United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Brent Brennenstuhl United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is the motion of Plaintiff, Anna Faye Stephens, for
an award of costs and attorney fees under the Equal Access to
Justice Act (“EAJA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2412(a)(1)
and (d)(1)(A) (DN 18). Defendant, Nancy A. Berryhill,
Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”),
has filed a response (DN 20), and Stephens has filed a reply
(DN 21). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Fed.R.Civ.P.
73, the parties have consented to the undersigned United
States Magistrate Judge conducting all further proceedings in
this case, including issuance of a memorandum opinion and
entry of judgment, with direct review by the Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals in the event an appeal is filed (DN 11).
This matter is ripe for determination.
Commissioner acknowledges that an award of fees under §
2412(d) is appropriate but takes issue with the total number
of hours claimed and the adjusted hourly rate requested (DN
20). Stephens argues that the total number of hours claimed
and the adjusted hourly rate sought are reasonable in light
of the circumstances (DN 18, 21). There is no dispute that
Stephens is entitled to reimbursement of the $400.00 filing
fee. For the reasons set forth below, Stephens' motion
for attorney's fees is granted.
December 22, 2016, Stephens filed a complaint seeking
judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (DN 1). The Commissioner
filed an answer and a copy of the administrative record (DN
9, 10). Stephens filed a fact and law summary with a
supporting memorandum (DN 14, 14-1). Thereafter, the
Commissioner filed a joint motion requesting the Court
reverse the final decision of the Commissioner, enter
judgment in favor of Stephens, and remand this case for
further proceedings, pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g) (DN 15). The undersigned granted the joint
motion, reversed the final decision of the Commissioner, and,
pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g),
remanded the case to the Commissioner for further proceedings
(DN 16, 17).
September 28, 2017, Stephens filed her motion for an award of
attorney fees and costs (DN 18). In support of her motion,
Stephens' attorney submitted a memorandum, an itemization
of time, a copy of the contingent fee agreement and power of
attorney, and proposed order (DN 18-1, 18-2, 18-3, 18-4).
EAJA allows the award of attorney fees and other expenses
against the government provided that:
(1) The party seeking such fees is the “prevailing
party” in a civil action brought by or against the
(2) An application for such fees, including an itemized
justification for the amount requested, is timely filed
within thirty days of final judgment in the action;
(3) The position of the government is not substantially
(4) No special circumstances make an award unjust.
28 U.S.C. §§ 2412(d)(1)(A), (B). The absence of any
of the above factors precludes an award of fees. 28 U.S.C.