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Response Fees

How, When and How Much

At Safari, we hear a lot of questions about how companies set and collect reasonable fees for responding to routine information requests. Here are some examples of what we’ve seen.
How do we determine a fee?
The criteria will vary, of course, and your best source of information is the team that actually handles these requests—but these are some factors to consider.
  • Number of accounts to be searched
  • Number of systems to be searched
  • Date range, particularly if the range implicates legacy data
  • Number of categories of records requested
  • Response time: if easily estimated charge fixed fee; otherwise hourly
  • System capabilities: such as legacy systems that lack batch printing, need to be searched manually, and/or pull docs individually
  • Need to retrieve from offsite storage or other third parties who have custody
  • Issuer: law enforcement/government agency versus private party to civil litigation
  • Jurisdiction: some state rules impose limits (e.g. California caps at $24/hour)
QUICK FACT: Using Safari’s automated invoice and collection, Red Robin recovers $100+ per subpoena.
What about actual amounts?
Here are some numbers we’ve seen companies charging for civil subpoenas: Hourly Fees
  • Range of $30 - $75 per hour, sometimes with minimums of one quarter to one hour
  • $30 up to 2 hours; plus $30 per each additional hour
  • $75 per hour for “junior staff” to compile response
  • $90 up to 2 hours, $30 per each additional hour
Flat Fees
  • $50 per request, plus $5 - $10 per-account charges
  • $50 per account
  • $100 - $350 per request
Copying *
  • $0.25 per page
  • $0.50 per page over 25 pages
  • $4 - $10 per CD
Shipping *
  • $22 for overnight delivery
  • $15 minimum, or actual cost if over $15
* Copying and shipping charges are eliminated with Safari's SecureShare Portal (see below)

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SOP Response Simplified
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