Buford v. Social Security Administration
ORDER granting 18 Motion for Attorney Fees & Expenses. Plaintiff is awarded $1,818.25 in fees & $16.62 in expenses. After withholding the amount of debt that Plaintiff owes to the federal government, any balance of EAJA fees should be made payable to Mr. Buford, but mailed to his counsel. Signed by Magistrate Judge Beth Deere on 5/12/2011. (jct)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CASE NO.: 3:10CV00001-BD
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner,
Social Security Administration
Pending is Plaintiff Robert Buford’s Motion for an Award of Attorney’s Fees
under the Equal Access to Justice Act (“EAJA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2412 (docket entry #18).
In his motion, Mr. Buford requests fees of $1,818.25 and expenses of $16.62. The
Commissioner does not object to the amounts requested. (#20) Accordingly, Plaintiff’s
motion (#18) is GRANTED, and Plaintiff is awarded $1,818.25 in fees and 16.62 in
In his motion, Mr. Buford states that he has assigned any attorney fees and costs
awarded under the EAJA to his attorney. Mr. Buford asks the Court to make payment of
awarded EAJA fees and costs, “in the event that [he] owes no federal debt,” directly to his
counsel. (#18) The Commissioner, while not objecting to the amount requested in fees
and expenses, notes that Mr. Buford owes a debt to the federal government. (#20)
Accordingly, making payment directly to Mr. Buford’s counsel is not appropriate. See
Astrue v. Ratliff, __ U.S. __, 130 S.Ct. 2521, 2527, 2010 WL 2346547 (2010) (the EAJA
awards fees to the litigant, which subjects the payment to a federal administrative offset if
the litigant has outstanding federal debts).
In the event that Mr. Buford owes a federal debt, he requests the balance of any
EAJA fees awarded after the debt is withheld be payable to him, but mailed directly to his
counsel. This request is granted. After withholding the amount of debt, any balance of
EAJA fees should be made payable to Mr. Buford, but mailed to his counsel.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 12th day of May, 2011.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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