Hernandez-Cruz v. Commissioner of Social Security

Filing 19

ORDER granting 17 Motion for Attorney Fees; Plaintiff is awarded attorney's fees in the amount of $2,601.03. Plaintiff is also awarded costs in the amount of $400.00, which is to be paid out of the judgment fund. Adopting Report and Recommendations - re 18 Report and Recommendations. Signed by Judge Carlos E. Mendoza on 7/3/2017. (DJD)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA ORLANDO DIVISION WILLIAM HERNANDEZ-CRUZ, Plaintiff, v. Case No: 6:16-cv-1370-Orl-41TBS COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant. / ORDER THIS CAUSE is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Uncontested Motion for Attorney’s Fees (Doc. 17). United States Magistrate Judge Thomas B. Smith submitted a Report and Recommendation (Doc. 18), recommending that the Court grant the motion. Judge Smith also recommends that the Court authorize payment to Plaintiff’s counsel if the Commissioner determines Plaintiff does not owe a debt to the government. Because the Commissioner has previously taken inconsistent opinions regarding whether she will honor a plaintiff’s assignment of fees awarded pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act (“EAJA”), 29 U.S.C. § 2412(d), the Court will not require that the EAJA fees be paid directly to Plaintiff’s counsel but will permit the Commissioner to do so in her discretion. After a de novo review of the record, and noting that no objections were timely filed, the Court otherwise agrees with the Report and Recommendation. It is therefore ORDERED and ADJUDGED as follows: 1. To the extent that it is consistent with this Order, the Report and Recommendation (Doc. 18) is ADOPTED and CONFIRMED and made a part of this Order. Page 1 of 2 2. Plaintiff’s Uncontested Motion for Attorney’s Fees (Doc. 17) is GRANTED. 3. Plaintiff is awarded attorney’s fees in the amount of $2,601.03. 4. Plaintiff is also awarded costs in the amount of $400.00, which is to be paid out of the judgment fund. 5. The Commissioner may, in her discretion, pay all or part of the attorney’s fees directly to Plaintiff’s counsel should she determine that it is appropriate to do so. DONE and ORDERED in Orlando, Florida on July 3, 2017. Copies furnished to: Counsel of Record Page 2 of 2

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