Federal Subpoena Witness Fees

Federal Subpoena Witness Fees and Mileage: A Guide

This article will provide guidance on How to understand federal subpoena witness fees. When you receive a federal subpoena requiring your presence in a civil case, it must come with an attendance fee and a mileage fee. However, the federal government issuing the subpoena exempts itself from this requirement, as per the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 45(b).

Detailed Guide on Witness Fees

The law, specifically 28 USC 1821, sets the attendance fee for federal subpoenas. Witnesses get a daily rate of $40.00 and a mileage reimbursement of $.56 per mile for the round trip from their home to the court. A valid service of process of a subpoena requires these fees.

Compensation for Multi-Day Appearances

If the court needs a witness for several days, it pays the $40.00 per diem for each required day. This ensures fair compensation for the witness’s time and involvement.

How to Calculate Travel Compensation

The law compensates witnesses for travel, either through mileage or actual travel expenses. Witnesses using public transport can get reimbursed for the most economical option, with necessary receipts. The General Services Administrator prescribes the mileage rate, not exceeding the IRS’s standard mileage rate.

Mileage Calculation for Witnesses

A uniform table of distances, though not public, helps calculate mileage fees. Various methods, like mapping software, offer approximations to ensure witnesses get compensated for the actual distance traveled.

Additional Reimbursements

Witnesses may also receive payments for parking, ferry, and toll expenses, plus a subsistence allowance for necessary overnight stays. The GSA sets these rates based on location.

Special Rules and Considerations

Only witnesses required to appear need to receive fees, which means no fees are necessary when subpoenaing records alone, though copying costs can be reclaimed.

Serving a Federal Subpoena: Key Steps

Serving a federal subpoena correctly involves providing attendance fees and mileage, except when the U.S. government is the issuer. This ensures the subpoena’s legality and effectiveness.

Seeking Professional Help

For assistance with subpoena service and understanding witness fees, reaching out to a professional process serving agency is wise. Our agency can manage all your process serving needs from various global offices, emphasizing quality through dedicated effort and intelligent execution.

Witnesses and legal professionals can navigate the process efficiently by actively understanding federal subpoena requirements and ensuring compliance and rights protection.


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def calculate_witness_fees(miles_traveled, mileage_rate, additional_expenses=0):
Calculate witness fees based on miles traveled, mileage rate, and additional expenses.

- miles_traveled (float): Total miles traveled by the witness to and from the court.
- mileage_rate (float): Reimbursement rate per mile.
- additional_expenses (float): Any additional court-ordered expenses.

- total_fees (float): Total calculated witness fees.
total_mileage_fee = miles_traveled * mileage_rate
total_fees = total_mileage_fee + additional_expenses
return total_fees


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