CJA FAQ: Vouchers
My client was involved in two separate cases. Can I submit one voucher including both case numbers?
No. Separate vouchers/worksheets are required for each case.
My client was arrested on a probation/supervised release violation. Do I continue to use the voucher I had the first time?
No. You will be provided with a new voucher. This is considered a new appointment. If you are contacted by the client, USA or Probation, be sure to notify the court of the contact, move for re-appointment nunc pro tunc to the date of contact and submit a new CJA23 for your client.
Do I submit a memorandum in support of my voucher?
If your voucher exceeds the statutory maximum for the type of representation, you must submit a CJA26 Supplemental Information Statement explaining why the claim is an excess claim. If you do not submit this form, your voucher will be returned to you unprocessed. If the claim is under the statutory limits, there is no need for a CJA26.
What notice must a court give to a panel attorney prior to reducing a voucher?
The judge who presided over a case (or the court’s authorized designee) reviews the voucher for the “reasonableness” of each claim within a voucher. If the reviewing authority determines that any portion of the voucher should be reduced, other than for technical or mathematical errors, prior to reducing the voucher, appointed counsel should be provided:
- notice of the proposed reduction with a brief statement of the reason(s) for it, and
- an opportunity to address the matter.
The communication with appointed counsel may be informal, such as by telephone or email or an in-person conversation. A hearing is not required; however, the judge may hold one if it would help resolve the matter.
The Judicial Conference has specifically stated that vouchers should not be reduced for the purpose of saving costs in response to adverse financial circumstances.
A mistake was made on my voucher, what should I do?
If an error is made, draw line through it, initial it, and move on, or re-work the worksheets and/or voucher. We are not allowed to take any claims containing whiteout on either the voucher or the worksheets. If we receive claims with whiteout on them, we will return them unprocessed.
My voucher and worksheets contain quarter hours (3.25, 6.75, etc.). Is this a problem?
Yes. Your claims can only be processed in tenths of hours (3.3, 6.7, etc.). Claims that do not conform to this method of calculation may result in modifications to your claim or your voucher being returned to you unprocessed.
Our firm’s billing department has a specified billing format for submission with vouchers. May we continue to submit them with our vouchers?
No. The court’s fillable worksheet forms are required effective July 15, 2008. If any other forms are used, your voucher will be returned unprocessed.
We have procedures in place at our firm similar to those of the court for preparation of worksheets and vouchers; may we still use our procedure?
No. You must use the court’s generated CJA forms for claims and the court’s fillable worksheets. As of July 15, 2008, any other submission will be returned to you unprocessed. In April 2010, the court’s procedure as to issuing CJA20s has changed. Paper is no longer mailed to counsel. Check the docket sheet under date of your appointment and download the CJA20 with the court clerk’s signature.
What supporting documentation needs to be provided with the attorney’s voucher?
In general, the attorney should attach to the voucher a detailed itemization of services, by date, and indicate the number of hours (in hours and tenths of an hour) for each service and the rate claimed. The form must be signed to attest to the accuracy of the claim. Timesheets, worksheets, and explanatory memoranda are acceptable supporting documentation. For out-of-pocket expenses (including travel expenses), an itemized statement must be provided. See the Guide, Vol. 7, Section 230.63.10. For all expenses of $50 or more, itemized receipts are required. For all travel expenses, supporting documentation is required, and itemized receipts must be provided for all lodging expenses (regardless of the amount). If the voucher exceeds the statutory maximum, counsel should submit a memorandum supporting the claim that the case is extended or complex and explaining why excess compensation is necessary. Form CJA26 (district court) or Form CJA27 (court of appeals) may be used for this purpose. See the Guide, Vol. 7, Section 230.20(b).
My client wishes to file for a crack cocaine reduction under Section 18:3582. Do I use my old voucher?
No. This is a new representation. There is no need for filing of a CJA23 Financial Affidavit. The appointment begins with the filing of the first “crack” document unless a Motion for Nunc Pro Tunc Appointment is made and granted.
I was initially appointed to represent a grand jury target. My client has now been charged in a criminal matter. Do I continue to use the voucher I had the first time?
Yes. Your appointment on the criminal case will continue on the original voucher. Please advise the presiding judge of the fact that you were previously appointed in a sealed miscellaneous case at the Initial Appearance.
I handled the appeal and now the case is back for re-sentencing. Do I continue to use the voucher I had the first time?
No. You will be provided with a new voucher. This is considered a new appointment with a maximum limit of $2100.
My case is now on appeal. Do I continue to submit my vouchers to the District Court for processing?
No. Vouchers for all appellate work should be mailed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY 10007.
I want my vouchers paid to my firm, not to me, what do I do?
You will be listed as the “payee” on the check, but if you identify the firm as the entity which is to receive the 1099 form for IRS purposes, the firm’s EIN will be noted for tax purposes. The CJA payment database will not write a check to a “firm”, but it will track the payments to you but taxable to the firm.