PEARSON v. COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY
OPINION and ORDER denying without prejudice 35 Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney Fees, etc. Signed by Judge Stanley R. Chesler on 1/6/2021. (lag, ) Modified on 1/6/2021 (lag, ).
Case 2:12-cv-04175-SRC Document 36 Filed 01/06/21 Page 1 of 2 PageID: 837
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
Civil Action No. 12-4175 (SRC)
OPINION & ORDER
CHESLER, District Judge
This matter comes before the Court on the motion for supplemental attorney’s fees, pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 406(b), by counsel to Plaintiff Carolyn Pearson. The Commissioner has not
responded to the motion. For the reasons stated below, the motion will be denied.
In 2012, Plaintiff and Counsel entered into an agreement for Counsel to represent Plaintiff in
the federal Social Security appeal process. The agreement provided for a contingent fee
arrangement, with Plaintiff agreeing that Counsel was entitled to 25% of retroactive benefits
awarded. Counsel represented Plaintiff through numerous steps and levels of the appeal process.
Plaintiff ultimately prevailed, the Social Security Administration issued an Award Notice that
included an award of attorney’s fees, and counsel for Plaintiff applied to this Court for an award of
such fees, which was granted.
Counsel for Plaintiff now applies for attorney’s fees based on an award of benefits to
Plaintiff’s minor child. In support, Counsel submits an Award Notice that does not support the
application. Although the application contends that the minor child was awarded past due benefits,
the Award Notice states, to the contrary, that “there are no past due benefits available to be paid to
Case 2:12-cv-04175-SRC Document 36 Filed 01/06/21 Page 2 of 2 PageID: 838
the representative.” (Ex. C at 2.) The Award Notice further states that the Social Security
Administration (“SSA”) must approve any fee that the minor child’s representative wants to charge
for helping with the claim, and instructs that the representative should send SSA any fee request.
(Id.) The Award Notice thus does not support Counsel’s application for an award of 25% of past
Counsel’s application also states that she is working on obtaining a corrected Award Notice.
The motion for supplemental attorney’s fees will be denied without prejudice, and may be renewed
if accompanied by an award notice which supports it.
For these reasons,
IT IS ON THIS 6th DAY OF January, 2020
ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for supplemental attorney’s fees (Docket Entry No. 35)
is DENIED without prejudice.
s/ Stanley R. Chesler
STANLEY R. CHESLER, U.S.D.J.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?