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Criminal Resource Manual

741. Consent Verification Hearings

If both countries approve the transfer, the next step in the transfer process is to arrange a consent verification hearing (CVH). The CVH, which is conducted by a Federal Magistrate Judge, is mandated by 18 U.S.C. § 4107. Its purpose is to ensure that the prisoner voluntarily consents and understands the consequences of the transfer. The CVH is required for all transferring prisoners whether they are foreign nationals transferring from the United States back to their home countries or Americans transferring from a foreign country back to the United States. A representative of the USAO is not required to attend the hearing of a foreign national transferring from the United States. However, the USAO in the district where the hearing is being held may be required to prepare the necessary application for a writ of habeas corpus or order to produce the prisoner's presence at the hearing.

The IPTU is responsible for coordinating the arrangements for the CVH. These arrangements include contacting and coordinating with: the Administrative Office of the Courts which will arrange for the attendance of a Federal Magistrate Judge; a Federal Public Defender to ensure that the prisoner has legal representation at the hearing; the responsible USAO to request it to secure a writ of habeas corpus or order to produce to move foreign national prisoners from the prison to the courthouse; and with BOP and USMS to ensure the efficient movement of the foreign national prisoner to the CVH. With respect to the arrangements for CVHs for Americans incarcerated abroad, the IPTU also works with United States Embassy personnel and with the foreign governments to coordinate the scheduling and conducting of the hearing.

If a foreign national prisoner gives his consent to the transfer at the CVH, he is returned to his designated prison. Thereafter, the IPTU informs the foreign government that the prisoner has consented to the transfer and BOP works with the foreign government to make arrangements for its escorts to travel to the United States and retrieve the prisoner. When the consenting prisoner is an American incarcerated abroad, he is returned to foreign custody until BOP and the IPTU are able to make the necessary arrangements for his return. BOP is responsible for sending escorts to retrieve transferring Americans.

[updated and renumbered March 2012] [cited in USAM 9-35.010; Criminal Resource Manual 734; 737; 739]