneys appointed to provide representation under the Cr iminal Justice Act (CJA), 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, may request,
under subsection (e) of the Act, authorization to obtain i nvestigative, expert, and other services necessary for adequate
representation to be paid from funds appr opriated for the administration of the CJA.  In death penalty cases (federal capital
prosecutions and capital post-conviction proceedings), 18 U.S. C. § 3599 provides additional statutory authority to appoint
counsel (also see 18 U.S.C. § 3005) and authorize investigative, expert, and other services (referred to as “subsection (e)
services,” below).  
In addition to investigators, psychiatrists, psychologists,  and reporters, services other than counsel may include, but not
necessarily be limited to, interpreters, computer systems and  automation litigation support personnel and experts, paralegals
and legal assistants, including law students, neurologists, and  laboratory experts in the areas of ballistics, fingerprinting,
and handwriting.  
Requests for authority to obtain subsection (e) services shoul d be made to the presiding judge or magistrate judge (see
cautionary note below). In order to prevent the possibility th at an open hearing concerning a request for subsection (e)
services may cause a defendant to reveal his or  her defense, these requests should be made by ex parte  application. The
Guidelines for Administering the CJA and Related Statutes (CJA Guidelines), Volume 7A,  Guide to Judiciary Policy,
provide that the  ex parte applications must be heard  in camera and must not be revealed without the consent of the
defendant.  The CJA Guidelines further state that such app lications must be placed under seal until the final disposition of
the case in the trial court, subject to final order of the c ourt.  In death penalty cases, 18 U.S.C. § 3599 provides that couns el
must make a proper showing concerning the need for confidentiality.
There are, however, limitations that apply to the obtaining of these services.  PRIOR AUTHORIZATION SHOULD BE
SECURED  from the presiding judicial officer for all subsection (e) services, in a non-death or death penalty representation,
where the total cost (exclusive of reimbursement for expen ses) of all services combined  will exceed $800.  In addition to
prior authorization, once the services have been provided, th e claims for compensation must be approved by the presiding
judicial officer.  The limitation of $800 may be waived if the presiding judicial officer, in the interest of justice, finds th at
timely procurement of necessary services could not await prior authorization.  In ad	
dition, in non-death	 penalty proceedings,	 claims for 
compensation by a service provider in a representation in excess 
of $2,500 (ex	
cludin	g reimbursement for expenses) may be paid  when the presiding judicial officer certifies that payment  
in excess 	
of the amount is 	necessary to pro	vide fair compensati on fo	r services of an 	unusual character or d	uration	, and the 
amount of the excess payment is 	
ap	proved by 	the chief judge of  the circu	it (or the active or senior circuit judge to wh	om 
the ch	
ief judge has delegated	 excess compen	sation appro	val au	thority).	  In death penalty cases, there is a differen	t waiv	ab	le  
limit of $7,	
500 (the $2,500 amount does not apply).  The $7,5	00  limit applies to	 the total payments (inclu	ding expenses)  
for all investigative, expert, and other services combined in	
  a representation, not to each	 type of service 	or service provider 
individually.  For payments in excess 	
of $7,500, the presidin	g judicial officer must certify the payments 	as necessary to 
rovide fair compensation for services of an unusual character or d	uration.  	
Payment for subsection (e) services should be claimed directly  by the service provider on the CJA Form 21, “Authorization
and Voucher for Expert and Other Services,” or, in deat h penalty proceedings, on the CJA Form 31, “Death Penalty
Proceedings: Ex Parte  Request for Authorization and Vouche r for Expert and Other Services.”
Counsel should review both the Criminal Justice Act and the CJA Guidelines, which are accessible through
Relevant article from our knowledge database

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