Campbell v. Berryhill, No. 3:2016cv05386 - Document 17 (W.D. Wash. 2017)

Court Description: ORDER GRANTING 14 PLAINTIFFS MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - by Judge J. Richard Creatura Pursuant to Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Nancy A. Berryhill is substituted for Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin as the defendant in this suit. No further action needs to be taken, pursuant to the last sentence of section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). (SH)
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Campbell v. Berryhill Doc. 17 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 7 8 ALLEN CORY CAMPBELL, 9 Plaintiff, 10 v. 11 NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, 1 12 13 CASE NO. 3:16-cv-05386-JRC ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT Defendant. 14 15 This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Fed. R. Civ. P. 73 and 16 17 18 Local Magistrate Judge Rule MJR 13 (see also Notice of Initial Assignment to a U.S. Magistrate Judge and Consent Form, Dkt. 3; Consent to Proceed Before a United States 19 Magistrate Judge, Dkt. 4). This matter comes before the Court on plaintiff’s contested 20 21 1 Nancy A. Berryhill is now the Acting Commissioner of Social Security. Pursuant to Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Nancy A. Berryhill is substituted for Acting 22 Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin as the defendant in this suit. No further action needs to be 23 taken, pursuant to the last sentence of section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). 24 ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 1 Dockets.Justia.com 1 motion for attorney’s fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412 2 (hereinafter “EAJA”). See Dkts. 14, 15, 16. 3 4 5 Subsequent to plaintiff’s success at obtaining a reversal of the decision of the Social Security Administration, defendant Commissioner challenged plaintiff’s request for statutory attorney’s fees on the grounds that the requested fees are unreasonable given 6 the circumstances of this case. See Response, Dkt. 15, p. 2 (citing 28 § U.S.C. 2412(b)). 7 After considering and reviewing the record, including plaintiff’s Motion for 8 9 10 Attorney Fees and Costs under EAJA, and the attached time and expense sheet (see Dkt. 14, pp. 2-3), as well as the excellent results obtained by plaintiff’s counsel, the Court 11 concludes that plaintiff’s fee request is reasonable. Therefore, plaintiff’s motion for fees, costs and expenses is granted pursuant to 28 12 13 U.S.C. § 1920 and the EAJA in the amount of $7,475.98 ($6,743.80 for the original 14 request, and $732.18 for fees representing 3.8 hours replying to defendant’s challenge to 15 the requested fees (at $192.68/hour)) in attorney’s fees, $10.68 for expenses and $400 for 16 costs. 17 18 BACKGROUND and PROCEDURAL HISTORY On December 19, 2016 this Court issued an Order reversing and remanding this 19 matter for further consideration by the Administration (see Dkt. 12). The Court found that 20 the ALJ only made a “passing reference to plaintiff’s work as ‘not comparable to those of 21 22 23 24 an unimpaired individual,’” and hence, “the Court [could not] adequately determine whether the ALJ properly evaluated plaintiff’s self-employment at step one” (see id., p. ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 2 1 2). This matter was reversed pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for further 2 consideration due to this harmful error (see id., pp. 12-13). 3 4 5 Subsequently, plaintiff filed a motion for EAJA attorney’s fees, to which defendant objected (see Dkt. 14). Defendant contends that the 35 hours requested are unreasonable (Dkt. 15, p. 4). Plaintiff filed a reply (see Dkt. 16). 6 STANDARD OF REVIEW 7 In any action brought by or against the United States, the EAJA requires that "a 8 9 10 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 11 substantially justified or that special circumstances make an award unjust." 28 U.S.C. § 12 2412(d)(1)(A). 13 According to the United States Supreme Court, “the fee applicant bears the burden 14 of establishing entitlement to an award and documenting the appropriate hours 15 expended.” Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 437 (1983). The government has the 16 burden of proving that its positions overall were substantially justified. Hardisty v. 17 18 Astrue, 592 F.3d 1072, 1076 n.2 (9th Cir. 2010), cert. denied, 179 L.Ed.2d 1215, 2011 U.S. LEXIS 3726 (U.S. 2011) (citing Flores v. Shalala, 49 F.3d 562, 569-70 (9th Cir. 19 1995)). Further, if the government disputes the reasonableness of the fee, then it also 20 “has a burden of rebuttal that requires submission of evidence to the district court 21 22 23 challenging the accuracy and reasonableness of the hours charged or the facts asserted by the prevailing party in its submitted affidavits." Gates v. Deukmejian, 987 F.2d 1392, 24 1397-98 (9th Cir. 1992) (citations omitted). The Court has an independent duty to review ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 3 1 the submitted itemized log of hours to determine the reasonableness of hours requested in 2 each case. See Hensley, supra, 461 U.S. at 433, 436-37. 3 4 5 DISCUSSION In this matter, plaintiff clearly was the prevailing party because he received a remand of the matter to the Administration for further consideration (see Order on 6 Complaint, Dkt. 12). In order to award a prevailing plaintiff attorney fees, the EAJA also 7 requires a finding that the position of the United States was not substantially justified. 28 8 9 10 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(B). Defendant explicitly conceded that the government’s position was not substantially justified, and defendant argues that plaintiff’s recovery for 11 attorney’s fees should be reduced, not eliminated (see Defendant’s Response to Plaintiff’s 12 EAJA Motion for Fees, Dkt. 14, p. 2). 13 The Court agrees with defendant’s concession (see id.). This conclusion is based 14 on a review of the relevant record, including the government’s administrative and 15 litigation positions regarding the step one evaluation. For these reasons, and based on a 16 review of the relevant record, the Court concludes that the government’s position in this 17 18 matter as a whole was not substantially justified. See Guitierrez v. Barnhart, 274 F.3d 1255, 1258-59 (9th Cir. 2001) (citations omitted). 19 The undersigned also concludes that no special circumstances make an award of 20 attorney fees unjust. See 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A). Therefore, all that remains is to 21 22 23 determine the amount of a reasonable fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 2412(b); Hensley, supra, 461 U.S. at 433, 436-37; see also Roberts v. Astrue, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80907 (W.D. 24 Wash. 2011), adopted by 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80913 (W.D. Wash. 2011). ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 4 1 Once the court determines that a plaintiff is entitled to a reasonable fee, “the 2 amount of the fee, of course, must be determined on the facts of each case.” Hensley, 3 supra, 461 U.S. at 429, 433 n.7. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, “the most useful 4 5 starting point for determining the amount of a reasonable fee is the number of hours reasonably expended on the litigation multiplied by a reasonable hourly rate.” Hensley, 6 supra, 461 U.S. at 433. 7 Here, plaintiff prevailed on the single claim of whether or not the denial of his 8 9 10 social security application was based on substantial evidence in the record as a whole and not based on harmful legal error. When the case involves a “common core of facts or will 11 be based on related legal theories . . . . the district court should focus on the 12 significance of the overall relief obtained by the plaintiff in relation to the hours 13 reasonably expended on the litigation.” See Hensley, supra, 461 U.S. at 435. The 14 Supreme Court concluded that where a plaintiff “has obtained excellent results, his 15 attorney should recover a fully compensatory fee.” Id. 16 17 18 Because the Court concludes based on a review of the relevant evidence that the plaintiff here obtained excellent results, the Court will look to “the hours reasonably expended on the litigation,” which, when combined with the reasonable hourly rate, 19 encompasses the lodestar. See Hensley, supra, 461 U.S. at 435. Other relevant factors 20 identified in Johnson, supra, 488 F.2d at 717-19 “usually are subsumed within the initial 21 22 23 24 ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 5 1 calculation of hours reasonably expended at a reasonably hourly rate.” 2 See Hensley, 2 supra, 461 U.S. at 434 n.9 (other citation omitted); see also Kerr v. Screen Extras Guild, 3 Inc., 526 F.2d 67, 70 (9th Cir. 1975) (adopting Johnson factors); Stevens v. Safeway, 4 5 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17119 at *40-*41 (C.D. Cal. 2008) (“A court employing th[e] Hensley lodestar method of the hours reasonably expended multiplied by a reasonable 6 hourly rate] to determine the amount of an attorney’s fees award does not directly 7 consider the multi-factor test developed in Johnson, supra, 488 F.2d at 717-19, and Kerr, 8 9 10 supra, 526 F.2d at 69-70”); but see Goodwin v. Astrue, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97651 at *10-*12, *14-*20 (W.D. Wash. 2012) (applying Johnson factors), adopted by 2012 U.S. 11 Dist. LEXIS 97650 (W.D. Wash. 2012). However, the Court will discuss these factors to 12 the extent that they are helpful and relevant. 13 As defendant does not object to plaintiff’s request for reimbursement for costs or 14 expenses, and does not object to plaintiff’s requested hourly rate for his attorney’s fees 15 request, the gravamen of defendant’s contentions here concern “the number of hours 16 17 18 2 The Johnson factors are: (1) The time and labor involved; (2) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved; (3) the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly; (4) the 19 preclusion of other employment by the attorney due to acceptance of the case; (5) the customary fee; (6) whether the fee is fixed or contingent: (7) time limitations imposed by the client or the 20 circumstances; (8) the amount involved and the results obtained; (9) the experience, reputation, and ability of the attorneys; (10); the ‘undesirability’ of the case; (11) the nature and length of 21 the professional relationship with the client; and (12) awards in similar cases. Johnson, supra, 488 F.2d at 717-19) (citations omitted); see also United States v.Guerette, 2011 U.S. Dist. 22 LEXIS 21457 at *4-*5 (D. Hi 2011) (“factors one through five have been subsumed” in 23 the determination of a number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by a reasonable rate); but see City of Burlington v. Dague, 505 U.S. 557 (1992) (rejecting factor 6 of contingent 24 nature of the fee). ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 6 1 reasonably expended on the litigation.” (see Dkt. 15, p. 2). See also Hensley, supra, 461 2 U.S. at 433. 3 4 5 Defendant first contends that plaintiff’s request for 2.5 hours of time for “preparing file and administrative record,” drafting a summons and cover sheet, preparing a certificate of electronic service; and reviewing a briefing schedule and 6 presumed scheduling of deadlines “should not be billed at an attorney rate, regardless of 7 who performs them.” Dkt. 15, p. 4 (citing Missouri v. Jenkins, 491 U.S. 274, 288 n.10 8 9 10 (1989) (other citation omitted)). Plaintiff replies that his attorney "billed .2 hours each for the tasks of preparing the certificate of electronic service and reviewing the briefing 11 schedule [and that] the time claimed for these tasks cannot be considered unreasonable 12 and defendant does not assert that these tasks were unnecessary.” Dkt. 16, p. 2. Plaintiff 13 furthermore contends that the “remaining 2.1 hours allocated to these tasks were divided 14 in .8 hours for drafting the complaint, summons and cover sheet and 1.3 hours for 15 preparing the file and administrative records." Id. Plaintiff notes that defendant does not 16 assert that these tasks were unnecessary but instead argues that the time spent is 17 18 unreasonable. Id. Plaintiff argues “that .8 hours for drafting the complaint, summons and civil cover 19 sheet are reasonable as the complaint requires accurate facts to support jurisdiction." Id. 20 Plaintiff contends that the “attorney time spent is reasonable to track down those facts 21 22 23 and make sure that the complaint is accurate." Id. Finally, plaintiff argues “that the 1.3 hours for preparing the file and administrative records is appropriate in this case,” 24 because “this case was procedurally complex, with two administrative hearings (and ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 7 1 resulting opinions), and Appeals Council remand, request by counsel below for the ALJ 2 to recuse himself, a request by counsel below for the case to be transferred to a different 3 ODAR office and allegations by counsel below of ALJ bias.” Id. at 2-3. Plaintiff 4 5 contends that all of “these issues required attorney time to sort out in organizing and preparing this case so that an orderly and timely appeal [could] be conducted.” Id. at 3. 6 The Court finds plaintiff’s argument persuasive and concludes that the amount of 7 time spent on the delineated tasks is reasonable. It is entirely reasonable for plaintiff’s 8 9 10 attorney to have spent the specified amount of time on these tasks. Next, defendant contends that plaintiff’s “billing is extensive for a routine 11 disability case that did not present novel or complex questions,” noting that only one 12 issue was argued in plaintiff’s opening brief involving step one of the sequential 13 evaluation process and substantial gainful activity. Dkt. 15, p. 4 (citing Dkt. 9). 14 Defendant contends that this issue “was neither novel nor complex.” Id. 15 Plaintiff replies that “this case was not routine.” Dkt. 16, p. 3. Plaintiff also argues 16 that the “attorney time was spent in multiple hours of exploring possible ALJ error in the 17 18 ALJ’s refusal to recuse himself (AR. 12-14, 249-50), refusal to transfer the case to a different ODAR office (AR. 115-16, 148, 212-14), possible ALJ bias (AR. 12-14, 249- 19 50), and whether or not the ALJ’s refusal to allow witness testimony at the last 20 administrative hearing was error (AR. 122-25).” Id. Plaintiff also contends that his 21 22 23 attorney “is duty-bound to explore all possible avenues of appeal involving ALJ error [and the] fact that these alternative avenues were ultimately not pursued (based on the 24 undersigned’s professional judgment) does not make the attorneys time unreasonable.” ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 8 1 The Court not only concludes that plaintiff’s argument is persuasive, but also appreciates 2 the professional judgment applied in not pursuing arguments that are not likely to be 3 successful. The Court reviews all arguments presented by the parties, no matter how 4 5 persuasive, and punishing an attorney for exercising judgment and not arguing positions that are unpersuasive does not serve judicial economy. 6 On this point, plaintiff furthermore asserts that his attorney “found the issues 7 involved be complex and involved analyzing vocational testimony in light of a complex 8 9 10 regulation that involves three tests which requires the ALJ to assess whether or not the work actually performed by the claimant is comparable to that of either unimpaired or 11 impaired individuals,” further noting that this “is a novel question for the undersigned 12 and one of first impression.” Id. Plaintiff’s attorney indicates that he “has been in practice 13 for 26 years and never encountered the same,” further noting the “dearth of case law on 14 the subject that could provide guidance or explanation as to how the regulation should be 15 interpreted.” Id. The Court concludes that both of these points are persuasive. The Court 16 also found that the question at issue in this case was novel, as it was the first time this 17 18 issue was presented to this Court. The Court agrees also regarding the dearth of case law. The Court also notes plaintiff’s argument that “the vocational testimony at first glance 19 seemed to provide relevant evidence for the appropriate inquiry, but when analyzed in 20 light of the applicable regulation, seems to be well-intentioned but responding to a 21 22 23 24 different question than asked by the ALJ.” Id. (citing AR. 426-30). All of plaintiff’s arguments on this second contention by defendant are persuasive. ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 9 1 Finally, defendant contends that “plaintiff billed 19.8 hours of time for his opening 2 brief which totaled 6 pages; only three pages of which involved any arguments on the 3 issue presented." Dkt. 15, p. 4 (citing Dkt. 9, pp. 2-5). Defendant argues that plaintiff’s 4 5 “request for 19.8 hours for EAJA fees involving [the] opening brief is unreasonable for a routine disability case such as this one especially considering only three pages of 6 plaintiff’s opening brief involved the argument at step one.” Id. 7 In reply, plaintiff contends that “defendant confuses conciseness with shortness of 8 9 10 time." Dkt. 16, p. 3. Plaintiff argues that the “concise nature of the opening brief is due to a time-consuming process of narrowing the issues and arguments in such a way as to not 11 waste the Court’s (or opposing counsel’s) time.” Id. The Court agrees and likewise is 12 aware that writing a concise brief can take more time than writing a long brief, which, by 13 the way, the Court appreciates greatly. 14 Plaintiff furthermore notes that the Ninth Circuit has “noted that district courts 15 may consider the fact that ‘many district courts have noted that 20 to 40 hours as the 16 range most often requested and granted in Social Security cases’ in determining the 17 18 reasonableness of a specific EAJA fee request.” Id. (citing Costa v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration, 690 F.3d 1132, 1136 (9th Cir. 2012)). Plaintiff argues 19 that the number of hours incurred by plaintiff’s attorney in this case, at 35, is “not 20 excessive, even for routine case.” Id. The Court agrees. The Court also finds that the 21 22 23 24 additional 3.8 hours requested by plaintiff for the attorney’s time incurred replying to defendant’s challenge to the fee petition are reasonable. ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 10 1 Plaintiff’s reply is persuasive. The Court notes that there is time incurred regularly 2 by attorneys in the preparation of briefs that is not reflected by an explicit argument in the 3 final draft of the brief. The Court likewise often reviews portions of records and 4 5 considers issues that are not indicated explicitly in the R&Rs or Orders issued by the Court. 6 Defendant presents her argument in the context of the Johnson factors, suggesting 7 that they support the reductions of fees. See Dkt. 15, p. 3. The Court will briefly discuss 8 9 10 the Johnson factors. Regarding time, labor and the experience of the attorney, the first and ninth factors 11 referenced regarding determining the amount of reasonable attorney’s fees in Johnson, 12 488 F.2d at 717-19, see supra, n.2, and adopted by the Ninth Circuit in Kerr, plaintiff 13 was represented by Todd R. Renda, Esq., (“counselor Renda”), an attorney experienced 14 in Social Security matters. Counselor Renda indicated that time expended on this case 15 included, among other things, multiple communications with plaintiff; reviewing the 16 administration’s decision, the administrative record, defendant’s Answer and responsive 17 18 brief; preparing the complaint; researching case law and federal regulations; drafting the opening brief and reply brief; reviewing notices and other case management tasks; 19 reviewing the Order and judgment; and, drafting the petition for costs and fees (see 20 plaintiff’s Motion, Dkt. 14, pp. 2-3). 21 22 23 Regarding the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved and the skill required in order to perform the legal service properly, the second and third factors 24 considered in Johnson and Kerr, see also supra, n.2, this case involved knowledge of ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 11 1 social security disability law as well as knowledge of the administrative appeal process 2 before the Social Security Administration. See Johnson, supra, 488 F.2d at 717-19; see 3 also Kerr, supra, 526 F.2d at 69-70. Therefore, specialized knowledge and skill were 4 5 required for the prosecution of this matter and plaintiff’s counsel has the requisite experience and knowledge and is deserving of the full EAJA hourly rate. 6 The fourth factor considered in Johnson, 488 F.2d at 717-19, see supra, n.2, and 7 adopted by the Ninth Circuit in Kerr, is the preclusion of other employment by the 8 9 10 attorney due to acceptance of the case. See Johnson, supra, 488 F.2d at 717-19, see also Kerr, supra, 526 F.2d at 69-70. Although plaintiff’s counsel could not work on other 11 cases while working on this matter, the extent to which plaintiff’s attorney was precluded 12 from other work does not appear to be any greater in this particular matter than occurs 13 with the acceptance of any case. 14 Regarding the customary fee and awards in similar cases, the fifth and twelfth 15 Johnson and Kerr factors, the requested fee is not outside the range of the amount of 16 attorney’s fees generally awarded in cases of this type. See Johnson, supra, 488 F.2d at 17 18 717-19, see also Kerr, supra, 526 F.2d at 69-70. In addition, defendant has not challenged the hourly rate requested by plaintiff, which complies with the EAJA, of 19 $192.68 (see Dkt. 14, p. 3). The rate is reasonable, given the skill and expertise of 20 counselor Renda. 21 22 23 Regarding whether the fee is fixed or contingent, and the time limitations imposed by the client or the circumstances, the sixth and seventh Johnson and Kerr factors, these 24 factors here do not have much relevance to the determination of whether or not the ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 12 1 requested fee is reasonable. See Johnson, supra, 488 F.2d at 717-19, see also Kerr, supra, 2 526 F.2d at 69-70. 3 4 5 Regarding the eighth factor of the amount involved and the results obtained, plaintiff here obtained excellent results and, hence, as noted previously, should obtain a fully compensatory fee. See Hensley, supra, 461 U.S. at 435. 6 Regarding the tenth and eleventh factors, this case does not appear to have been 7 either desirable or undesirable, and the nature and length of the professional relationship 8 9 10 11 with the client also does not appear to be relevant to the determination of whether or not the requested fee is reasonable. Having considered the relevant factors from Johnson and Kerr, see supra, n.2, and 12 having reviewed the relevant record, including the attorney declaration and the time 13 itemization submitted by plaintiff’s counsel in this matter, and having considered 14 defendant’s arguments, the Court concludes that the amount of time incurred by 15 plaintiff’s attorney in this matter and plaintiff’s requested fee award are reasonable. See 16 Hensley, supra, 461 U.S. at 435. As plaintiff’s attorney “has obtained excellent results, 17 18 his attorney should recover a fully compensatory fee.” Id. Therefore, plaintiff’s motion should be granted. 19 Specifically, following a review of plaintiff’s request, the Court finds reasonable 20 plaintiff’s request for expenses in the amount of $10.68, for costs in the amount of 21 22 23 24 $400.00, and for attorney’s fees in the amount of $7,475.98, representing 38.8 hours of work (35 hours receiving reversal, 3.8 hours replying to defendant’s challenge to fees). ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 13 1 CONCLUSION 2 Plaintiff’s request for $400.00 in costs is granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920. 3 Plaintiff’s request for $10.68 in expenses is granted pursuant to the Equal Access 4 5 to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412 (“EAJA”). Plaintiff’s motion for attorney’s fees pursuant to EAJA in the amount of 6 $7,475.98, representing 38.8 hours of work, is granted, pursuant to the EAJA and 7 consistent with Astrue v. Ratliff, 130 S. Ct. 2521, 2524 (2010). 8 9 10 Plaintiff’s award is subject to any offset allowed pursuant to the Department of Treasury’s Offset Program. See id. at 2528. The check for EAJA fees and expenses, as 11 well as the check for costs, shall be mailed to plaintiff’s counsel at Todd Renda, Esq., th 12 6314 19 St. West, Suite 21, Tacoma, WA 98466-6233. 13 Dated this 19th day of May, 2017. 14 A 15 J. Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S CONTESTED MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT - 14