United States District Court, D. New Jersey
KEVIN C. MORGAN, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Defendant.
L. COOPER, United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Kevin C.
Morgan's (“Plaintiff”) Motion for an Award of
Attorney's Fees and Costs Pursuant to the Equal Access to
Justice Act (“EAJA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)
(the “Motion”). (Dkt. 14.) Defendant Acting
Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”
or “Defendant”) does not oppose Plaintiff's
Motion, but raises an objection with respect to the payment
of the award of attorney's fees directly to
Plaintiff's counsel. (Dkt. 15.) For the following
reasons, Plaintiff's Motion is granted.
November 18, 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint seeking review
of the denial of his claim for Social Security benefits by
the Commissioner. (See dkt. 1.) As required by Local
Civil Rule 9.1(d), Plaintiff filed a statement of primary
contentions explaining his position in regard to his
entitlement to relief. (See dkt. 8.) The parties
consented to remand, and the Court entered an Order remanding
this case to the Commissioner for further administrative
proceedings under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
filed the pending Motion seeking attorney's fees on April
17, 2017 as the prevailing party in this action. (Dkt. 15.)
Plaintiff seeks attorney's fees for 12.9 hours of work
performed at an hourly rate of $196.21, a sum of $2, 531.00.
In addition, Plaintiff seeks $400.00 in costs. In total,
Plaintiff seeks $2, 931.00. The Commissioner does not oppose
the relief requested. (Dkt. 15 at 1.)
EAJA, in pertinent part, provides that:
[A] court shall award to a prevailing party other than the
United States 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). As a prerequisite to an award
of attorney's fees, however, a court must find: (1)
plaintiff timely submitted an application for attorney's
fees and the requested amount is reasonable; (2) plaintiff
was the prevailing party in the underlying action against the
United States; and (3) the position of the United States in
the underlying action was not substantially justified, nor do
special circumstances make an award unjust. Kadelski v.
Sullivan, 30 F.3d 399, 401 (3d Cir. 1994).
consideration of Plaintiff's Motion and the applicable
law, the Court finds that Plaintiff is entitled to an award
of attorney's fees in this case.
Plaintiff's Application for Attorney's Fees is
for attorney's fees must be made within thirty days of a
“final judgment.” 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(B).
Cases, such as this, that are remanded under sentence four of
42 U.S.C. § 405(g) are considered “final”
immediately upon remand. See Shalala v. Schaefer,
509 U.S. 292, 302-04 (1993). Plaintiff filed the Motion six
days after we remanded this case to the Commissioner for
further administrative ...