Public Defender's Handbook
Travel, Lodging, Meals
and Incidental Expenses
Fact witnesses are entitled
to reimbursement for necessary transportation by the
least expensive method
available, and reimbursement for meals and lodging when required to
remain away from their residence overnight.
Common Carrier. When
commercial transportation is required outside the local commuting area:
1. The CJA/Public Defender
must inform the witness to contact the U.S. Marshal’s office on
how to make travel arrangements and to obtain government
2. The U.S. Marshal’s
office will make prepaid travel arrangements using contracted government
rates or other rates that are deemed most advantageous to the
3. When the witness arranges
their own travel they will be reimbursed using the contracted
government coach fare or lower. Reimbursement will be for
the common carrier that is the most efficient, expeditious, and
advantageous to the government. All reimbursement for common
carrier must be supported by receipts.
4. The U.S. Marshal’s
office will not reimburse witnesses for first class air fare and/or for fares
that are not a result of direct transportation to and from the court city.
To and From Currier
Terminals. Receipts are required for all single
items costing over $25.00.
Expenditures for taxicab and airport limo fares are reimbursed. However,
when courtesy transportation is provided by hotels/motels, the witness
should be made aware of their requirement to use them.
Rental cars. Rental cars are
not reimbursable, except under special/unusual circumstances
pre-approved by the presiding officer of the Court or the Clerk of the Court.
law, parking receipts are required to reimburse witnesses for
any parking expense.
Lodging. All reimbursement
for lodging must be supported by Hotel/Motel receipts.
Reimbursement will be for the actual cost of lodging and will
not exceed the
allowable rates for the city. The witness will be required to provide copies of
lost/destroyed receipts from the lodging establishments before receiving
If lodging is required by
If the lodging receipt
shows a charge for double occupancy, one-half of
the double occupancy charge will be allowable for each witness. If
the person sharing the room is not a witness, the witness will be allowed the single-room rate not to
exceed the maximum allowed.
When a witness obtains
lodging from friends or relatives with or without
charge, no lodging expense will be authorized. Meals and
Incidental Expenses. Receipts
for food are not required. The maximum
per diem rates include a fixed allowance for meals and incidental
expenses, when an overnight stay is required. The fixed allowance
varies with each court city. Fact Witnesses are entitled to one-half
the daily meals and expense allowance for the day of departure,
and one-half the allowance for the day of return. Full days
at the place of attendance will be at he full meals and incidental
expense allowance rate for each court city.