UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
October 15, 2009
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
MARIA CENTENO (1), DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: M. James Lorenz United States District Court Judge
Defendant Maria Centeno filed a motion for the Marshals Service to provide travel and subsistence funds under 18 U.S.C. § 4285.
Section 4285 provides that when an indigent defendant is released pending a court appearance, a judge "may, when the interests of justice would be served thereby . . . direct the United States marshal to arrange for that person's means of non-custodial transportation or furnish the fare for such transportation to the place where his appearance is required, and in addition may direct the United States marshal to furnish that person with an amount of money for subsistence expenses to his destination, not to exceed the amount authorized as a per diem allowance for travel under section 5702(a) of title 5, United States Code." 18 U.S.C. § 4285. However, section 4285 only allows payment of one-way travel to a court appearance, and not for costs of return travel. See e.g. United States v. Gonzales, 684 F.Supp. 838, 841 (D.Vt.1988) ("There is no authority to pay for defendant's return to [home] after the court proceeding."); United States v. Sandoval, 812 F.Supp. 1156, 1157 (D.Kan. 1993); United States v. Birdhorse, 2007 WL 2358634, *2 (D.N.D. 2007); United States v. Badalamenti, 1986 WL 8309 (S.D.N.Y. 1986). Further, the statute does not authorize payment for subsistence or lodging during trial.*fn1
See e.g. United States v. James, 762 F.Supp. 1, 2 (D.D.C. 1991) ("while the statute authorizes payment to travel to the court, once at the site of the court, the statute does not authorize payment of subsistence during the course of the trial or hearing"); United States v. Haley, 504 F.Supp.1124, 1129 (E.D. Pa. 1981) ("[T]he statute does not authorize subsistence funding for defendants once they arrive at the place of trial and during trial, which could be extended."); Sandoval, 812 F.Supp. at 1157 ("[W]hile the court may require the Marshal to provide money for subsistence during transit, this statute does not authorize the court to enter an order requiring the Marshal to provide money for subsistence upon reaching [the place of trial.]"); United States v. Nave, 733 F.Supp. 1002 (D. Md. 1990).
Therefore, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant Maria Centeno's motion is GRANTED, but only to the extent of travel expenses for one-way transportation. The United States Marshals service shall furnish Ms. Centeno with transportation and subsistence funds, not to exceed the amount authorized by law, from Anaheim, California to San Diego, California to attend her trial on October 20, 2009.
IT IS SO ORDERED.