United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES [ECF,
U.S.DISTRICT JUDGE JENNIFER A. DORSEY
Salvati-Bryant brought this action for judicial review of the
Commissioner of Social Security's final decision denying
her request for disability insurance benefits under 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g). On the parties' stipulation, I
remanded the matter for further administrative proceedings
under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) with
instructions to vacate the prior ruling and reconsider the
disability claim. Salvati-Bryant now moves for attorney fees
and costs under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), 28
U.S.C. § 2412. I grant Salvati-Bryant's motion and
award her $5, 300 in fees and costs.
EAJA authorizes courts to “award to a prevailing party
other than the United States fees and other expenses . . .
incurred by that party in any civil action . . . unless the
court finds that the position of the United States was
substantially justified or that special circumstances make an
award unjust.” The district court has discretion to award
attorney fees under the EAJA with no limit aside from a
statutory hourly-rate cap.
that Salvati-Bryant qualifies for attorney fees and costs
under the EAJA because she is the prevailing party, and I do
not find special circumstances that would make an award
unjust-indeed, her motion is unopposed. So I
consider the reasonableness of her request using the lodestar
method. “To calculate the lodestar amount,
the court multiplies ‘the number of hours reasonably
expended on the litigation . . . by a reasonable hourly
rate.'” “Many district courts have noted
that twenty to forty hours is the range most often requested
and granted in social security cases.” But this range is
not a “de facto policy, ” and a
“determination will always depend on case-specific
factors including, among others, the complexity of the legal
issues, the procedural history, the size of the record, and
when counsel was retained.”
statutory cap for attorney fees under 28 U.S.C. §
2412(d)(2)(A) is adjusted for inflation and is capped at
$196.79 per hour for work performed in 2017.
Salvati-Bryant's attorney requests an hourly rate of
$195.95,  which falls within the statutory cap. I
find that 26.2 hours is reasonable. Counsel successfully
obtained a remand of the Commissioner's decision denying
Salvati-Bryant's benefits, but that agreement came only
after counsel filed her motion to remand. In light of the
detailed remand motion and its successful effect, I find that
26.2 hours was a reasonable time expenditure in this case. So
I award Salvati-Bryant $4, 900 in fees.
28 U.S.C. § 2412(a)(1) gives me the authority to award
“a judgment for costs . . . to the prevailing party in
any civil action brought by or against the United States or
any agency or any official of the United States acting in his
or her official capacity in any court having jurisdiction of
such action.” Salvati-Bryant seeks $400 for filing
fees, mailing costs, and printing and binding costs. I find
these costs are awardable, and I also award Salvati-Bryant
her $400 in costs.
with good cause appearing and no reason to delay, IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED that Salvati-Bryant's motion for attorney
fees [ECF No. 22] is GRANTED. The Clerk of
Court is directed to enter judgment in favor of
Salvati-Bryant and against the Commissioner in the amount of
$5, 300, less any applicable processing fees allowed by
 ECF No. 22 at 2.
 ECF No. 19.
 ECF No. 22.