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Investigator and Expert Program


Wayne County began the Pilot Project for Defense Use of Investigators and Experts in 2019, partnering with the Third Circuit Court. While the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic injected significant challenges in March of 2020, the Pilot Project successfully demonstrated that administrative approval and payment of defense investigators and experts benefits indigent individuals. The defense use of investigators and experts rose significantly, and evaluations showed positive outcomes.

The Investigators and Experts Program is funded through annual grants to Wayne County from the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) and is intended to ensure compliance with the MIDC's Standard 3. This standard requires assigned criminal defense counsel to conduct an independent investigation of the charges and offense as promptly as practicable, and, when appropriate, request funds to retain an investigator to assist the client's defense. Additionally, counsel shall request the assistance of experts where it is reasonably necessary to prepare the defense and rebut the prosecution's case. Counsel has a continuing duty to evaluate a case for appropriate defense investigations or expert assistance, pursuant to Standard 3.The funds and the process for obtaining these defense services are administered by an Administrator, who must be a licensed attorney. The process delegates approval of defense requests to the Administrator from the traditional statutory authority exercised by the judiciary. The Administrator manages the process, including approval of requests, development of investigator and expert resources, collection of data, creation of benchmarks and approval of payment for services rendered.

Investigator and Expert Program Policies


Note: Use of private investigation is mandatory for all Tier 1 & Tier 2 severity case assignments; to opt-out you must provide
adequate justification in order to remain compliant with our policies.

IDSD IE Core Policies, Feb 2024

IDSD Standardized Travel Policy and Procedure

Locating an Investigator or Expert

Expert witnesses are available to all criminal public defenders upon approved request by an IDSD Investigator/Expert Program Administrator; this is inclusive of direct felony appointed attorneys, MAACS attorneys, Neighborhood Defense Services - Detroit (NDSD) defenders, or retained attorneys with an indigency order for their client. Private investigators are available to all with the exception of NDSD as NDSD investigation is funded separately.


To request investigative or expert services* or to opt out**, please click the button below.

Attorney Request for Investigator/Expert Services

NEED HELP? Click here to view our instructional video.

*attorneys should contact the prospective investigator and/or expert to ensure availability and their ability to perform the needed services before submitting an online request.

**Use of private investigation is mandatory for all Tier 1 & Tier 2 severity case assignments; to opt-out you must provide adequate justification in order to remain compliant with our policies. Consistent failure to comply with the IDSD investigation policy may impact future eligibility for Tier 1 & Tier 2 case assignments.

Resources for Investigators and Experts

Investigator & Expert Informational Session!

Click below to view our latest Wayne County IDSD Investigator & Expert Informational Session, covering IDSD policy updates, service requests, billing, communicating with attorneys, modifications to vendor profiles and travel policy highlights.

Investigator & Expert Info Session Feb, 2024

Click the link below for all payment forms, payment templates, and questions about the status of payments.

Investigator/Expert Payments

If you would like to join the Wayne County IDSD list of investigators and experts, please click the link below to apply.

Apply to be an Investigator/Expert


Contact the Investigator and Expert Administrator:

BY EMAIL: (Administrator will make every effort to respond within one day)