Maloof v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER. IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion for fees in the amount of $5,498.42 and costs in the amount of $17.25 under the Equal Access to Justice Act, (Doc. 18), is GRANTED. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 9/9/2021. (NOS)
Case 9:20-cv-00116-DWM Document 21 Filed 09/09/21 Page 1 of 3
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
DEBORAH DEE MALOOF,
KILOLO KIJAKAZI, Commissioner
of Social Security,
Plaintiff has filed a motion for attorney fees and costs pursuant to the Equal
Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412. (Doc. 18.) Plaintiff seeks attorney fees in
the amount of $5,498.42 and seeks costs in the amount of $17.25. The
Commissioner has indicated it does not oppose this motion. (Doc. 20.)
Fees and costs may be awarded under the Equal Access to Justice Act when
the plaintiff is the prevailing party and the United States’ position was not
substantially justified. See Meier v. Colvin^ 111 F.3d 867, 870 (9th Cir. 2013).
Here, Plaintiff was granted relief,(Doc. 16), and the order granting such relief was
not appealed. Thus, Plaintiff is a prevailing party. Additionally, it is the
govemmenfs burden to show that its position was substantially justified, Meier,
111 F.3d at 870, and the Commissioner makes no attempt at substantial
Case 9:20-cv-00116-DWM Document 21 Filed 09/09/21 Page 2 of 3
justification here,(Doc. 20 at 2.) Thus, Plaintiff may be awarded fees under the
Equal Access to Justice Act.
Finally, “[i]t is the district court’s prerogative to determine whether a fee
award is reasonable. Schulz V. Saul 798 F. App’x 142, 142(9th Cir. 2020).
Here, Plaintiff has provided an accounting of fees,(Doc. 19-1), and that accounting
appears facially reasonable. Accordingly,
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiffs motion for fees in the amount of $5,498.42
and costs in the amount of$17.25 under the Equal Access to Justice Act,(Doc.
18), is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that if, after receiving the Court’s Equal
Access to Justice Act fee order, the Commissioner(1) determines upon
effectuation of the Court’s fee order that Plaintiff does not owe a debt that is
subject to offset under the Treasury Offset Program,(2) agrees to waive the
requirements of the Anti-Assignment Act, and (3) is provided a valid assignment
of fees executed by Plaintiff, the fees will be made payable to Plaintiff s attorney
and mailed to Plaintiffs attorney’s office as follows:
Rasmusson Law Offices, PLLC
P.O. Box 7825
701 N. Washington
Missoula, MT 59807
However, if there is a debt owed under the Treasury Offset Program, the
Commissioner cannot agree to waive the requirements of the Anti-Assignment Act,
Case 9:20-cv-00116-DWM Document 21 Filed 09/09/21 Page 3 of 3
and check for any remaining Equal Access to Justice Act fees after offset will be
paid by a check made out to Plaintiff but delivered to Plaintiffs attorney’s office at
the address stated above.
day of September, 2021.
Molloy, District Judge
United Stated District Court
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