Zuiewski v. Astrue
ORDER granting 23 absent objection Motion for Cost and Fees. See attached ruling. Signed by Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons on 11/15/2011. (Garcia, M.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE
COMMISSIONER SOCIAL SECURITY
CIV. NO. 3:11CV851 (JCH)
RULING ON MOTION FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS
On September 12, 2011 , Judge Hall granted [doc. # 21] the
Consent Motion for Judgment under Sentence Four of 42 U.S.C. §
405(g) with Reversal and Remand to the Commissioner for further
proceedings [doc. # 18].
Pending is plaintiff’s Motion for an Award of Attorney’s
Fees Pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. §
2412 [doc. # 23] in the amount of $2,484.00 in attorney's fees.
The Commissioner does not oppose plaintiff’s motion. [doc. # 25].
Under the EAJA, the rate of compensation is capped at $125
per hour, which may be adjusted upward to account for increases
in the cost of living or a special factor. 28 U.S.C. §
2412(d)(2)(A). The plaintiff seeks cost of living increases in
2011 resulting in an adjusted rate of $180.00 based on the
Consumer Price Index. See Harris v. Sullivan, 968 F.2d 263, 265
(2d Cir. 1992)(holding that "cost of living" is not defined in
EAJA and is "properly measured by the Consumer Price Index"). The
Commissioner does not challenge this rate and the Court finds the
higher fee is justified. Therefore, the Court will accept
Attorney Pirro’s requested hourly rate of $180.00. The Court has
carefully considered the motion, memorandum in support, affidavit
of counsel and time records and finds that plaintiff’s counsels’s
hourly rate ($180.00) and hours expended (13.80) are reasonable.
Accordingly, plaintiff’s Motion for an Award of Attorney’s
Fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act [doc. # 23] is
GRANTED on consent.
The Court awards plaintiff attorney’s fees
in the amount of $2,484.00. The fees may be paid directly to
plaintiff’s counsel pursuant to the Assignment of EAJA Fees if it
is shown that plaintiff owes no debt to the government that would
be subject to offset. See Astrue v. Ratliff, 130 S.Ct. 2521 (June
14, 2010) (holding attorney fees awarded under the EAJA are
subject to offset to satisfy claimant’s pre-existing debts to the
This is not a recommended ruling.
This is a ruling on
attorneys’ fees and costs which is reviewable pursuant to the
"clearly erroneous" statutory standard of review.
28 U.S.C. §636
(b)(1)(A); Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a), 6(e) and 72(a); and Rule 72.2 of
the Local Rules for United States Magistrate Judges.
As such, it
is an order of the Court unless reversed or modified by the
district judge upon motion timely made.
SO ORDERED at Bridgeport this 15th day of November 2011.
HOLLY B. FITZSIMMONS
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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