(SS)Sweeley v. Commissioner of Social Security

Filing 24

STIPULATION and ORDER 23 for the Award and Payment of Attorney Fees Pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on July 8, 2024. (Lopez Amador, Corina)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 10 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 11 MICHAEL SWEELEY, Case No. 1:23-cv-01209-EPG 12 Plaintiff, 13 v. 14 15 MARTIN O’MALLEY, Commissioner of Social Security, STIPULATION FOR THE AWARD AND PAYMENT OF ATTORNEY FEES PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT; ORDER (ECF No. 23) 16 Defendant. 17 18 19 20 Plaintiff seeks an award of attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), 28 U.S.C. § 2412 et seq. After Plaintiff filed a present motion (ECF No. 20), the parties engaged in good faith negotiations. Defendant, the Commissioner of Social Security (Commissioner), by his undersigned counsel, and Plaintiff, by his counsel, Jared Walker, now agree and stipulate as follows: 21 1. Plaintiff was the prevailing party in this matter; 22 2. Plaintiff was an individual whose net worth did not exceed $2,000,000 at the time the civil action 23 was filed; 24 3. The position of the Commissioner was not substantially justified; 25 4. An award of fees is not unjust; 26 5. An award of $7,000.00 constitutes reasonable attorney fees in this matter; 27 6. Plaintiff has no costs under 28 U.S.C. § 1920; 28 1 7. Payment of these amounts shall constitute a complete release from and bar to any and all claims 2 Plaintiff may have relating to EAJA fees in connection with this action. The parties further agree 3 that the EAJA award is without prejudice to the right of Plaintiff’s attorney to seek attorney fees 4 pursuant to Social Security Act § 206(b), 42 U.S.C. § 406(b), subject to the offset provisions of 5 the EAJA. See 28 U.S.C. § 2412(c)(1) (2006). 6 7 8 8. Under Astrue v. Ratliff, 130 S. Ct. 2521, 2528-29 (2010), EAJA fees awarded by this Court belong to the Plaintiff and are subject to offset under the Treasury Offset Program (31 U.S.C. § 3716(c)(3)(B) (2006)). Any EAJA fees should therefore be awarded to Plaintiff and not to Plaintiff’ s attorney. If, after receiving the Court’s EAJA fee order, the Commissioner (1) 9 determines that Plaintiff has assigned her right to EAJA fees to her attorney; (2) determines that 10 11 12 13 Plaintiff does not owe a debt that is subject to offset under the Treasury Offset Program, and (3) agrees to waive the requirements of the Anti-Assignment Act, then the EAJA fees will be made payable to Plaintiff’ s attorney. However, if there is a debt owed under the Treasury Offset Program, the Commissioner cannot agree to waive the requirements of the Anti-Assignment Act, 14 and the remaining EAJA fees after offset will be paid by a check or electronic fund transfer (ETF) 15 made out to Plaintiff but delivered to Plaintiff’ s attorney. 16 Respectfully submitted, 17 18 Dated: July 2, 2024 19 20 By: /s/ Jared Walker JARED WALKER Attorney for Plaintiff *Authorized via e-mail on July 2, 2024 21 Dated: July 2, 2024 24 PHILLIP A. TALBERT United States Attorney MATTHEW W. PILE Associate General Counsel Social Security Administration 25 By: 22 23 26 27 Edmund Darcher EDMUND DARCHER Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Attorneys for Defendant 28 -2- ORDER 1 2 Based upon the parties’ Stipulation for the Award and Payment of Equal Access to Justice Act 3 Fees (ECF No. 23), IT IS ORDERED that fees in the amount of $7,000.00 as authorized by 28 4 U.S.C. § 2412, and no costs under 28 U.S.C. § 1920, are awarded subject to the terms of the 5 Stipulation. Given the parties’ stipulation, the Clerk of Court is respectfully directed to terminate as 6 7 pending Plaintiff’s motion for attorney fees. (ECF No. 20). IT IS SO ORDERED. 8 9 Dated: July 8, 2024 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -3-

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