United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Jasper Division
CLAUDE T. HARRELL, JR., Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board, for and on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board, Petitioner,
RIDGEWOOD HEALTH CARE CENTER, INC.; RIDGEWOOD HEALTH SERVICES, INC., Respondents.
LOVELACE BLACKBURN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is before the court on Supplemental Filing in Support of
its Petition for Attorneys' Fees, (doc. 38),
filed by respondents, Ridgewood Health Care Center, Inc., and
Ridgewood Health Services, Inc. [“the
Ridgewoods”]. The Ridgewoods seek an additional award
of $11, 054.80, for attorneys' fees spent in support of
its EAJA Motion, so-called “fees for
fees.” Petitioner, Claude T. Harrell, Jr.,
Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board
[“Director”], for and on behalf of the National
Labor Relations Board [“NLRB”], did not file any
opposition to the Supplemental Filing, despite the
opportunity to do so. (See doc. 41.) Upon
consideration of the record, the Ridgewoods' submission,
and the relevant law, the court is of the opinion that
respondents' Supplemental Filing in Support of its
Petition for Attorneys' Fees, (doc. 38), is due to be
granted in part and denied in part.
court has previously held that the Ridgewoods are entitled to
an EAJA fee award and that “[t]he law is well settled
that ‘fees for fees' - attorneys' fees for time
spent seeking EAJA fees - are allowable under the
EAJA.” Harrell v. Ridgewood Health Care Ctr.,
Inc., No. 6:14-CV-2075-SLB, 2016 WL 2894105, *4-5 (N.D.
Ala. May 18, 2016)(citing Jean v. Nelson, 863 F.2d
759, 779-80 (11th Cir. 1988)). Therefore, the only remaining
question is “whether the
amount of the [requested] award is
proper.” Jean, 863 F.2d at 769 (emphasis
Supreme Court in Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424
(1983), set forth the following principals that “are
generally applicable in all cases in which Congress has
authorized an award of fees to a ‘prevailing
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.
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 rates claimed. Where the
documentation of hours is inadequate, the district court may
reduce the award accordingly.
The district court . . . should exclude from [its] 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
authority.” Copeland v. Marshall, 205
U.S.App.D.C. 390, 401, 641 F.2d 880, 891 (1980)(en
banc)(emphasis in original).
Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433-34 and n.7.
Ridgewoods claim 7.3 hours of work performed by their
counsel's paralegal, Sara McAlister. This work consists
of compiling caselaw and revising the EAJA petition.
(See doc. 38-1 at 8-9.) This court has previously
held that entries for compiling and revising “appear to
be for clerical work, not work traditionally performed by an
attorney.” Ridgewood Health Care Ctr., 2016 WL
2894105 at *6 (N.D. Ala. May 18, 2016). Therefore, these
hours are not recoverable under EAJA. See Jean, 863
F.2d 759, 778 (quoting Allen v. United States Steel
Corp., 665 F.2d 689, 697 (5th Cir. Unit B
1982));Williams v. R.W. Cannon, Inc., 657
F.Supp.2d 1302, 1310-11 (S.D. Fla. 2009)(citing, inter
alia, Allen, 665 F.2d at 697).
court will deny the Ridgewoods' claim for 7.3 hours of
Ridgewoods claim 54.5 hours was spent by their attorneys
preparing the EAJA fee petition, reviewing the opposition
brief, and filing a reply brief. The court finds that the
amount of time spent seeking EAJA fees was not unreasonable
or unnecessary. Moreover, the Director did not file any
opposition to the supplemental motion for additional fees,
despite the opportunity to do so. Therefore, the court will
allow the 54.5 hours claimed.
the court awarded counsel fees for the Ridgewoods at an
hourly rate of $185.90. Ridgewood Health Care Ctr.,
Inc., 2016 WL 2894105 at *5. The court has no cause to
consider a different hourly rate. Therefore, the court finds
that the Ridgewoods are entitled ...