The government's case at the hearing consists of moving the formal request for extradition and all supporting documents into evidence. The Federal Rules of Evidence do not apply. Fed. R. Evid. 1101(d)(3). Instead, admissibility is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3190. Since an extradition hearing is not intended to be a trial on the merits, but is instead a probable cause hearing, the fugitive's opportunity to present evidence is severely limited under existing case law. The district court may assign the case to a Federal magistrate judge; the fugitive is not entitled to have an Article III judge preside over the extradition hearing. If the judge or magistrate judge is unfamiliar with extradition proceedings, the prosecutor may wish to outline them in a pre-hearing memorandum. The Office of International Affairs can provide a sample. A pre-hearing memorandum is also advisable if the facts are unusual or complicated. The fugitive is remanded in custody pending the extradition judge's ruling.
Updated May 21, 2015