Ibrahim v. DHS, No. 14-16161 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The en banc court reversed the district court, vacated the award of attorneys' fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), and remanded with instructions to recalculate the attorney fees for the civil rights law firm that represented plaintiff.
The en banc court clarified that when a district court awards complete relief on one claim, rendering it unnecessary to reach alternative claims, the alternative claims cannot be deemed unsuccessful for the purpose of calculating a fee award. The en banc court rejected the post hoc "mutual exclusivity" approach to determining whether "unsuccessful" claims are related to succesful claims and reaffirmed that Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424 (1983), sets forth the correct standard of "relatedness" for claims under the EAJA. The en banc court reaffirmed that in evaluating whether the government's position is substantially justified, the court looks at whether the government's and the underlying agency's positions were justified as a whole and not at each stage.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on August 30, 2016.