The Criminal Justice Act (CJA) (18 U.S.C. § 3006A(d)(l)) provides that appointed attorneys may be reimbursed for expenses reasonably incurred, including the costs of transcripts authorized by the U.S. magistrate judge or the court. Similarly, for capital proceedings (including post-conviction proceedings seeking to vacate or set aside a death sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 or 28 U.S.C. § 2255), financially eligible defendants are entitled to the furnishing of investigative, expert, or other reasonably necessary services, including transcribing of proceedings and/or transcripts. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 3599(a)-(f).

The non-capital limitations of $ and $, and capital limitations of $ and $ do not apply to the cost of transcripts.

Attorneys representing financially eligible CJA defendants (or an eligible pro se defendant/appellant) use the Form CJA 24 to request authorization for proceedings to be transcribed and/or transcripts. The provider of services may be a court reporter or other transcriber. The attorney must sign box 15 on the Form CJA 24 to initiate the request for a transcript.

The Form CJA 24 is also used to request payment for the services rendered. The preferred method for payment for transcripts authorized by the court is for the court reporter or reporting service to claim compensation directly on the Form CJA 24. Alternatively, the attorney may pay for the authorized transcript and obtain reimbursement using the Form CJA 24. [Guide, Vol. 7, § 320.30.10(a)] When verifying receipt of the transcript on Form CJA 24, attorneys should confirm that the transcript received is the one ordered and that it is the transcript described in the service provider's invoice.

Click here for a copy of Form CJA 24 with instructions.

See Instruction item 14 for an explanation of requests requiring special authorization.

See Instruction item 20 for an explanation of reimbursable expenses.

Accelerated Transcripts

The policies of the Judicial Conference of the United States regarding accelerated transcripts are found in the Guide, Vol. 7, § 320.30.20. The furnishing of accelerated transcript services in criminal proceedings is discouraged. However, accelerated services may be provided in circumstances where necessary and required by either the prosecution or the defense, or both. Routine apportionment of accelerated transcript costs among parties in CJA cases is prohibited. The requesting party pays for the original accelerated transcript and if this party is not the CJA counsel, the CJA counsel is entitled to a copy at the copy rate.

Commercial Duplication in Multi-Defendant Cases

In multi-defendant cases involving CJA defendants, no more than one transcript should be purchased from the court reporter on behalf of CJA defendants. One of the appointed counsel or the clerk of court should arrange for the duplication, at commercially competitive rates, of enough copies for each of the CJA defendants for whom a transcript has been approved. This does not preclude the furnishing of the duplication services by the court reporter at the commercially competitive rate. [Guide, Vol. 7, § 320.30.30(a)]

In individual cases involving requests for accelerated transcripts, the court may grant an exception if it finds that application of the duplication policy will unreasonably impede the delivery of accelerated transcripts to CJA clients. [Guide, Vol. 7, § 320.30.30]

Court Reporters

Pertinent information about court reporters providing transcript services may also be found in the Guide to Judiciary Policy, Volume 6, Court Reporting, Chapter 5, Transcripts, Section 550, Criminal Justice Act (CJA) and In Forma Pauperis Proceedings.