United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
P. FLYNN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
cause comes before the Court upon Plaintiff's Uncontested
Petition for Attorney Fees (Doc. 33), pursuant to the Equal
Access to Justice Act (“EAJA”). On September 25,
2019, this Court entered an Order reversing and remanding the
case to the Commissioner for further administrative
proceedings (Doc. 31). The Clerk then entered judgment in
favor of Plaintiff (Doc. 32). As the prevailing party,
Plaintiff now requests an award of attorney's fees in the
amount of $5, 765.95. See 28 U.S.C. §
2412(d)(1)(A); c f . Shalala v. Schaefer, 509 U.S.
292, 300-02 (1993) (concluding that a party who wins a
sentence-four remand order under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) is a
order for the Plaintiff to be awarded fees under EAJA, the
following five conditions must be established: (1) Plaintiff
must file a timely application for attorney's fees; (2)
Plaintiff's net worth must have been less than $2 million
at the time the Complaint was filed; (3) Plaintiff must be
the prevailing party in a non-tort suit involving the United
States; (4) the position of the United States must not have
been substantially justified; and (5) there must be no
special circumstances which would make the award unjust. 28
U.S.C. § 2412(d); Commissioner, INS v. Jean,
496 U.S. 154, 158 (1990); McCullough v. Astrue, 565
F.Supp.2d 1327, 1330 (M.D. Fla. 2008).
the Commissioner does not dispute that the Plaintiff has meet
all the above described conditions. (See Doc. 33).
Further, as Plaintiff contends, the position of the United
States was not substantially justified, and no special
circumstances exist which would make an award of
attorney's fees unjust in this instance. See 28
U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A). Therefore, Plaintiff's has
established her entitlement to attorney's fees.
respect to the amount of attorney's fees, EAJA fees are
decided under the “lodestar” method by
determining the number of hours reasonably expended on the
matter multiplied by a reasonable hourly rate. Jean v.
Nelson, 863 F.2d 759, 773 (11th Cir.1988),
aff'd 496 U.S. 154 (1990). The resulting fee
carries a strong presumption that it is the reasonable fee.
City of Burlington v. Dague, 505 U.S. 557, 562
motion, Plaintiff seeks an award of attorney's fees in
the amount of $5, 765.95. The amount is based on 29.3 hours
expended by her attorney on this matter in 2018 and 2019 at a
rate of $196.79 per hour. (Doc. 33 at 2). Based on the
undersigned's own knowledge and experience, the Court
concludes that both the hourly rate and the number of hours
requested are fair and reasonable. Norman v. Hous. Auth.
of City of Montgomery, 836 F.2d 1292, 1303 (11th Cir.
1988) (stating that “[t]he court, either trial or
appellate, is itself an expert on the question and may
consider its own knowledge and experience concerning
reasonable and proper fees and may form an independent
judgment either with or without the aid of witnesses as to
value”)(quotation omitted). Therefore, Plaintiff is
awarded attorney's fees in the amount of $5, 765.95.
Plaintiff has no discernable federal debt, the government
will accept Plaintiffs assignment of EAJA fees (Doc. 33-2)
and pay the fees directly to Plaintiffs counsel. See
Astrue v. Ratliff, 560 U.S. 586, 597 (2010) (discussing
the government's practice to make direct payment of fees
to attorneys only in cases where “the plaintiff does
not owe a debt to the government and assigns the right to
receive the fees to the attorney”).
reasons set out in Plaintiffs motion, therefore, it is hereby
Plaintiffs Uncontested Petition for Attorney Fees (Doc. 3 3)
Plaintiff is awarded attorney's fees in the amount of $5,