West v. Social Security Administration
OPINION AND ORDER by Magistrate Judge Frank H McCarthy ; granting 27 Motion to Accelerate/Extend/Reset Hearing(s)/Deadline(s) (tjc, Dpty Clk)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA
ALZORA MAEBELL WEST,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting )
Commissioner of the Social
Case No. 16-CV-429-FHM
OPINION AND ORDER
The Motion for Relief Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6) filed by Plaintiff’s counsel,
[Dkt. 27], is before the court for decision. The Commissioner failed to file a response within
the allotted time.
In McGraw v. Barnhart, 450 F.3d 493, 496 (10th Cir. 2006), the Court ruled that
attorney fees are awardable under 42 U.S.C. § 406(b)(1) when the Social Security
Administration awards disability benefits to a claimant following a remand from the federal
court. In such a circumstance the authority of Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6) is employed to allow
counsel to seek fees under §406(b)(1) long after the usual fourteen days allotted by Fed.
R. Civ. P. 54(d)(2)(B)(I) for filing a motion for attorney fees has expired. McGraw, 450 F.3d
The court remanded this case to the Commissioner for further administrative action,
pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The Commissioner issued a fully
favorable decision. Counsel’s motion for relief under Rule 60(b)(6) was filed less than a
month after the issuance of the decision. Counsel represents that, as of the date of filing
the instant motion, the Notice of Award containing the amount of past due benefits has not
been received. Consequently, the amount of the contingent attorney fee cannot be
ascertained. Counsel requests an order allowing the filing of the motion for 406(b) fees
within thirty days of receipt of the Notice of Award.
The court finds that the instant motion was filed within a reasonable time of the
decision awarding benefits and that the request for thirty days from receipt of the Notice of
Award in which to file a motion for fees under §406(b) is reasonable.
The Motion for Relief Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6) is GRANTED, as follows:
a motion for an attorney fee award under §406(b), together with the required notice to
Plaintiff and statement concerning any objection thereto, may be filed within 30 days of the
Notice of Award.
SO ORDERED this 8th day of February, 2018.
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