United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES ECF NO. 55, 57
STANLEY A. BOONE,
On January 26, 2015, Plaintiff Jennifer Teran ("Plaintiff") filed a motion for attorneys' fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 406(b). (ECF No. 55.) Plaintiff filed an amended motion for attorneys' fees on February 4, 2015. (ECF No. 57.) Defendant Commissioner of Social Security ("Defendant" or "Commissioner") filed responsive statements on January 27, 2015 and February 6, 2015. (ECF Nos. 56, 58.)
For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants Plaintiff's motion for attorney's fees.
Plaintiff applied for benefits under the Social Security Act on December 28, 2006. (AR 122-24.) Administrative Law Judge Michael J. Kopicki ("the ALJ") denied Plaintiff's application on May 13, 2009. (AR 70-82.) The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review on August 8, 2009. (AR 7-9.)
On December 29, 2009, Plaintiff filed her complaint seeking judicial review of the denial of her Social Security benefits application. (ECF No. 1.) On February 3, 2011, this Court issued its order denying Plaintiff's appeal. (ECF No. 24.) On March 21, 2011, Plaintiff appealed this Court's order denying her appeal. (ECF No. 26.) On November 20, 2012, the Ninth Circuit granted Plaintiff's appeal, reversed the district court's order and instructed this Court to remand this action to the Commissioner with instructions to award Plaintiff benefits. (ECF No. 31.) The Ninth Circuit found that the ALJ failed to give clear and convincing reasons for his adverse credibility finding and failed to give clear and convincing reasons to reject the medical opinion of Dr. Watrous.
On March 20, 2013, Plaintiff filed a motion for attorneys' fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412, et seq. (ECF No. 39.) The Court denied the motion on June 3, 2013. (ECF No. 45.) The Ninth Circuit affirmed the denial on October 17, 2014. (ECF No. 52.)
Plaintiff now moves for attorneys' fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 406(b). (ECF Nos. 55, 57.)
Fees for representation of individuals claiming Social Security disability benefits are governed by 42 U.S.C. § 406. Section 406(b) governs fees for representation in court and states, in pertinent part:
(b) Fees for representation before court (1)(A) Whenever a court renders a judgment favorable to a claimant under this subchapter who was represented before the court by an attorney, the court may determine and allow as part of its judgment a reasonable fee for such representation, not in excess of 25 percent of the total of the past-due benefits to which the claimant is entitled by reason of such judgment, and the Commissioner of Social Security may, notwithstanding the provisions of section 405(i) of this title, but subject to subsection (d) of this section, certify the amount of such fee for payment to such attorney out of, and not in addition to, the amount of ...