Deaton v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER granting 27 Motion for Attorney Fees. Signed by Judge Timothy S. Black on 8/17/2020. (rrs)
Case: 1:16-cv-00947-TSB-KLL Doc #: 30 Filed: 08/17/20 Page: 1 of 2 PAGEID #: 1227
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
Case No. 1:16-cv-947
Judge Timothy S. Black
Magistrate Judge Karen L. Litkovitz
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION
FOR AWARD OF ATTORNEY FEES (Doc. 27)
This is a Social Security disability benefits appeal in which Plaintiff received pastdue benefits after this Court reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings.
(Doc. 20 at 2; Doc. 27-4 at 1).
On July 25, 2020, Plaintiff’s counsel filed a motion pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 406(b), seeking attorney fees for services rendered in pursuit of Plaintiff’s past-due
benefits (the “Motion for Attorney Fees”). (Doc. 27). Thereafter, on July 29, 2020, the
Commissioner filed a response stating in relevant part as follows: “The Commissioner’s
attorneys . . . do not oppose the [Motion for Attorney Fees] because the motion is
consistent with § 406(b)’s requirements, is in accord with the fee agreement, and is
otherwise reasonable.” (Doc. 29 at 1).
Under 42 U.S.C. § 406(b), an attorney who successfully represents a Social
Security claimant may seek a reasonable fee for such representation, not in excess of 25
percent of the total past-due benefits to which the claimant is entitled. 42 U.S.C.
Case: 1:16-cv-00947-TSB-KLL Doc #: 30 Filed: 08/17/20 Page: 2 of 2 PAGEID #: 1228
§ 406(b)(1); see Horenstein v. Sec’y of Health & Human Servs., 35 F.3d 261, 262 (6th
The Court must determine the reasonableness of the fees sought subject to the
statutory 25 percent cap. Gisbrecht v. Barnhart, 535 U.S. 789, 807 (2002). Section
406(b) “does not displace contingent-fee agreements”; rather, it “calls for court review of
such arrangements as an independent check, to assure that they yield reasonable results in
particular cases.” Id.
Here, Plaintiff’s counsel seeks $7,250.00 pursuant to a 25 percent contingent-fee
agreement. (Doc. 27 at 1; Doc. 27-3 at 1). $7,250.00 represents less than 25 percent of
the total past-due benefits Plaintiff received through her counsel’s representation.1 (Doc.
27 at 1; Doc. 27-4 at 1). Upon review, the Court finds that the fee sought is reasonable in
light of the significant time expended by Plaintiff’s counsel in pursuit of a favorable
outcome for her client. (See Doc. 27-2 at 1).
Based upon the foregoing, Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees (Doc. 27) is
GRANTED, and the Commissioner is DIRECTED to pay Plaintiff’s attorney fees
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 406(b) in the amount of $7,250.00.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Timothy S. Black
Timothy S. Black
United States District Judge
Plaintiff received a total of $39,248.00 in past-due benefits as a result of her counsel’s
representation. (Doc. 27-4 at 1).
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