United States District Court - Northern District Court of California

Phyllis J. Hamilton, Chief Judge

Susan Y. Soong, Clerk of Court

Information for Experts & Other Service Providers


  • Detailed invoices for fees and expenses must include a completed CJA 21 or 31 (for capital cases). Do not forget your signature in box 17. Attach the most recent funding Order authorizing your services. Send to the attorney for review of your invoice and signature. The attorney submits the invoice to the CJA Unit for processing. 
  • Vouchers should be submitted at the conclusion of services, unless interim payments are requested by counsel and approved by the CJA Supervising Attorney.


  • Do NOT exceed your funding authorization—the Court has no obligation to pay more than the amount authorized.
  • The Court will reduce your vouchers if the work performed is outside the scope of the authorization or is otherwise non-compensable (i.e., the court will not pay a service provider for secretarial or administrative work such as making copies or mailing documents).
  • You may timely appeal any fee reduction to the CJA Supervising Attorney; voucher reductions that exceed $375/invoice may be referred to the Fee Review Committee. The Court’s decision is final and there shall be no further right of review or appeal, or right to compensation from appointed counsel or any other source.


  • Out-of-pocket expenses reasonably incurred, although meals are reimbursable only when overnight travel is authorized or travel exceeds 10 hours. You must provide all detailed restaurant bills and not credit card slips. Alcoholic beverages, in-room movies, and other non-essential items cannot be reimbursed.
  • Receipts are required for expenses over $50 and always for outside copying, travel expenses, taxis over $25, messenger services (which are strongly disfavored unless necessary), related telephone charges over $50/month, and postage of $50/mailing (organize receipts by the date incurred).
  • Case-related travel in a privately-owned automobile should be claimed at the rate currently authorized for federal judiciary employees who use an automobile to conduct official business .  You may also be reimbursed for parking fees, transit fares, and bridge/road/tunnel tolls.
  • All overnight travel and all travel by airplane must have advance approval by the CJA Supervising Attorney. Please use the travel request form and organize the expenses and receipts by date incurred.
  • Domestic and foreign travel expense reimbursement for meals and lodging is limited to the government per diem rates (www.gsa.gov ...). Other expenses, such as taxi fares and rental car charges are not included in the per diem rate and may be claimed separately if receipts are provided. First class airfare is prohibited.
  • For authorized travel, please contact National Travel Service (NTS), which will facilitate direct billing to the government of the authorized airfare. NTS may be contacted at (800) 445-0668 to obtain travel quotes.
  • Telephone toll calls, fax charges and photocopying are considered reimbursable expenses if reasonably incurred. However, general office overhead, such as rent, secretarial help, preparation of CJA vouchers, and telephone service, are not reimbursable expenses, nor are items of a personal nature.