Escalona v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER Adopting 36 Report and Recommendations on 36 Report and Recommendations, 34 Motion for Attorney Fees filed by Norma Virgen Escalona ; granting 34 Motion for Attorney Fees. Signed by Judge K. Michael Moore on 1/17/2023. See attached document for full details. (fpi)
Case 1:21-cv-20652-KMM Document 37 Entered on FLSD Docket 01/17/2023 Page 1 of 2
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Case No. 1:21-cv-20652-KMM
NORMA VIRGEN ESCALONA,
Acting Commissioner of the
Social Security Administration,
ORDER ON REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
THIS CAUSE came before the Court upon Plaintiff’s Unopposed Petition for Attorney
Fees. (“Motion” or “Mot”) (ECF No. 34). Therein, Plaintiff requests that the Court enter an order
granting her $8,788.66 to be paid to her attorneys pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act,
28 U.S.C. § 2412(d), as well as the recovery of her $402.00 filing fee payable from the judgment
fund. See generally Mot. The matter was referred to the Honorable Lauren Fleischer Louis, United
States Magistrate Judge. (ECF No. 35). On December 30, 2022, Magistrate Judge Louis issued a
Report and Recommendation, (“R&R”) (ECF No. 36), recommending that the Motion be
GRANTED. No objections to the R&R were filed, and the time to do so has now passed. The
matter is now ripe for review. As set forth below, the Court ADOPTS the R&R.
The Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or
recommendations made by the magistrate judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3).
The Court “must consider de novo any objection to the magistrate judge’s recommendation.” Fed.
R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3). A de novo review is therefore required if a party files “a proper, specific
Case 1:21-cv-20652-KMM Document 37 Entered on FLSD Docket 01/17/2023 Page 2 of 2
objection” to a factual finding contained in the report. Macort v. Prem, Inc., 208 F. App’x 781,
784 (11th Cir. 2006). “It is critical that the objection be sufficiently specific and not a general
objection to the report” to warrant de novo review. Id. Yet when a party has not properly objected
to the magistrate judge’s findings, “the court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on
the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation.” See Keaton v. United States, No.
14-21230-CIV, 2015 WL 12780912, at *1 (S.D. Fla. May 4, 2015); see also Lopez v. Berryhill,
No. 17-CV-24263, 2019 WL 2254704, at *2 (S.D. Fla. Feb. 26, 2019) (stating that a district judge
“evaluate[s] portions of the R & R not objected to under a clearly erroneous standard of review”
(citing Davis v. Apfel, 93 F. Supp. 2d 1313, 1317 (M.D. Fla. 2000))).
In her Report and Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Louis concludes that: (1) the fee
award sought by Plaintiff’s counsel is reasonable given her experience and the number of hours
spent on the case, see R&R at 2–3; and (2) Plaintiff is entitled to the recovery of her filing fees
under 28 U.S.C. § 1920, id. at 3–4. This Court agrees.
Accordingly, UPON CONSIDERATION of the Motion, the R&R, the pertinent portions
of the record, and being otherwise fully advised in the premises, it is hereby ORDERED AND
ADJUDGED that Magistrate Judge Louis’s R&R (ECF No. 36) is ADOPTED. Plaintiff’s Motion
is GRANTED. Plaintiff is awarded $8,788.66 in attorney’s fees and $402.00 as a reimbursement
of her filing fee, to be paid to Plaintiff's counsel once the U.S. Department of the Treasury
determines that Plaintiff owes no debt to the United States.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Miami, Florida, this 17th
___ day of January, 2023.
c: All counsel of record
K. MICHAEL MOORE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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