Lewis v. Social Security Administration
OPINION & ORDER by Magistrate Judge Kimberly E. West granting 31 Motion for Relief; Attorney's Fees. (sjr, Chambers)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
EASTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA
FRANK TURNER LEWIS, III,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting
Commissioner of Social
Case No. CIV-14-240-KEW
OPINION AND ORDER
This matter comes before this Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for
Relief Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6) filed by Timothy M.
White, counsel for Plaintiff (Docket Entry #31).
an extension of time under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60 to file a motion for
attorney’s fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 406(b) because he has not
yet received a copy of the agency award upon which the request
would be based.
Counsel requests he be allowed until sixty (60)
days after receiving the Notice of Award to file a § 406(b) motion.
This Court sympathizes with counsel’s quandary created by the
unique procedure under Social Security law which does not neatly
fit within the normal requirements of civil procedure.
obtaining an extension under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6).
Barnhart, 450 F.3d 493, 505 (10th Cir. 2006).
The timeliness in
filing the motion for attorney fees will be gauged upon the
standard of reasonableness, which certainly will encompass the time
required to obtain a copy of the award.
While a Rule 60(b) request can be combined with the § 406(b)
motion in most instances, the filing of a separate extension motion
may be required in instances where a significant delay in obtaining
the award occurs.
As with most areas of the law, a hard and fast
rule is not entirely possible and counsel will have to evaluate
each case separately for their particular circumstance.
In this case, this Court entered judgment on September 30,
received notice of a fully favorable decision from Defendant dated
January 10, 2017.
Counsel is on notice to be seeking the notice of
award and should file his attorney fee motion under § 406(b) as
soon as possible after receipt of the Notice. Counsel’s request to
file a § 406(b) motion within thirty (30) days of receiving a
Notice of Award is reasonable and shall be granted.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Relief
Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6) filed by Timothy M. White,
Plaintiff’s counsel shall file his motion for attorneys’ fees under
42 U.S.C. § 406(b) within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice
Counsel shall make every effort to obtain the notice as
soon as possible so that the delay is not considered unreasonable.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 2nd day of February, 2017.
KIMBERLY E. WEST
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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