Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nekeisha Smith, On Behalf of D.R v. Michael J. Astrue

August 24, 2012

NEKEISHA SMITH, ON BEHALF OF D.R., PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMM'R OF SOC. SEC. ADMIN., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Glenn T. Suddaby, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER

Currently before the Court, in this action for Social Security disability insurance benefits filed by Nekeisha Smith ("Plaintiff") against Social Security Administrator Michael J. Astrue ("Defendant"), is Plaintiff's motion for attorney's fees in the amount of $11,318.08 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A). (Dkt. Nos. 18, 22.) For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff's motion is granted in part and denied in part, and Plaintiff is awarded $10,998.15 in attorney's fees.

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

A. Facts and Procedural History

Because the parties to this action have demonstrated an accurate understanding of the relevant facts and procedural history of this case, the Court will not recite that information in this Decision and Order, which is intended primarily for the review of the parties. Rather, the Court makes reference to the parties' memoranda of law for that information. (See generally Dkt. Nos. 18, 19, 20, 22, 24.)

B. Parties' Briefing on Plaintiff's Motion

Generally, Plaintiff argues that she is entitled to an award of attorney's fees under the Equal Access Judgment Act ("EAJA") because her application is timely, she prevailed in the underlying action securing a reversal of the Commissioner's final decision, the Government's position was not substantially justified, and the amount requested is reasonable. (Dkt. No. 18 at 3-6.) Plaintiff requests a total award of $11,318.08, reflecting 54.75 hours' worth of work, including 1.75 hours' of work in preparing and filing Plaintiff's reply. (Dkt. No. 22 at 5.)

Generally, in response, Defendant does not oppose an award of attorney's fees pursuant to the EAJA. (Dkt. No. 20 at 2.) However, Defendant argues that the amount of requested fees is excessive and should be reduced. (Id.)

II. GOVERNING LEGAL STANDARD

The EAJA provides, in relevant part, as follows:

[A] court shall award to a prevailing party . . . fees and other expenses . . . incurred by that party in a civil action, including proceedings for judicial review of agency action, brought by or against the United States in any court having jurisdiction of that action, unless the court finds that the position of the United States was substantially justified or that special circumstances make an award unjust.

28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A). To prevail in a motion for attorney's fees under the EAJA, a plaintiff must demonstrate the following: (1) her motion is timely, (2) she is the prevailing party,

(3) she is eligible to receive an award, (4) an itemized statement from any attorney appearing on her behalf that illustrates the rate at which the attorney's proposed fees were computed, and (6) the position of the United States was not substantially justified. 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(B).

The amount of an attorney-fee award under the EAJA is determined by examining the amount of time expended and the attorney's rate, which is capped by statute. Hogan v. Astrue, 539 F. Supp.2d 680, 682 (W.D.N.Y. 2008). The Court has broad discretion in determining whether the amount of time an attorney has expended is reasonable; however, the burden to prove reasonableness is on the plaintiff. Hogan, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.