Garrett v. Social Security Administration
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER; IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney's Fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act (Docket No. 20 ) is GRANTED. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant shall pay attorney's fees under the EAJA in the amount of $1,492.52, payable to Plaintiff, but mailed to Jeffrey J. Bunten, One Metropolitan Square, 211 North Broadway, Suite 2400, St. Louis, MO 63102. Signed by Magistrate Judge Terry I. Adelman on 06/27/2013. (DJO)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,1
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
No. 4:10CV1891 TIA
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees pursuant to the
Equal Access to Justice Act ("EAJA"), 28 U.S.C. § 2412. The parties consented to the jurisdiction
of undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
On March 15, 2012, the undersigned reversed the Commissioner’s decision and remanded
Plaintiff’s case to the Commissioner for further proceedings. Plaintiff now seeks attorney’s fees in
the amount of $1,492.52, which represents 8.5 hours of attorney work at the rate of $175.59 per
In EAJA actions, the district court has the authority to award reasonable and necessary
expenses associated with adjudicating a claim for social security benefits. Kelly v. Bowen, 862 F.2d
1333, 1335 (8th Cir. 1988).
In the instant case, Defendant has filed a response stating no objection to Plaintiff’s award of
EAJA fees of $1,492.52. However, as stated by Defendant, EAJA fees are payable to the Plaintiff
and may be offset to satisfy any pre-existing debt owed to the United States. Astrue v. Ratliff,
Carolyn W. Colvin became the Acting Commissioner of Social Security on February 14,
2013. Pursuant to Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Carolyn W. Colvin is
therefore substituted for Michael J. Astrue as the Defendant in this action.
, 130 S. Ct. 2521, 2527 (2010). Although Plaintiff acknowledges that under Ratliff, the
EAJA fee is payable to Plaintiff as the litigant, Plaintiff states that he signed an agreement assigning
any EAJA fee to his attorney.2 If he owes no debt to the United States, Plaintiff asks the Court to
order Defendant to make the fee payable to Plaintiff’s attorney based on the Assignment of EAJA
Fees signed by the Plaintiff.
Defendant filed a response which states “Defendant has not objection to Plaintiff’s request
for fees under EAJA in the amount of $1,492.52.... but [t]he EAJA fee is payable to Plaintiff as the
litigant.” Therefore, Defendant requests that the attorney fees should be made payable directly to
Plaintiff as the litigant pursuant to Astrue v. Ratliff, 130 S.Ct. 2521 (2010).
The Court has reviewed Plaintiff’s application for an award fo fees and expenses under the
EAJA, and concludes the statutory requirements are met. Because Plaintiff prevailed and is not
otherwise precluded from receiving attorney’s fees, the Court finds that he is entitled to attorney’s
fees in the amount of $1,492.52. The fee shall be mailed to Plaintiff's attorney: Jeffrey J. Bunten, One
Metropolitan Square, 211 North Broadway, Suite 2400, St. Louis, MO 63102. An appropriate
Judgment will accompany this Memorandum and Order.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees pursuant to the
Equal Access to Justice Act (Docket No.20) is GRANTED.
In this case, Plaintiff’s counsel states that Plaintiff has assigned his right to collect such
fees to Jeffrey J. Bunten, under the Assignment of Federal Court EAJA Attorney Fee, attached to
the motion for attorney fees as Exhibit 2.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant shall pay attorney’s fees under the EAJA in the
amount of $1,492.52, payable to Plaintiff, but mailed to Jeffrey J. Bunten, One Metropolitan Square,
211 North Broadway, Suite 2400, St. Louis, MO 63102.
/s/ Terry I. Adelman
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Dated this 27th
day of June, 2013.
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