Mejia v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER granting 27 Motion for Attorney Fees signed by Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan on 11/13/17. $7,087.49 in fees are awarded pursuant to EAJA. (Hinkle, T)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting
Commissioner of Social Security,
Plaintiff moves for an award of attorney’s fees and costs under the Equal Access to Justice
Act (EAJA), 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1). ECF No. 27. Plaintiff seeks fees in the amount of
$7,081.11 based on 1.55 hours of work at the rate of $190.28 for work performed in 2015, and
35.4 hours at the rate of $191.70 for work performed in 2016. ECF Nos. 27-1. Plaintiff also
seeks $6.38 in costs for mailing documents, for a total award of $7,087.49. Id.
The EAJA provides that a prevailing party other than the United States should be awarded
fees and other expenses incurred by that party in any civil action brought by or against the United
States, “unless the court finds that the position of the United States was substantially justified or
that special circumstances make an award unjust directs the court to award a reasonable fee.” 28
U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1). In determining whether a fee is reasonable, the court considers the hours
expended, the reasonable hourly rate, and the results obtained. See Commissioner, INS v. Jean,
496 U.S. 154 (1990); Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424 (1983); Atkins v. Apfel, 154 F.3d 986
(9th Cir. 1998). “[E]xcessive, redundant, or otherwise unnecessary” hours should be excluded
from a fee award, and charges that are not properly billable to a client are not properly billable to
the government. Hensley, 461 U.S. at 434.
Plaintiff was the prevailing party in this action. See ECF No. 25. Furthermore, the
government has failed to show that its position was substantially justified. See Gutierrez v.
Barnhart, 274 F.3d 1255, 1258 (9th Cir. 2001) (the burden of establishing substantial justification
is on the government). Although the Commissioner was directed to file an opposition or
statement of non-opposition to plaintiff’s motion for EAJA fees (ECF No. 28), no response was
filed. Thus, plaintiff’s motion is unopposed.
The court has independently reviewed the record and finds that both the hourly rate and
hours expended are reasonable in light of the results obtained.
Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff’s motion for attorney’s fees (ECF No. 27) is granted;
2. Plaintiff is awarded attorney’s fees and costs under the EAJA in the amount of
3. Pursuant to Astrue v. Ratliff, 560 U.S. 586 (2010), any payment shall be made payable
to plaintiff and delivered to plaintiff’s counsel, unless plaintiff does not owe a federal debt. If the
United States Department of the Treasury determines that plaintiff does not owe a federal debt,
the government shall accept plaintiff’s assignment of EAJA fees and pay fees directly to
DATED: November 13, 2017.
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