Akers v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER granting 23 Mr. Akers's Consent Motion for Attorney's Fees Pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(a). Signed by Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone on 2/12/2018. (DMP)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
ANTHONY DAVID AKERS,
Case No.: 8:16-cv-1420-T-AAS
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, acting
Commissioner of Social Security,1
Mr. Akers moves for an award of attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses, which the
Commissioner does not oppose. (Doc. 23).
Mr. Akers seeks attorney’s fees in the amount of $3,796.052 pursuant to the Equal Access
to Justice Act (“EAJA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2412. Mr. Akers asks for $211.05 in fees for work performed
by attorney Suzanne Harris in 2017, calculated at a rate of $191.86 for per hour for 1.1 hours.
(Doc. 23, p. 4). Mr. Akers also asks for $3,180.00 in fees for work performed by attorneys not
admitted to the Middle District of Florida, calculated at a rate of $75.00 per hour for 42.4 hours.
(Id. at 5). And Mr. Akers asks for $615.00 in fees for work performed by paralegals, calculated at
a rate of $75.00 per hour for 8.2 hours. 3 (Id.).
Between the filing of this suit and the entry of this Order, Nancy A. Berryhill replaced Carolyn
W. Colvin as acting Commissioner. As such, Ms. Berryhill is “automatically substituted as a
party.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(d).
Although the sum of Mr. Akers’s attorney’s fees is $4,006.05, the parties agreed to a reduction
in paralegal hours. (Doc. 23, pp. 2, 5).
The hourly rates requested are reasonable in light of the Consumer Price Index Inflation
Calculator. See 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(2)(A) (“[A]ttorney fees shall not be awarded in excess of
I entered an order reversing and remanding the case under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. §
405(g) to the Commissioner for further administrative proceedings. (Doc. 18). The Clerk entered
judgment in Mr. Akers’s favor the next day. (Doc. 19). The Commissioner then moved to alter
or amend the judgment, which I denied. (Docs. 20, 22). As the prevailing party, Mr. Akers now
requests an award of fees. See 28 U.S.C. § 2412(a)(1) & (d)(1)(A). Because I denied the
Commissioner’s motion to alter the judgment on December 7, 2017, and Mr. Akers moved for
attorney’s fees on February 7, 2018, the court has jurisdiction to award the requested fees. See 28
U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(B).4
Mr. Akers also seeks reimbursement for costs incurred as a result of the filing fee in the
amount of $400.00. (Doc. 23, p. 5). Under Section 2412(a)(2), the prevailing party in an action
against the United States may recover costs, including an amount equal to the filing fee prescribed
under 28 U.S.C. § 1914, which in turn requires any party instituting a civil action to pay a $350
filing fee. In the Middle District of Florida, the party instituting a civil action must also pay a $50
administrative fee. See U.S. Dist. Court Middle Dist. of Fla., Forms, Policies & Publications,
uscourts.gov, http://www.flmd.uscourts.gov/forms/forms_policies.htm (select “Fee Schedule”).
Last, Mr. Akers requests reimbursement for expenses related to mailing his service of
process to the Commissioner in the amount of $60.94. In light of the Commissioner’s lack of
opposition, I will allow reimbursement of expenses related to service of the complaint. See
Duffield v. Colvin, No. 3:15-CV-1065-J-MCR, 2016 WL 6037306, at *4 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 14, 2016).
$125 per hour unless the court determines that an increase in the cost of living . . . justifies a higher
The sixty-day appeal period expired on February 6, 2018, at which point the judgment became
final. Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(1)(b); 4(a)(4). Therefore, Mr. Akers’s deadline for filing a petition for
EAJA fees is March 9, 2018. 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(B); Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a)(1).
After issuance of an order awarding EAJA fees, however, the United States Department of
the Treasury will determine whether Mr. Akers owes a debt to the government. If Mr, Akers has
no discernable federal debt, the government will accept Mr. Akers’s assignment of EAJA fees and
pay the fees directly to his counsel. (Doc. 23-13).
For the reasons set out in Mr. Akers’s motion, therefore, it is ORDERED:
Mr. Akers’s Consent Motion for Attorney’s Fees Pursuant to the Equal Access to
Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(a), (Doc. 23) is GRANTED.
Ms. Diaz is awarded $3,796.05 in attorney’s fees pursuant to the EAJA.
Ms. Diaz is awarded $400.00 in costs pursuant to the EAJA.
Ms. Diaz is awarded $60.94 in expenses pursuant to the EAJA.
ORDERED in Tampa, Florida, on this 12th day of February, 2018.
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