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Moore v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

September 23, 2013

BRADLEY MOORE, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [1]

MICHAEL J. NEWMAN, Magistrate Judge.

This case is before the Court pursuant to Plaintiff's timely-filed motion for an award of $3, 879.70 in attorney's fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act ("EAJA"), 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d). Doc. 14. The Commissioner does not oppose Plaintiff's motion. See doc. 15 at PageID 694.

I.

EAJA provides for an award of attorney's fees to a party who prevails in a civil action against the United States "when the position taken by the Government is not substantially justified and no special circumstances exist warranting a denial of fees." Bryant v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 578 F.3d 443, 445 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A)). A party who wins a Sentence Four remand is a prevailing party for EAJA purposes. See Shalala v. Schaefer, 509 U.S. 292, 301-02 (1993). EAJA fees are payable to the litigant. Astrue v. Ratliff, 560 U.S. ___, 130 S.Ct. 2521, 2524 (2010).

II.

On June 12, 2013, District Judge Thomas M. Rose issued an Entry and Order in which he reversed the ALJ's non-disability finding, and remanded this matter to the Commissioner under Sentence Four for additional administrative proceedings. Doc. 12. Accordingly, Plaintiff is the prevailing party in this case for EAJA purposes, and is therefore entitled to an award of attorney's fees under EAJA. See Shalala, 509 U.S. at 301-02.

Plaintiff's counsel advises the Court that he worked 22.0 hours on this matter. Doc. 14 at PageID 624. Counsel claims an hourly rate of $176.35, see id., which is not challenged by the Commissioner. Having reviewed the time sheet entries and exhibits submitted by Plaintiff's counsel, and considering the nature of the work counsel performed in this matter, the Court finds the requested fee reasonable. Compare Kash v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., No. 3:11-cv-44, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106215, at *3-9, 2012 WL 3112373, at *2-3 (S.D. Ohio July 31, 2012) (Newman, M.J.), adopted by 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118971, at *1, 2012 WL 3636936, at *1 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 21, 2012) (Rice, J.) (finding an hourly rate of $176.36 reasonable in an EAJA fee application). Accordingly, Plaintiff is entitled to an EAJA fees award in the amount of $3, 879.70.

III.

Based upon the foregoing, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT:

1. Plaintiff's unopposed motion for EAJA fees (doc. 14) be GRANTED, and Plaintiff be AWARDED the sum of ...

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