Waddell v. Commissioner of the Social Security Administration

Filing 52

ORDER: It is the judgment of the Court that Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney Fees (ECF No. 45 ) is GRANTED. Therefore, it is ordered that Plaintiff's counsel may collect a fee of $9,571.62. Plaintiff's counsel must refund to the Plaintiff the EAJA award of $7,147.14. Signed by Honorable Mary Geiger Lewis on 12/28/2016. (mcot, )

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA ORANGEBURG DIVISION GRETCHEN S. WADDELL, Plaintiff, v. CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) Civil Action No. 5:13-02806-MGL ) ) ) ) ORDER Plaintiff Gretchen S. Waddell brought this action to obtain judicial review of a final decision of Defendant denying Plaintiff’s application for a period of disability, disability insurance benefits, and supplemental security income. See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). On October 20, 2014, the Court remanded Defendant’s decision pursuant to sentence four of § 405(g) for further administrative proceedings. This matter now is before the court on Plaintiff’s motion for attorney’s fees filed on May 9, 2016, for requested fees in the amount of $9,571.62, which represents 25% of Plaintiff’s past due benefits, under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 406(b). Plaintiff’s counsel has been granted fees by this Court in the amount of $7,147.14, under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), 28 U.S.C. § 2412. In the United States Supreme Court case of Gisbrecht v. Barnhart, 535 U.S. 780 (2002), the Court held that the provision of the Social Security Act limiting attorney fees to 25% of pastdue benefits does not displace contingent-fee agreements that are within such statutory ceiling, and instructs courts to review for reasonableness fees yielded by such agreements. In addition, if the claimant has been awarded attorney fees under EAJA, the claimant’s attorney must refund the lesser of the two fees to the claimant. Id. at 796. Upon review of the materials submitted to the Court, the Court holds Plaintiff’s request for attorney fees is reasonable, and it is the judgment of the Court that Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney Fees is GRANTED. Therefore, it is ordered that Plaintiff’s counsel may collect a fee of $9,571.62. Plaintiff’s counsel must refund to the Plaintiff the EAJA award of $7,147.14. Signed this 28th day of December, 2016, in Columbia, South Carolina. s/ Mary Geiger Lewis MARY GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 2

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