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Niceschwander v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division

October 15, 2014

MELISSA NICESCHWANDER, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration, Defendant.

ORDER

J. THOMAS RAY, Magistrate Judge.

Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion requesting an award of attorney's fees and expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act ("EAJA"), 28 U.S.C. ยง 2412.[1] Doc. 14. The Commissioner has filed a Response. Doc. 15.

Plaintiff's attorney, David Throesch, requests a total payment of $5, 771.93 consisting of: (1) 27.66 hours of attorney work in 2013 at the adjusted hourly rate of $182.79 ($5, 055.97); and (2) 3.84 hours of attorney work in 2014 at the adjusted hourly rate of $186.45 ($715.96). Counsel also requests that the award be paid directly to him based on an assignment executed by Plaintiff. Doc. 14-2, at 10; Doc. 14-3.

The Commissioner does not object to the requested amount of fees and expenses, but does object to direct payment to counsel. Pursuant to the Supreme Court's holding in Astrue v. Ratliff, 560 U.S. 586 (2010), an award of EAJA fees belongs to the prevailing party, not that party's lawyer. Consistent with the Commissioner's usual procedure, the check awarding EAJA fees should be made payable to Plaintiff, but mailed to the care of Plaintiff's attorney at the attorney's office.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney's Fees and Expenses Pursuant to the EAJA, Doc. 14, is GRANTED.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff is awarded $5, 771.93 in attorney's fees and expenses under the EAJA. Consistent with the Commissioner's usual procedure in light of Astrue v. Ratliff, 560 U.S. 586 (2010), the check awarding EAJA fees should be made payable to Plaintiff, but mailed to the care of Plaintiff's attorney at the attorney's office.


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