Waugh v. Astrue
ORDER granting 19 Motion for Attorney Fees. Signed by District Judge Martin Reidinger on 01/24/13. (emw)
THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
CIVIL CASE NO. 1:11-cv-00284-MR
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE,
Commissioner of Social Security,
THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Plaintiff’s Petition for
Attorney Fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act 28 U.S.C. § 2412.
[Doc. 19]. The Plaintiff represents that the Commissioner does not oppose
her fee request.
The Plaintiff seeks an award to her counsel in the amount of
$4,200.00 in full satisfaction of any and all claims by the Plaintiff in this
case pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d).
As noted above, the Commissioner does not contest the
Plaintiff’s request for fees.
In light of the Court’s prior remand of this
matter, and in the absence of any contention by the Commissioner that his
position was substantially justified or that special circumstances exist that
would render an award of attorney’s fees unjust, the Court concludes that
the Plaintiff is entitled to an award of attorney’s fees under the EAJA.
The Plaintiff requests that the EAJA award be paid directly to her
counsel as her assignee.
In support of her request, the Plaintiff has
submitted a copy of her Fee Contract with counsel, which purports to
assign such fees. [Doc. 19-2]. The Court finds that the Commissioner
should accept this assignment of the awarded fees by the Plaintiff to her
attorney and upon receipt of such assignment, the Commissioner will pay
that award of fees directly to Plaintiff’s counsel, provided that it is shown
that as of the date of this Order, the Plaintiff does not owe any debt to the
United States Government which is subject to offset. See Astrue v. Ratliff,
__U.S. __, 130 S.Ct. 2521, 177 L.Ed.2d 91 (2010).
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that the Plaintiff’s Petition for
Attorney Fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act 28 U.S.C. § 2412
[Doc. 19] is hereby GRANTED, and the Plaintiff is hereby awarded
attorney’s fees in the amount of Four Thousand Two Hundred Dollars
($4,200.00), which sum is in full satisfaction of any and all claims by the
Plaintiff in this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commissioner shall inform
Plaintiff’s counsel whether the Plaintiff owes a debt to the Government by
which this fee award may be offset no later than thirty (30) days from entry
of this Order. Within the same time period, the Plaintiff shall provide a valid
fee assignment to the Defendant.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that in the event that past-due benefits
are awarded on remand, the Plaintiff shall have thirty (30) days after being
served with notice of the past-due benefits award to file for an award of
fees pursuant to the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 406(b).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that no additional Petition pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2412(d) may be filed.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed: January 24, 2013
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