Witness Fees Law & Legal Definition


Witness fees are minimal monetary amounts paid to witnesses for their time in appearing in court and may also include an amount for travel expenses. Witness fees are governed by local court and state laws, which vary by jurisdiction.

The following is an example of a Texas statute governing witness fees:

WITNESS FEES

a. Except as provided by Section 22.002, a witness is entitled to 10 dollars for each day the witness attends court. This fee includes the entitlement for travel and the witness is not entitled to any reimbursement for mileage traveled.

b. The party who summons the witness shall pay that witness's fee for one day, as provided by this section, at the time the subpoena is served on the witness.

c. The witness fee must be taxed in the bill of costs as other costs.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 103, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 449, § 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

§ 22.002. DISTANCE FOR SUBPOENAS.

A witness who is represented to reside 150 miles or less from a county in which a suit is pending or who may be found within that distance at the time of trial on the suit may be subpoenaed in the suit.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 103, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

§ 22.003. FEES FOR WITNESSES SUMMONED BY A STATE AGENCY

(a) In this section:

  1. 'Commercial lodging establishment' means a motel, hotel, inn, apartment, or similar entity that offers lodging to the public in exchange for compensation.
  2. 'Commercial transportation company' means an entity that offers transportation of people or goods to the public in exchange for compensation.

(b) A witness summoned by a state agency is entitled to receive from the agency:

  1. one dollar for each day the witness attends court;
  2. mileage at the rate provided by law for state employees if the witness uses the witness's personally owned or leased motor vehicle to attend court;
  3. reimbursement of the witness's transportation expenses if the witness does not use the witness's personally owned or leased motor vehicle to attend court; and
  4. reimbursement of the witness's meal and lodging expenses while attending court if the court is at least 25 miles from the witness's place of residence.

(c) A state agency may directly pay a commercial ransportation company for the transportation expenses and a commercial lodging establishment for the lodging expenses of a witness if this section otherwise requires the agency to reimburse the witness for those expenses.

(d) A state agency may not pay a commercial transportation company or a commercial lodging establishment or reimburse a witness for transportation, meal, or lodging expenses under this section at a rate that exceeds the maximum rates provided by law for state employees.

(e) After receiving the witness's affidavit, the court clerk shall issue a certificate showing the fees incurred under this section.

(f) The witness[0] fees[0] must be taxed in the bill of costs as other costs.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 449, § 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from V.T.C.A., Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 22.002 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, § 17.01(2), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

§ 22.004. FEE FOR PRODUCTION OR CERTIFICATION OF DOCUMENTS.

(a) A custodian of a record who receives a request for production or certification of a record under a subpoena, a request for production, or other instrument issued under the authority of a tribunal that compels production or certification of a record is entitled to $1 for production or certification of the record.

If more than one record is produced or certified, the custodian of the records is entitled to only one fee under this section.

(b) A custodian of a record who produces or certifies a record under Subsection (a), but who is not required to appear in court, is not entitled to a witness[0] fee[0] under Section 22.001.

(c) The party who requests production or certification of a record shall pay the fee required for the record, as provided by this section, at the time the subpoena, request, or other instrument is served.

(d) The fee required by this section must be taxed in the bill of costs as other costs.

(e) The fee required by this section is in addition to any other fee imposed by law for the production or certification of a record.