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Case: 2:12-cv-00189-JMV Doc #: 24 Filed: 07/23/13 1 of 2 PageID #: 641

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI

DELTA DIVISION

LISA KAY MADRU

VS.

COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
SECURITY

CIVIL ACTION NO.: 2:12CV00189-JMV

PLAINTIFF

DEFENDANT

ORDER AWARDING ATTORNEY FEES

Before the court is the claimant’s petition [21] for attorney fees pursuant to the Equal

Access to Justice Act (“EAJA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2412, and costs from the Judgment Fund. In these

proceedings, the claimant sought judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner of

Social Security, denying a claim for benefits. By Judgment [20] dated June 4, 2013, the court

remanded this case to the Commissioner for further proceedings. The claimant now seeks

attorney fees in the amount of $4,742.50 (representing 27.1 hours of attorney time at a rate of

$175/hr) under the EAJA on the grounds that she was the prevailing party and the Commis-

sioner’s position was not “substantially justified.” The claimant also seeks $165.00 in costs to

be paid from the Judgment Fund for mileage. Additionally, the claimant requests that the sums

be paid to her attorney pursuant to an assignment of EAJA fees. The Commissioner does not

oppose the claimant’s request for attorney fees and mileage; however, Defendant insists that the

mileage constitutes an “expense” under the EAJA and, thus, is not payable from the Judgment

Fund. Additionally, the Commissioner asserts that the EAJA award should be made payable to

the claimant, not her attorney.

The court has considered the claimant’s motion and supporting documentation and the

record of this case and finds that the fee request is reasonable. Additionally, the court has

considered the applicable law and finds that the mileage expense requested by Plaintiff is

appropriately payable from SSA appropriations, not the Judgment Fund. See 28 U.S.C. §

2412(d)(4) and 31 U.S.C. § 1304. Accordingly, the only remaining issue is whether the award

should be paid to the claimant or to her attorney.

Case: 2:12-cv-00189-JMV Doc #: 24 Filed: 07/23/13 2 of 2 PageID #: 642

In Astrue v. Ratliff, 130 S.Ct. 2521, 2528-29 (2010), the Supreme Court held that EAJA

fees are payable to litigants. Ratliff, 130 S.Ct. at 2528.1 Therefore, based on this authority the

court finds it is appropriate to direct that payment be made to the claimant.2

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the claimant’s motion for payment of attorney

fees and expenses is hereby GRANTED in part, and the Commissioner shall pay the claimant a

total of $4,907.50 for the benefit of her attorney.

THIS, the 23rd day of July, 2013.

/s/ Jane M. Virden
U. S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

1The result is that attorney fees awards are subject to offset where the claimant has outstanding

federal debts. Ratliff, 130 S.Ct. at 2528.

2As indicated in the Commissioner’s response, however, once this order is entered and after

Defendant has received confirmation that the claimant does not owe a debt to the Government, Defendant
will issue payment to the claimant’s attorney pursuant to the assignment of EAJA fees.

2