United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
W. MILLING, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff Andrew Baker's Motion for
Award of Attorney Fees Pursuant to the Equal Access to
Justice Act 28 U.S.C. 2412 (hereinafter EAJA), with
supporting Memorandum (Docs. 19, 20), and Defendant's
Response (Doc. 21). After considering the pertinent
pleadings, it is ORDERED that the Motion be GRANTED and that
Plaintiff be AWARDED an EAJA attorney's fee in the amount
of $806.36 and $400 in court costs.
filed this action on May 9, 2016 (Doc. 1). On January 6,
2017, Judge Granade entered an Order, adopting the Report and
Recommendation that the Commissioner's decision be
reversed, and remanding this action for further proceedings
(Doc. 17). Judgment was entered in favor of Plaintiff and
against Defendant that same day (Doc. 18).
March 22, 2017, Laura E. Holland, Plaintiff's Attorney,
filed a Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees requesting a
fee of $806.36, computed at an hourly rate of $191.99 for 4.2
hours spent in this Court; additionally, Holland requests
$400 in court costs (Doc. 19). Defendant, in her Response
filed on March 31, stated that she had no objection to the
requested fee or request for costs (Doc. 24).
EAJA requires a court to award to
a prevailing party . . . fees and other expenses . . .
incurred by that party in any civil action . . . including
proceedings for judicial review of Agency action, brought by
or against the United States . . . unless the court finds
that the position of the United States was substantially
justified or that special circumstances make an award unjust.
28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A). EAJA further requires that a
prevailing party file an application for attorney's fees
within thirty days of final judgment in the action. 28 U.S.C.
§ 2412(d)(1)(B). The court's judgment is final sixty
days after it is entered, which is the time in which an
appeal may be taken pursuant to Rule 4(a) of the Federal
Rules of Appellate Procedure. See Shalala v.
Schaefer, 509 U.S. 292 (1993).
out above, three statutory conditions must be satisfied
before EAJA fees may be awarded. See Myers v.
Sullivan, 916 F.2d 659, 666 (11th Cir. 1990).
First, the claimant must file a fee application within the
thirty-day period; also, the claimant must be a prevailing
party. Finally, the Government's position must not be
apparently concedes all three EAJA requirements (see
Doc. 21). The Court finds that they have been met.
found the prerequisites satisfied, the Court will discuss the
fee to be awarded. EAJA is a fee-shifting statute. The
Supreme Court has indicated that “‘the most
useful starting point for determining the amount of a
reasonable fee is the number of hours reasonably expended on
the litigation multiplied by a reasonable hourly
rate.'” Watford v. Heckler, 765 F.2d 1562,
1586 (11th Cir. 1985 (EAJA) (quoting Hensley
v. Eckerhartt, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983) (§ 1988)).
In describing this lodestar method of calculation, the United
States Supreme Court stated:
This calculation provides an objective basis on which to make
an initial estimate of the value of a lawyer's services.
The party seeking an award of fees should submit evidence
supporting the hours worked and the rates claimed. Where the
documentation of hours is inadequate, the district court may
reduce the award accordingly. The district court also should
exclude from this initial fee calculation hours that were not
“reasonably expended.” . . . Cases may be
overstaffed, and the skill and experience of lawyers vary
widely. Counsel for the prevailing party should make a
good-faith effort to exclude from a fee request hours that
are excessive, redundant, or otherwise unnecessary, just as a
lawyer in private practice ethically is obligated to exclude
such hours from his fee submission. In the private sector,
‘billing judgment' is an important component in fee
setting. It is no less important here. Hours that are not
properly billed to one's client also are not properly
billed to one's adversary pursuant to statutory
Hensley, 461 U.S. at 434 (citations omitted).
Counsel must use professional judgment in billing under EAJA.
A lawyer should only be compensated for hours spent on
activities for which he would bill a client of means who was
seriously intent on vindicating similar rights. Norman v.
Housing Authority, 836 F.2d 1292, 1301 (11th
examining Plaintiff's Motion, and supporting
documentation, and considering the reasonableness of the
hours claimed, the Court finds that the 4.2 hours ...