Barber v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration

Filing 18

ORDER granting 16 MOTION for Attorney Fees Under EAJA, awarding $4,000.00 in fees. Signed by Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges on 11/17/2021.(bshr, )

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA Joseph B., 1 Plaintiff, vs. Kijakazi, 2 Kilolo Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) C/A No.: 1:21-1441-JMC-SVH ORDER This matter is before the court on Plaintiff’s motion for attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412 (“EAJA”). [ECF No. 16]. On October 15, 2021, the court issued an order granting the Commissioner’s motion to remand, reversing the decision of the Commissioner pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), and remanding the action for further administrative proceedings. [ECF No. 14]. On November 12, 2021, Plaintiff filed this motion seeking $4,000 in attorney fees. [ECF No. 16]. The Commissioner subsequently filed the parties’ stipulation to the $4,000 attorney fee. [ECF No. 17]. Given the parties’ The Committee on Court Administration and Case Management of the Judicial Conference of the United States has recommended that, due to significant privacy concerns in social security cases, federal courts should refer to claimants only by their first names and last initials. 2 Kilolo Kijakazi became the Acting Commissioner of Social Security on July 9, 2021. Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(d), she is substituted for former Commissioner Andrew Saul as the defendant in this action. 1 agreement, Plaintiff’s counsel’s representations in her motion, and in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d), the court grants the motion and directs the Commissioner to pay Plaintiff $4,000. This payment shall constitute a complete release from and bar to any further claims that Plaintiff may have under the EAJA to fees, costs, and expenses incurred in connection with disputing the Commissioner’s decision. This award is without prejudice to the rights of Plaintiff’s counsel to seek attorney fees under section 206(b) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 406(b), subject to the offset provisions of the EAJA. Under Astrue v. Ratliff, 560 U.S. 586, 595–97 (2010), EAJA fees awarded by this court belong to Plaintiff and are subject to offset under the Treasury Offset Program (31 U.S.C. § 3716(c)(3)(B) (2006)). Therefore, the court orders the EAJA fee be paid to Plaintiff through payment delivered to Plaintiff’s counsel. 3 IT IS SO ORDERED. November 17, 2021 Columbia, South Carolina Shiva V. Hodges United States Magistrate Judge Plaintiff’s counsel may disburse these funds to satisfy valid liens or in accordance with a lawful assignment. 3 2

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