Motley v. Colvin
OPINION AND ORDER granting 32 Motion for Attorney Fees. The Court AWARDS Plaintiff Richard Motley an EAJA fee in the amount of $6,124.25. Signed by Judge Jon E DeGuilio on 1/4/17. (nal)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
FORT WAYNE DIVISION
RICHARD W. MOTLEY,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security,
Case No. 1:15-CV-141-JD
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s unopposed motion to award attorney fees
under the EAJA [DE 32], following the remand of this action to the Commissioner. In the
motion, plaintiff’s counsel seeks an award of $6,124.25 for attorney fees, to which the
government does not object. The EAJA provides that “a court may award reasonable fees and
expenses of attorneys . . . to the prevailing party in any civil action brought by or against the
United States or any agency.” 28 U.S.C. § 2412(b). A party seeking an award of fees for a
successful action against the government is entitled to recover his attorneys’ fees if: (1) he was a
prevailing party; (2) the government’s position was not substantially justified; (3) there are no
special circumstances that would make an award unjust; and (4) the application for fees is timely
filed with the district court (that is, within thirty days after the judgment is final and not
appealable). 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A), (B) and (d)(2)(G); Cunningham v. Barnhart, 440 F.3d
862, 863 (7th Cir. 2006); Golembiewski v. Barnhart, 382 F.3d 721, 723–24 (7th Cir. 2004).
Given the lack of objection to the request, the Court GRANTS the motion for attorney
fees [DE 32], and AWARDS Plaintiff Richard Motley an EAJA fee in the amount of $6,124.25.
This award may be offset to satisfy any pre-existing debt Mr. Motley may owe to the United
States—although Plaintiff’s counsel believes no such debt is owed. Thus, any portion of this
award that is not used to offset a pre-existing debt of the plaintiff to the government should be
made payable directly to lead counsel, Frederick J. Daley, Jr. of Daley Disability Law, P.C.,
pursuant to the EAJA assignment executed by the plaintiff and his counsel. Mathews-Sheets v.
Astrue, 653 F.3d 560, 565 (7th Cir. 2011) (“[I]f there is an assignment, the only ground for the
district court’s insisting on making the award to the plaintiff is that the plaintiff has debts that
may be prior to what she owes her lawyer.”) (citing Astrue v. Ratliff, 130 S. Ct. 2521 (2010)
(holding that the EAJA prohibits payment of an award directly to a petitioner’s attorney absent
contractual and other assignment-based rights)).
ENTERED: January 4, 2017
/s/ JON E. DEGUILIO
United States District Court
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