You're viewing Docket Item 43 from the case Bouchette v. Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. View the full docket and case details.

Download this document:




4:12-cv-01416-TER Date Filed 11/05/13 Entry Number 43 Page 1 of 2

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA

FLORENCE DIVISION

MARK E. BOUCHETTE,

Plaintiff,

v.

CAROLYN W. COLVIN,1 ACTING
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
SECURITY,


Defendant.

_______________________________________

ORDER

) CIVIL ACTION 4:12-1416-TER
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)

On September 25, 2013, the Plaintiff filed a motion for attorney’s fees pursuant to the Equal

Access to Justice Act (“EAJA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2412(d). On November 4, 2013, Defendant filed a

response stating that Defendant does not object to the amount of EAJA fees requested and agrees

to pay Plaintiff $5,032.26 in attorney fees pursuant to EAJA.2

1 Carolyn W. Colvin became the Acting Commissioner of Social Security on February 14,
2013. Pursuant to Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Carolyn W. Colvin should be
substituted for Michael J. Astrue as the Defendant in this suit. No further action need be taken to
continue this suit by reason of the last sentence of section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, 42
U.S.C. § 405(g).

2 Even though Plaintiff did not specifically request a contrary arrangement, Defendant requests
that the fee award should be paid directly to Plaintiff, not Plaintiff's counsel, despite the fact that
Plaintiff submitted an affidavit stating he was assigning his entitlement to a fee under the EAJA to
his attorney. This issue was addressed recently in Payton v. Astrue, 2012 WL 1859193 (D.S.C. May
22, 2012), in which the court held the following:

Defendant did not object to this calculation of the fee. Defendant does object to
Payton's request that fees be awarded directly to her attorney. Payton signed an
affidavit that assigns all fees awarded under the EAJA to her attorney. However, the
Supreme Court has recently held that the EAJA requires attorney's fees to be awarded
directly to the litigant. See Astrue v. Ratliff, –––U.S. ––––, ––––, 130 S.Ct. 2521,

4:12-cv-01416-TER Date Filed 11/05/13 Entry Number 43 Page 2 of 2

Therefore, it is

ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for attorney’s fees (doc. #36) is granted, and Plaintiff is

awarded attorney fees pursuant to EAJA in the amount of $5,032.26.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

November 5, 2013
Florence, South Carolina

s/Thomas E. Rogers, III
Thomas E. Rogers, III
United States Magistrate Judge

2527, 177 L.Ed.2d 91 (2010) (“EAJA fees are payable to litigants and are thus subject
to offset where a litigant has outstanding federal debts.”); Stephens v. Astrue, 565
F.3d 131, 139 (4th Cir.2009) (same). In addition, this court has held that EAJA fees
are payable to the plaintiff even where she has attached an affidavit assigning her
rights in the fee award to counsel. See Washington v. Astrue, No. 08–2631, 2010 WL
3023048, at *5 (D.S.C. July 29, 2010). Therefore, the court grants attorney's fees to
plaintiff, not her attorney, . . .

Payton v. Astrue, 2012 WL 1859193, * 3, n. 3. Thus, any requests by Plaintiff that the court order
the EAJA fees be paid directly to his attorney would be improper.

2