United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ATTORNEY
FEES UNDER THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT 
G. EDMUNDS, JUDGE
March 26, 2019, the Court entered an opinion and order
granting Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in part,
denying Defendant's motion for summary judgment,
reversing the decision of the Commissioner of Social
Security, and remanding the case to the Commissioner pursuant
to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for further
proceedings. (See dkt. 19.) The matter is now before
the Court on Plaintiff's motion for an award of attorney
fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (âEAJAâ). (Dkt.
21.) Plaintiff seeks $5, 700.00 in attorney fees and $105.25
in expenses for a total of $5, 805.25. Defendant filed a
response stating that he has no objection to Plaintiff's
request provided that this award satisfies all of
Plaintiff's claims for fees, costs, and expenses. (Dkt.
22.) For the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS
EAJA provides that “a court shall award to a prevailing
party . . . fees and other expenses . . . incurred by that
party in any civil action . . . brought by or against the
United States . . . unless the court finds that the position
of the United States was substantially justified or that
special circumstances make an award unjust.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2412(d)(1)(A). Defendant bears the burden of proving
that a given position was substantially justified. See
Glenn v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 763 F.3d 494, 498 (6th
Cir. 2014). An attorney fee award under the EAJA is paid to
the prevailing party, not the prevailing party's
attorney, and thus may be “offset to satisfy a
pre-existing debt that the litigant owes to the United
States.” Kerr v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 874
F.3d 926, 935 (6th Cir. 2017) (quoting Astrue v.
Ratliff, 560 U.S. 586, 589 (2010)).
the Court remanded this case pursuant to sentence four,
Plaintiff is a prevailing party. See Shalala v.
Schaefer, 509 U.S. 292, 302 (1993). And because
Defendant does not object to Plaintiff's request, lack of
substantial justification is “impliedly
admitted.” See Cantu v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., No. 18-11409, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91001, at *3
(E.D. Mich. May 31, 2019) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). In addition, the Court does not find any
special circumstance that would make an award unjust. Thus,
Plaintiff is entitled to an award of attorney fees pursuant
to the EAJA.
calculate a reasonable attorney fees award, courts use the
“lodestar” approach, which requires the Court to
multiple a reasonable hourly rate by the reasonable number of
hours worked. See Glass v. Sec'y of Health &
Human Servs., 822 F.2d 19, 21 (6th Cir. 1987). Under the
EAJA, an hourly rate over $125 may be awarded if “the
court determines that an increase in the cost of living or a
special factor, such as the limited availability of qualified
attorneys for the proceedings involved, justifies a higher
fee.” § 2412(d)(2)(A). The prevailing party
“bear[s] the burden of producing appropriate evidence
to support the requested increase.” Bryant v.
Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 578 F.3d 443, 450 (6th Cir.
2009). While the Consumer Price Index alone is insufficient
to satisfy this burden, parties may also rely on affidavits
and attorney qualifications. See Cantu, 2019 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 91001, at *12-13 (citing cases).
request for $5, 700.00 in attorney fees is based on 28.5
hours worked at $200.00 per hour. To support the requested
increase in hourly rate, Plaintiff cites to the cost of
living and the applicable Consumer Price Index for the region
and provides the Court with a summary of Plaintiff's
counsel's relevant experience along with her resume. The
Court finds the requested hourly rate reasonable. Plaintiff
has also provided adequate documentation of the work
performed, and the Court finds the number of hours worked
reasonable. See Id. at *13 (“[i]n a Social
Security appeal, a reasonable expenditure of time for the
representation of a party is between fifteen to thirty
hours”) (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted). Thus, the Court finds Plaintiff's attorney fees
foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's motion for attorney fees
under the EAJA is GRANTED. Plaintiff is awarded $5, ...