Baucom v. Social Security Administration

Filing 32

ORDER by District Judge James H. Payne: affirming and adopting 30 Report and Recommendation; granting 21 Motion for Attorney Fees (cjt, Deputy Clerk)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA LAUREN BAUCOM, Plaintiff, v. NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No. 15-CV-154-JHP-KEW ORDER AFFIRMING AND ADOPTING THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE On May 22, 2017, the United States Magistrate Judge entered a Findings and Recommendation in regard to Plaintiff’s request for an award of attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d). The Magistrate Judge recommended that Plaintiff’s Motion be granted. The Commissioner filed an objection to the Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendation on May 31, 2017. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a). This Court finds that the Findings and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge is supported by the record. Therefore, upon full consideration of the entire record and the issues presented herein, the Court finds and orders that the Findings and Recommendation entered by the United States Magistrate Judge on May 22, 2017, be AFFIRMED and ADOPTED by this Court as its Findings and Order. It is ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney Fees Under the Equal Access to Justice Act (Doc. No. 21) is GRANTED. Accordingly, the Government is ordered to pay Plaintiff’s attorney’s fees in the total amount of $6,000.50.1                                                              1 The Magistrate Judge recommended an award in the amount of $5,650.00. (Doc. No. 30, at 3). However, Plaintiff requested an additional $350.00 in her Reply brief for reviewing the Commissioner’s objection and preparing the Reply. (Doc. No. 28, at 4). The Commissioner made no specific objection to this additional amount, and the Court It is further ORDERED that the award in this case is to be made payable to Plaintiff, not Plaintiff’s counsel, or jointly to Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s counsel, as 28 U.S.C. § 2412(a)(1) and (d)(1)(A) provide for an award of costs and attorney’s fees to a “prevailing party.” Further, if Plaintiff’s counsel is ultimately granted attorney fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §406(b)(1), he shall refund the smaller award to the plaintiff pursuant to Weakley v. Bowen, 803 F.2d 575, 580 (10th Cir. 1986). IT IS SO ORDERED this 5th day of July, 2017.                                                                                                                                                                                                     finds this requested amount to be reasonable. The Court views the Magistrate Judge’s failure to address this additional fee request as a mere oversight.   2  

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