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Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Guidelines

These policies and procedures represent the guidelines of the Judicial Conference of the United States for the administration and operation of the Criminal Justice Act (CJA). The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees an accused the right to representation by counsel in serious criminal prosecutions. Enacted in 1964, the CJA establishes a comprehensive system for appointing and compensating legal representation for accused persons who are financially unable to retain counsel in federal criminal proceedings.

Guide to Judiciary Policy, Vol. 7 - Defender Services

Part A: Guidelines for Administering the CJA and Related Statutes

Part A (pdf)

Chapter 1: Overview

§ 110 Defender Services Program
§ 120 Purpose
§ 130 Applicability
§ 140 Criminal Justice Act (CJA) forms
§ 150 Contact Information

Chapter 2: Appointment and Payment of Counsel

§ 210 Representation under the CJA
§ 220 Appointment of Counsel
§ 230 Compensation and Expenses of Appointed Counsel

  • Appendix 2A (pdf)(word)(wp): Model Criminal Justice Act Plan
  • Appendix 2B (pdf)(word)(wp): Model Plan for the Composition, Administration and Management of the CJA Panel
  • Appendix 2C (pdf)(word)(wp): Procedures for Interim Payments to Counsel in Non-Death Penalty Cases
  • Appendix 2D (pdf)(word)(wp): Procedures for Interim Payments to Counsel in Death Penalty Cases

Chapter 3: Authorization and Payment for Investigative, Expert, or Other Services

§ 310 In General
§ 320 Authorization of Investigative, Expert, and Other Services

  • Appendix 3A (pdf)(word)(wp): Sample Request for Advance Authorization for Investigative, Expert, or Other Services
  • Appendix 3B (pdf)(word)(wp): Procedures for Interim Payments to Service Providers in Non-Death Penalty Cases
  • Appendix 3C (pdf)(word)(wp): Procedures for Interim Payments to Service Providers in Capital Proceedings
  • Appendix 3D (pdf)(word)(wp): Sample Order Authorizing the Acquisition of Computer (Hardware and/or Software) under the CJA

Chapter 4: Defender Organizations

§ 410 Overview
§ 420 Types of Defender Organizations
§ 430 Transcripts, Investigative, Expert, and Other Services
§ 440 Assignment of Cases
§ 450 Apportionment of Cases Between Defender Organizations and the Panel
§ 460 Participation as Amicus Curiae

  • Appendix 4A (pdf)(word)(wp): Community Defender Organization: Grant and Conditions
  • Appendix 4B (pdf)(word)(wp): Model Code of Conduct for Federal Community Defender Employees

Chapter 5: Disclosure of Information on CJA-Related Activities

§ 510 General Principles
§ 520 Disclosure of Information on Payments to Attorneys
§ 530 Disclosure of Information on Payments to Service Providers
§ 540 History of the Disclosure Policy

Chapter 6: Representation in Death Penalty Cases

§ 610 Overview
§ 620 Appointment of Counsel in Capital Cases
§ 630 Compensation of Appointed Counsel in Capital Cases
§ 640 Case Budgeting
§ 650 Case Management in Federal Capital Habeas Corpus Proceedings
§ 660 Authorization and Payment for Investigative, Expert, and Other Services in Capital Cases
§ 670 Scheduling of Federal Death Penalty Case Authorization to Control Costs
§ 680 Clemency

  • Appendix 6A (pdf): Recommendations Concerning the Cost and Quality of Defense Representation (Spencer Report, May 1998)

Part B: International Prisoner Transfer Proceedings

These regulations have been issued by the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for the appointment and compensation of counsel and guardians ad litem in international prisoner transfer proceedings.

Part B (pdf)

Chapter 1: Overview

§ 110 Purpose
§ 120 International Prisoner Transfer Program
§ 130 Consent Verification Hearings
§ 140 Statutes and Authority
§ 150 Further Guidance

Chapter 2: Appointment of Counsel and Guardians Ad Litem

§ 210 Appointment of Counsel
§ 220 Appointment of Guardians Ad Litem
§ 230 Determining Financial Eligibility
§ 240 Procedures for Appointments

Chapter 3: Compensation and Reimbursement of Expenses

§ 310 Federal Public and Community Defenders
§ 320 Private Panel Attorneys and Guardians Ad Litem

Transmittals

Transmittal 07-008: Vol 7 02/28/14 (pdf)
Transmittal 07-007: Vol 7 09/17/13 (pdf)
Transmittal 07-006: Vol 7 04/02/13 (pdf)
Transmittal 07-005: Vol 7 10/24/11 (pdf)
Transmittal 07-004: Vol 7 05/12/11 (pdf)
Transmittal 07-003: Vol 7 02/15/11 (pdf)
Transmittal 07-002: Vol 7 01/20/11 (pdf)
Transmittal 07-001: Vol 7 07/08/10 (pdf)
Transmittal GR-17: Vol 7 01/20/10 (pdf)

These materials were reconfigured in 2009 as part of a Guide Redesign Project.
Legacy Guide Volume 7A Crosswalk (pdf) is available to help locate renumbered provisions.


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