Skip to Content

U.S. Marshals Service

Public Defender's Handbook

Special Situations

Travel Advances. At least 2 weeks advance notice to the U.S. Marshal’s office is required for travel advances. These advances are limited to extreme need cases. The U.S. Marshal’s office will advance Meals, Incidental Expenses and Lodging for the first day only. To receive a travel advance, the witness must sign a Witness Certificate for Advance, Form USM-24 (Appendix 5), and deliver it to the U.S. Marshal’s office. The U.S. Marshal’s office does not deliver advances and the attorney must arrange for it to be picked up if the witness cannot. Contact the U.S. Marshal’s office for specific local procedures.

Federal Government Employees as Witnesses. Federal government employees (including tribal police officers, military and criminal investigative officers) do not receive witness fees, travel, or lodging if their agency is involved with their testimony (i.e., an officer testifying in an official capacity).

Witness fees will only be paid to government employees if they are in a non-pay status, such as on leave without pay, a seasonal or temporary worker, or a former employee. Call the U.S. Marshal’s office if there are any questions.

If the witness’ government agency is not involved, the witness will receive the lodging and travel, but will not receive the witness fees because the government is paying their salary. Witness fees are then handled as follows:

Witnesses within District. Standard Form 1164 is completed along with a statement that the case does not involve the employing agency. File the form with the U.S. Marshal’s office for payment. Before lodging is allowed, Federal Travel Regulations require the traveler be in travel status more than 10 hours and 50 miles or more. Government employees will be paid mileage and parking only, but no per diem or witness appearance fees.

Out-of-District Witnesses:

Federal Government/Military Witnesses. Military Personnel should complete a Request for Armed Forces or Government Employee Witness, Form OBD-16 (Appendix 4), and forward the form to SAS for processing. Travel reimbursement payments to Federal Government agencies may be made via the Form SF 1012 or electronically, agency-to-agency.

Foreign Witnesses. Foreign Witnesses are entitled and paid the same fees and allowances as regular fact witnesses. However, special coordination with the Department of State, Office of Special Consular Services is required. The attorneys should contact the State Department, Office of Consular Affairs for assistance regarding procedures to follow when obtaining foreign witnesses. Although standard fees and allowances are generally acceptable, a foreign national may occasionally require additional allowances. The Simplified Acquisition Service (SAS) will also process foreign witness requests for indigent defendants and will request an advance from the Department of State. The U.S. Marshals Service should provide round-trip transportation to foreign witnesses. Contact the Department of Justice, Justice Management Division at (202) 307-1942 or FAX (202) 307-1932 for more information.

Prisoners as Witnesses. A petition for issuance of a writ, an order, or a writ of Habeas Corpus ad Testificandum must be prepared by the attorney and signed by the Judge before an incarcerated witnesses can appear on behalf of a defendant. The court staff will give the writ to the US. Marshal’s office and file the order. The U.S. Marshal’s office should be contacted for time frames on the movement of prisoners. Time frames vary throughout the United States but average time frames are:

4-7 days Execution of a local area writ within the commuting area.
10-14 days Execution of a non-local writ within the USM District.
4 weeks Notice for an out-of-district writ.

 

 
usmarshals.gov is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice