Delgado v. Astrue, No. 2:2010cv00431 - Document 27 (D. Utah 2012)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM DECISION granting 25 Motion for Attorney Fees. Signed by Magistrate Judge David Nuffer on 02/23/2012. (asp)
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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH, CENTRAL DIVISION RENA DELGADO, Plaintiff, MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES v. MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner of Social Security, Case No. 2:10-cv-431 DN Magistrate Judge David Nuffer Defendant. Plaintiff Rena Delgado filed a motion for attorney fees 1 in the amount of $4,900.00 under the Equal Access to Justice Act ( EAJA ). 2 The EAJA provides that a court shall award to a prevailing party other than the United States fees and other expenses . . . unless the court finds that the position of the United States was substantially justified or that special circumstances make an award unjust. 3 Delgado is a prevailing party under the EAJA, having obtained a remand of the case to the Commissioner for further proceedings. 4 The Commissioner does not object to an award of EAJA fees payable to Delgado and acknowledges that this award is without prejudice to Plaintiff s right to seek attorney fees under section 206(b) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 406(b), subject to the offset provisions of the EAJA. 5 The Commissioner emphasizes that the award of fees must be paid directly to the client, rather than her attorney. The Supreme Court has held that under the plain language of the 1 Application Motion for Fees Under the Equal Access Under Justice Act (Motion), docket no. 25, filed January 27, 2012. 2 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A). 3 Id. 4 Order Granting Unopposed Motion to Remand , docket no. 23, filed September 30, 2011. 5 Defendant s Response to Plaintiff s Application for Fees Under the Equal Access to Justice Act (Response) at 2, docket no. 26, filed February 1, 2012. statute, a fee award is payable to the litigant, not her attorney, and is subject to setoff for any preexisting debt owed to the United States. 6 ORDER Delgado s motion for an award of attorney s fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act in the amount of $4,900.00 is GRANTED 7 and the award shall be payable to Ms. Delgado. DATED this 23rd day of February, 2012. BY THE COURT ________________________________________ Magistrate Judge David Nuffer 6 Astrue v. Ratliff, 130 S. Ct. 2521, 2525-27 (2010). 7 Docket no. 25. 2