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Experts and Interpreters

Regarding experts, the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(e), provides:

(e) Services other than counsel.--

(1) Upon request.--Counsel for a person who is financially unable to obtain investigative, expert, or other services necessary for adequate representation may request them in an ex parte application. Upon finding, after appropriate inquiry in an ex parte proceeding, that the services are necessary and that the person is financially unable to obtain them, the court, or the United States magistrate judge if the services are required in connection with a matter over which he has jurisdiction, shall authorize counsel to obtain the services.

(2) Without prior request.--

(A) Counsel appointed under this section may obtain, subject to later review, investigative, expert, and other services without prior authorization if necessary for adequate representation. Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the total cost of services obtained without prior authorization may not exceed $800 and expenses reasonably incurred.

(B) The court, or the U.S. magistrate judge (if the services were rendered in a case disposed of entirely before the U.S. magistrate judge), may, in the interest of justice, and upon the finding that timely procurement of necessary services could not await prior authorization, approve payment for such services after they have been obtained, even if the cost of such services exceeds $800.

(3) Maximum amounts.-- Compensation to be paid to a person for services rendered by him to a person under this subsection, or to be paid to an organization for services rendered by an employee thereof, shall not exceed $2,400, exclusive of reimbursement for expenses reasonably incurred, unless payment in excess of that limit is certified by the court, or by the U.S. magistrate judge if the services were rendered in connection with a case disposed of entirely before him, as necessary to provide fair compensation for services of an unusual character or duration, and the amount of the excess payment is approved by the chief judge of the circuit. The chief judge of the circuit may delegate such approval authority to an active or senior circuit judge.

(4) Disclosure of fees.--The amounts paid under this subsection for services in any case shall be made available to the public.

(5) The dollar amounts provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) shall be adjusted simultaneously by an amount, rounded to the nearest multiple of $100, equal to the percentage of the cumulative adjustments taking effect under section 5303 of title 5 in the rates of pay under the general schedule since the date the dollar amounts provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), respectively, were last enacted or adjusted by statute.

Authorizations for Experts

Cumulative Amount Authorization
Up to $800 No prior authorization required; subject to later review
Up to $2,500 District court authorization required
More than $2,500 Circuit court authorization required (for capital cases, over $7,500)

Rates for Interpreters

  Certified and Professionally Qualified Not Certified but Language-Skilled
Full Day $418 $202
Half Day $226 $111
Overtime $59 $35