Schroeder v. Commissioner Social Security Administration
OPINION AND ORDER. I agree with Judge Beckerman's recommendation and ADOPT the F&R 35 as my own opinion. I GRANT in part Ms. Schroeder's Application for EAJA Fees 31 and award attorney fees in the amount of $4,378.14. IT IS SO ORDERED. Signed on 4/12/2017 by Judge Michael W. Mosman. (gw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF OREGON
OPINION AND ORDER
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
On January 23, 2017, Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman issued her Findings and
Recommendation (“F&R”) , recommending that I GRANT in part Ms. Schroeder’s
Application for EAJA Fees  and award attorney fees in the amount of $4,378.14. Ms.
Schroeder filed her objections to the F&R  on February 6, 2017, and the Commissioner
responded  on February 21, 2017.
The magistrate judge makes only recommendations to the court, to which any party may
file written objections. The court is not bound by the recommendations of the magistrate judge,
but retains responsibility for making the final determination. The court is generally required to
make a de novo determination regarding those portions of the report or specified findings or
recommendation as to which an objection is made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). However, the court
1 – OPINION AND ORDER
is not required to review, de novo or under any other standard, the factual or legal conclusions of
the magistrate judge as to those portions of the F&R to which no objections are addressed. See
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985); United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121
(9th Cir. 2003). While the level of scrutiny under which I am required to review the F&R
depends on whether or not objections have been filed, in either case, I am free to accept, reject,
or modify any part of the F&R. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).
Relying on previous cases from this district, Judge Beckerman recommends that Ms.
Schroeder’s requested fee amount of $8,538.03 be reduced to $4,378.14. Judge Beckerman
relies, in part, on the fact that Ms. Schroeder rejected the Commissioner’s initial settlement offer
to remand the case to the agency for further proceedings. Eventually, following Judge
Beckerman’s original F&R  and my adoption in part of that F&R , the case was
remanded for further proceedings, but Ms. Schroeder did not obtain an immediate award of
benefits. Thus, as Judge Beckerman notes, she failed to advance her position by rejecting the
Commissioner’s initial settlement offer and continuing to litigate the case.
In her objections to the current F&R, Ms. Schroeder argues that the “standard for a
reduction of benefits is whether the request is reasonable, not whether every hour spent resulted
in any enhancement of the position.” But Ms. Schroeder fails to recognize that in determining
whether a desired EAJA fee amount is reasonable, a district court is “required to consider the
results achieved on appeal.” Atkins v. Apfel, 154 F.3d 986, 989 (9th Cir. 1998); see also Hensley
v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 436 (1983) (noting that when a plaintiff has achieved only partial
success, “the product of hours reasonably expended on the litigation as a whole times a
reasonable hourly rate may be an excessive amount”). This is true even if plaintiff’s arguments
are “nonfrivolous, and raised in good faith.” Hensley, 461 U.S. at 436. As such, Judge
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Beckerman’s recommendation to reduce the requested fee amount is proper because Ms.
Schroeder failed to obtain an immediate award of benefits after rejecting the Commissioner’s
initial settlement offer.
For the foregoing reasons, I agree with Judge Beckerman’s recommendation and ADOPT
the F&R  as my own opinion. I GRANT in part Ms. Schroeder’s Application for EAJA Fees
 and award attorney fees in the amount of $4,378.14
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED this ______ day of April, 2017.
/s/ Michael W. Mosman
MICHAEL W. MOSMAN
Chief United States District Judge
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