A Guide to Witness Fees
Calling witnesses to a deposition or trial isn’t free. You have to pay them for their time and for the mileage it takes to get to your office or the courthouse.
But not all states require witness fees, nor are all the rules surrounding witness fees the same.
That makes it challenging for you, as an attorney, to know exactly when you should send a witness fee and how much it should be.
To give you some help, we’ve got a guide to witness fees for federal and state cases:
Per the U.S. Code, all witnesses in federal cases or before a U.S. Magistrate Judge are required to be paid a per-day fee of $40, as well as 58.5 cents per mile to and from the location of the deposition or courthouse. U.S. Code § 1821. This number changes, often annually, so be sure to check current rates.
While most witness fee mileage is calculated based on a witness using a private car to drive to and from the site, other methods are provided for in the law.
If, for example, a witness needs to or wants to travel by plane or train, the law does allow for reimbursement for travel by the least expensive method available. Also available for reimbursement include toll fees, taxis, and parking fees.
For overnight stays, witnesses also are to be paid a daily subsistence fee intended to cover food and incidentals. This amount should not exceed the per diem amount set out by the federal Administrator of General Services. These rates differ per year and based on location; for the most updated rates for your area, click here.
Many firms send the initial witness fee and base calculated mileage to the witness along with the Subpoena for Deposition or Subpoena for Testimony, paying any other fees after receipts are turned in. At Torri’s Legal Services, we will advance witness fees when we serve your federal subpoenas, making it less of a hassle for you.
Each state has its own regulations regarding witness fees. We’ve broken down some of the basics to help you out:
- Alabama: $1.50 per day and 5 cents per mile. AL Code § 12-19-131 (2014).
- Alaska: $12.50 for under 3 hours of the witness’s time, including travel time; $25 per day for more than 3 hours of time; and mileage paid at the same rates for state employees if traveling more than 30 miles. AS 24.25.050.
- Arizona: $12 per day including travel time, and 20 cents per mile one way. A.R.S. § 12-303.
- Arkansas: $30 per day and 25 cents per mile. Ark. R. Civ. P. 45(e).
- California: $35 plus 20 cents per mile round trip, from the witness’s residence to the appearance location. Cal. Gov. Code § 68093. Records only, $15. Cal. Evid. Code 1563(b)(6).
- Colorado: $40 per day plus 58 cents per mile round trip. § 13-33-102 C.R.S.
- Connecticut: 50 cents per day plus mileage paid at the same rates for state employees. General Statutes § 52-260.
- Delaware: $2 per day plus round-trip mileage of 3 cents per mile. 70 Del. Laws § 8903.
- Florida: $5 plus 6 cents per mile. If the witness lives in the county where they are ordered to appear, the flat fee is $7.50. Fla. Stat. § 92.142.
- Georgia: $25 per day plus 45 cents per mile round trip. OCGA § 24-13-25.
- Hawaii: $4 per day plus 20 cents per mile round trip. HRS § 607-12.
- Idaho: $20 per day plus 30 cents per mile one way. IRFLP 901.
- Illinois: $20 per day plus 20 cents per mile round trip. 705 ILCS 35/4.3.
- Indiana: Criminal cases – $5 per day or $15 per day if subpoenaed under IC 35-37-5-4 and mileage at the same rate as state employees; Other actions – $5 per day plus mileage at the same rate as state employees; School employees subpoenaed to testify – $100 per day plus mileage as paid to state employees. I.C. § 33-37-10-2 – 33-37-10-3.5.
- Iowa: $10 per day for full day’s appearance and $5 for appearances of less than a full day, plus mileage as established by the state supreme court. Iowa Code § 622.69.
- Kansas: $10 per day plus mileage set by the state if more than 1 mile. K.S.A. § 28-125.
- Kentucky: Fees not required.
- Louisiana: $25 per day, $5 per day for hotel and meals. LA Rev Stat § 13:3661.
- Maine: $10 per day and 22 cents per mile round trip. 16 M.R.S. § 251.
- Maryland: No witness fee or mileage is required for fact witnesses.
- Massachusetts: $6 per day plus 10 cents per mile round trip. G. L. c. 262 § 29.
- Michigan: $12 per day for full day, $6 per day for a half day, plus mileage paid at the same rate as state employees. MCR 2.506(G)(1).
- Minnesota: $20 per day plus 28 cents per mile round trip. Minn. Stat. § 357.22.
- Mississippi: Witness fees and mileage rates are set by the Board of Supervisors in each individual county, so rates vary.
- Missouri: $25 per day plus mileage paid at the same rate as state employees. § 491.280 RSMo.
- Montana: $10 per day plus 17 cents per mile round trip. § 24.11.336, MCA.
- Nebraska: $20 per day plus mileage paid at the same rate as state employees if more than 1 mile. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33-139.
- Nevada: $25 plus mileage paid at the same rate as state employees. NRS 50.255.
- New Hampshire: $30 for a police officer, $24 for everyone else. RSA 516.16.
- New Jersey: $2 per day plus $2 for every 30 miles of travel. N.J.S.A. § 22A:1-4.
- New Mexico: $95 per day. NMSA 1978 § 10-8-4.
- New York: $15 per day plus 23 cents per mile round trip. NY CPLR § 8001.
- North Carolina: $5 per day plus mileage paid at the same rate as state employees. N.C.G.S. § 7A-314.
- North Dakota: $25 per day plus mileage paid at the same rate as state employees. N.D.C.C. § 31-01-16.
- Ohio: $12 for full days and $6 for half days, plus 10 cents per mile round trip. R.C. 2335.06.
- Oklahoma: $10 per day plus mileage paid at the same rate as state employees. 28A O.S. § 28-81.
- Oregon: $30 per day plus 25 cents per mile. ORS 44.415.
- Pennsylvania: $5 per day plus 7 cents per mile round trip. 42 Pa.C.S. § d5903.
- Rhode Island: $10 per day plus 10 cents per mile round trip. G.L. 2013 § 9-29-7.
- South Carolina: $25 per day plus mileage paid at the same rate as state employees. S.C. R. Civ. P. 45(b)(1).
- South Dakota: $20 per day plus mileage paid at the same rate as state employees. SDCL § 19-5-1.
- Tennessee: Court appearances – $1 per day plus 4 cents per mile for distances greater than 10 miles; Subpoenas in civil cases – $30 per day plus mileage paid at the same rate as state employees if greater than 10 miles. T.C.A. § 24-4-101.
- Texas: $10 per day. TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE § 22.001.
- Utah: $18.50 for the first day, $49 per day for each subsequent day, plus $1 for each 4 miles over 50 miles. Utah Code Ann. § 78B-1-119.
- Vermont: $30 per day plus mileage paid at the same rate as state employees. 32 V.S.A. § 1551.
- Virginia: Mileage paid at the same rate as state employees. Code § 2.2-2823.
- Washington: $10-$25 per day, depending on the county. RCW 2.40.010.
- West Virginia: $10 per day plus 10 cents per mile round trip. W. Va. Code Ann. § 33-2-5.
- Wisconsin: $16 per day plus 20 cents per mile round trip. Wis. Stat. § 814.67.
- Wyoming: $30 per day, $15 for half days plus 23 cents per mile. U. R. D. C. 501(a)(3)(B)(i).
As always, if you’re serving a subpoena to a witness in a state you’ve never served to before, check with the local jurisdiction for the most updated rules and regulations.
Nationwide Service of Process
For more than 25 years, Torri’s Legal Services has provided exceptional, prompt service of process to law firms across the country. We work hard to make sure your subpoenas make it to your witnesses as quickly as possible, giving you peace of mind. Get your quote today!