Martinez-Nieves v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER GRANTING 19 Motion for Attorney Fees Pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff is awarded $5,885.75 in attorneys fees and expenses pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d), made payable to Plaintiff and mailed to Plaintiffs counsel at his address on record. Signed by Judge Elizabeth S. Chestney. (wg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
SAN ANTONIO DIVISION
LUIS EDGARDO MARTINEZ-NIEVES,
ANDREW SAUL, SOCIAL SECURITY
This order concerns Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees Pursuant to the Equal Access
to Justice Act [#19]. Plaintiff has also filed a Memorandum in support of the motion [#20]. By
his motion, Plaintiff asks the Court to award him attorney’s fees pursuant to the Equal Access to
Justice Act (“EAJA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2412(a), as the “prevailing party” in the above-styled cause of
action. The EAJA provides a mandatory attorney’s fee award for a prevailing party that meets
certain financial eligibility requirements. Baker v. Bowen, 839 F.2d 1075, 1079–80 (5th Cir.
1988). Once the plaintiff establishes these facts, the government must pay attorney’s fees unless
it is able to prove that its position was substantially justified or special circumstances make an
award unjust. Id.
The record reflects that on March 5, 2021, the Court granted the Commissioner’s
unopposed motion to remand for further administrative proceedings [#17]. That same day, the
Court issued a Final Judgment vacating the Commissioner’s administrative determination finding
Plaintiff not disabled and remanding this case for further proceedings pursuant to sentence four
of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) [#18]. The Fifth Circuit has held that a party who obtains a remand in a
social security appeal pursuant to the fourth sentence of § 405(g) qualifies as a prevailing party
for purposes of fees under the EAJA. Breaux v. U.S.D.H.H.S., 20 F.3d 1324, 1324 (5th Cir.
1994) (per curiam).
Plaintiff has requested fees in the amount of $5,868.50 and expenses in the amount of
$17.25. In support of the instant motion, Plaintiff’s counsel has submitted an itemization of the
hours he spent representing Plaintiff in this case before the Court. According to Plaintiff, his
attorney has spent a total of 25 hours on this case at a rate of $203.94 per hour and the paralegal
assisting his attorney spent a total 7.7 hours at a rate of $100.00 per hour. The Commissioner
has filed a response to the motion [#21], which indicates he is not opposed to Plaintiff’s fee
Having reviewed the motion and the record in this case, and in light of the lack of
opposition on the part of the Commissioner, the Court finds that Plaintiff is entitled to an award
of attorney’s fees under the EAJA as the prevailing party in this case, and the Court will grant
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees Pursuant
to the Equal Access to Justice Act [#19] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff is awarded $5,885.75 in attorney’s fees and
expenses pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d), made payable to
Plaintiff and mailed to Plaintiff’s counsel at his address on record.
SIGNED this 4th day of June, 2021.
ELIZABETH S. ("BETSY") CHESTNEY
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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