CJA Appointment

The plan for the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act of 1964 as Amended provides that a panel of private attorneys, who are eligible and willing to be appointed to provide representation, be maintained by the CJA Panel Selection Committee. Applications for placement on the panel are available upon request from the Committee Liaison by calling (803)765-5067. Completed applications should be returned to the CJA Panel Committee address at 901 Richland Street, Columbia, South Carolina, 29212. The Committee meets to review the applications and recommend to the full United States District Court those attorneys qualified for appointment to the Panel. The District Court appointed attorneys are then notified in writing by the CJA Committee of membership on the Panel.

The CJA Panel Committee consists of one district judge, one magistrate judge, the Federal Public Defender, one attorney who has served at least two years as a member of the CJA Panel, and an appointed panel representative. The CJA Panel Attorneys List is maintained and updated by the CJA Committee Liaison with copies distributed to the District Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Clerk's Office personnel.

The following information is provided for the guidance of privately practicing attorneys appointed, pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act (18 U.S.C. 3006A), to represent a person financially unable to obtain adequate representation.

Duties of Appointed Counsel

  1. Counsel named in the Order of Appointment Form CJA 20 must personally appear at all proceedings. Counsel shall not delegate his or her responsibility to other counsel (except for emergencies with approval of the court and consent of defendant). Counsel who is unable to personally fulfill his or her obligation to a defendant because of health or other good reason should immediately so notify the court or magistrate judge in writing.
  2. Counsel is required to secure the appearance of the defendant at all pretrial conferences and at all other proceedings requiring the appearance of the defendant.
  3. Counsel shall fulfill his or her professional responsibility as an officer of the court, and the limited amount of compensation accruing in no respect diminishes such responsibility.
  4. Counsel appointed by the magistrate judge shall continue to serve until his or her representation is terminated by the provisions of the plan of the court, adopted pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, as amended by Public Law 91-447, or by court order.

  5. Counsel shall report, to the court or a magistrate judge, any change in the financial status of the person he or she was appointed to represent which indicates the ability of the person to finance all or part of the representation.

Termination of Appointment

  1. Representation of a defendant in a criminal case shall terminate with the imposition of sentence following the acceptance of a plea of guilty, a plea of nolo contendere, or the finding of a guilty verdict.
  2. Counsel shall, following the imposition of sentence in a criminal case where the defendant has been found guilty after trial or entered a plea of guilty, advise the defendant of his or her right to appeal and of his or her right to counsel on appeal. If requested to do so by the defendant, counsel shall file a timely Notice Of Appeal. Counsel on appeal shall be appointed by the Court of Appeals.
  3. Representation in all other proceedings shall terminate when the purpose of the appointment is accomplished or when terminated by court order.


  1. Counsel shall be compensated at a rate not exceeding $127.00 per hour for time expended in court or before a magistrate judge and for time reasonably expended out of court, and shall be reimbursed for expenses reasonably incurred.

  2. Compensation Rates
    In-Court Out-Of-Court
    01/01/2015 $127.00 $127.00
    03/01/2014 $126.00 $126.00
    09/01/2013 $110.00 $110.00
    01/01/2010 $125.00 $125.00
    03/11/2009 $110.00 $110.00
    01/01/2008 $100.00 $100.00
    05/20/2007 $94.00 $94.00
    01/01/2006 $92.00 $92.00
    05/01/2002 $90.00 $90.00
    04/01/2001 $75.00 $55.00
    01/01/2000 $70.00 $50.00
    01/06/1996 $65.00 $45.00
    Death Penalty Cases Effective 01/01/2015: $181.00
    Death Penalty Cases Effective 03/01/2014: $180.00
    Death Penalty Cases Effective 09/01/2013: $163.00
    Death Penalty Cases Effective 01/01/2010: $178.00
    Death Penalty Cases Effective 03/11/2009: $175.00
    Death Penalty Cases Effective 01/01/2008: $170.00
    Death Penalty Cases Effective 05/20/2007: $166.00
    Death Penalty Cases after 01/01/2006 but prior to 05/20/2007: $160.00
    Death Penalty Cases after 02/04/2005 but prior to 01/01/2006: $160.00
    Death Penalty Cases Prior to 02/04/2005: $125.00

  3. The maximum allowance permitted by 18 U.S.C. 3006A for representation of a defendant before a magistrate judge and in the District Court, or both, effective January 1, 2015 is:
  4. Felony Case $9,900.00
    Misdemeanor Case $2,800.00
    Post-Trial Motion $2,100.00 (made after entry of judgment)
    Probation Revocation $2,100.00
    Motion to Vacate $2,100.00
    Habeas Corpus $2,100.00 (except Death Penalty cases)
    Parole Revocation $2,100.00
    Material Witness $2,100.00
    Mental Competency (18 USC 4245) $2,100.00
    Civil or Criminal Contempt $2,100.00
    Grand Jury Witness $2,100.00

  5. The maximum allowance, permitted by 18 U.S.C. 3006A, For representation of a person in an appellate court is $7,100.00.
  6. Payment in excess of any maximum amount provided in paragraph "B" herein immediately above may be made for extended or complex representation whenever the district judge before whom the representation was rendered, or the magistrate judge if the representation was furnished exclusively before him, certifies that the amount of the excess payment is necessary to provide fair compensation and the payment is approved by the Chief Judge of the Circuit or his delegate.

Actual Expenses Other than for Expert or Other Services

  1. Counsel shall be reimbursed for reasonable actual expenses incurred in the representation of a defendant.
  2. In determining whether actual expenses incurred are "reasonable," counsel shall be guided by the prevailing limits placed upon travel and subsistence of federal judiciary employees. Therefore, reimbursement for counsel appointed to represent a defendant before a magistrate judge or the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina shall be limited as follows:

    1. Actual subsistence, not to exceed the maximum daily allowance for the particular area for employees of the judiciary as fixed by the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Lodging, meals, and all other allowable items of expense shall be itemized, and furnished with the Form CJA 20.

    2. Actual travel expenses shall not exceed:
      1. Round-trip coach air fare.
      2. Round-trip taxi or public transit fare from office to airport, train station, or bus depot, and from airport to courthouse.
      3. Private automobile mileage at the rate allowed for employees of the judiciary as fixed by the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, not to exceed the amount of round-trip coach air fare.

Mileage Rates
01/01/1995 $0.30
06/06/1996 $0.31
09/08/1998 $0.325
04/01/1999 $0.31
01/14/2000 $0.325
01/22/2001 $0.345
01/21/2002 $0.365
01/01/2003 $0.36
01/01/2004 $0.375
02/04/2005 $0.405
09/01/2005 $0.485
01/01/2006 $0.445
02/01/2007 $0.485
03/19/2008 $0.505
08/01/2008 $0.585
02/01/2009 $0.55
01/01/2010 $0.50
01/01/2011 $0.51
04/17/2012 $0.555
01/01/2013 $0.565
01/01/2014 $0.56
01/01/2015 $0.575

Authorization for obtaining Expert or Other Services

  1. Prior authorization of the court should be obtained before obtaining investigative, expert, or other services (e.g. reporter's transcript, interpreter, investigator, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other expert services). The maximum allowance, permitted by 18 U.S.C. 3006A, is $2,400.00, effective 05/27/10.
  2. Investigative, expert, or other services may be obtained, where it is not possible to seek prior authorization, subject to later review. The maximum allowance, permitted by 18 U.S.C. 3006A, where prior authorization is not obtained, is $800.00, effective 05/27/10.
  3. The request for prior authorization to obtain investigative, expert, or other services shall be made on Form CJA 21 entitled "Authorization & Voucher for Expert or Other Services," which may be obtained from the Clerk of the Court. The Form CJA 21 shall be filled in by counsel and presented to the judge for approval. After the investigative, expert, or other services have been obtained, the completed CJA 21 shall be submitted to the Clerk of Court.

Forms Obtainable from the Clerk of the Court

  1. Form CJA 20 entitled Appointment of and Authority to Pay Court Appointed Counsel after appointment is made by the court.
  2. Instructions for filling in Form CJA 20, Appointment of and Authority to Pay Court Appointed Cousel after appointment is made by the court.
  3. Form CJA 21 entitled Authorization & Voucher for Expert or Other Services.
  4. Instructions for filling in Form CJA 21, Authorization & Voucher for Expert or Other Services.

Preparation and Submission of Voucher for Services

  1. Form CJA 20 entitled Appointment of and Authority to Pay Court Appointed Counsel, which is furnished by the Clerk's Office, is to be completed by counsel. All necessary supporting documentation must be attached to the voucher prior to submission for payment (including receipts for expenses over $50.00). All time should be reported in one-tenth increments, which can easily be converted to percentages, i.e., .1, .3, .5, for purposes of entering the data into our automated system.
  2. A claim for more than the maximum provided in 18 U.S.C. 3006A will delay the processing of the claim as it will require approval of the Circuit as well as the District Court Judge.

  3. Counsel shall submit CJA vouchers to the Panel Administrator of the Office of the Federal Public Defender. The Panel Administrator reviews vouchers for compliance with 18 U.S.C. 3006A and the Guide to Judiciary Policies and Procedures. The District Court of South Carolina remains the final arbiter of compensation and reimbursement. For questions concerning CJA vouchers, please contact:

    Claire Woodward, Panel Administrator
    Office of the Federal Public Defender
    1901 Assembly Street, Suite 200
    Columbia, SC 29201

Death Penalty Cases

Attorneys appointed in Death Penalty cases should contact the CJA Liaison for the District of South Carolina at (803) 765-5067.

Applications for appointment to the Death Penalty Attorney Panel should be submitted to the CJA Liaison as indicated on the form.

Travel Information for Court Appointed Counsel

Counsel appointed under the Criminal Justice Act are eligible for reduced government travel rates pursuant to Section 702 of the Federal Courts Administration Act of 1992, Public Law 102-572, 106 Stat. 4506.

Please click here to review current Judiciary Staff Travel Regulations before making your travel plans.

Travel Management Center will obtain government rate plane tickets for you and charge them to the Court's account. Alternatively, you may make your own travel arrangements; however, if you do so, reimbursement for air travel will be limited to the government rate that could have been obtained through Travel Management Center.

(1) Upon learning of required commercial airline travel contact the Judge assigned to the case to obtain travel approval.

(2) When approval is granted notify the CJA Panel Administrator.

(3) Contact Travel Management Center at 1-800-445-0668 to obtain government rate airline tickets for coach section seating to be charged to the Court's account. Advise Travel Management Center that you are an attorney providing CJA representation in the District Court of South Carolina.

(4) As counsel appointed under the Criminal Justice Act, you are eligible for government hotel rates. When making reservations with the hotel, identify yourself as CJA counsel and request the government rate.

(5) Subsistence expenses for travel will be reimbursed within limitations applicable to federal employees. Contact the Finance Office of the District Court (803)253-3474 to obtain the per diem rate for your destination. Detailed receipts for hotel, food, and ground transportation MUST be submitted with your CJA voucher in order to receive reimbursement.

(6) The Court will pay directly for airline tickets charged through Travel Management Center to the Court's account and will verify the charges with you to ensure that payment is proper.

(7) If counsel is seeking reimbursement for an airline ticket that was not purchased through Travel Management Center, counsel must submit a copy of the ticket or receipt with their voucher and include a statement that the ticket price was less than the government rate available through Travel Management Center.