Stevens v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration

Filing 39

ORDER granting 36 Motion for Attorney Fees per Rule 406b, awarding fees in the amount of $17,246.25. Signed by Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks on 05/30/2017.(bshr, )

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA AIKEN DIVISION Thomas Christopher Stevens, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) ) Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting ) Commissioner of Social Security ) Administration, ) ) Defendant. ) ________________________________) Civil Action No. 1:15-2823-BHH ORDER On May 12, 2017, W. Daniel Mayes (“Mayes”), counsel for Plaintiff Thomas Christopher Stevens (“Plaintiff”), filed a motion for attorney’s fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 406(b). (ECF No. 36.) In the motion, Mayes requests reimbursement for representation provided in the above-referenced case in the amount of $17,246.25. 1 As required by 42 U.S.C. § 406(b), the amount requested by counsel is not greater than twenty-five percent (25%) of the past-due benefits recovered by Plaintiff. Counsel for the Acting Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) filed a response to the motion on May 19, 2017, in which she states that the Commissioner does not oppose an award of attorney’ fees under § 406(b). (ECF No. 37.) The Court has reviewed the motion and exhibits and finds that counsel’s request for fees is reasonable. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion for attorney’s fees (ECF No. 36) pursuant to the Social Security Act, 42 U .S.C. § 406(b), is GRANTED in the amount of 1 Plaintiff was awarded $52,423.00 in back-due benefits, and his child was awarded $16,562.00, of which $17,246.25 was withheld for attorney’s fees. $17,246.25. 2 IT IS SO ORDERED. /s/Bruce Howe Hendricks United States District Judge May 30, 2017 Charleston, South Carolina 2 Plaintiff received $3,369.19 in attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d). (ECF No. 35.) As Plaintiff's attorney concedes in his memorandum (ECF No. 36-1), he must refund to Plaintiff the EAJA fees already paid. See Gisbrecht v. Barnhart, 535 U.S. 789, 796 (2002) (noting that fees may be awarded under both § 406(b) and EAJA but that the claimant’s attorney must refund to the claimant the amount of the smaller fee) (internal quotations and citation omitted); Astrue v. Ratliff, 130 S.Ct. 2521, 2528 (2010). 2

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