United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES PURSUANT TO
42 U.S.C. § 406(B)
HONORABLE KENLY KIYA KATO United States Magistrate Judge
Rosa Talamantes-Lopez (“Plaintiff's”)
counsel, Monica Perales of the Law Offices of Lawrence D.
Rohlfing (“Counsel”), filed a Motion for Attorney
Fees Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 406(b)
(“Motion”). The Motion seeks an award in the
amount of $15, 702.00 for representing Plaintiff in an action
to obtain disability insurance benefits and supplemental
social security income with a refund to Plaintiff of $2,
500.00 for the Equal Access to Justice Act
(“EAJA”) fees previously awarded.
parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned
United States Magistrate Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(c). For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the
1, 2015, Plaintiff filed the Complaint in this action.
See ECF Docket No. (“Dkt.”) 1, Compl.
Plaintiff alleged the Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration (“Defendant”) improperly denied
Plaintiff's applications for disability insurance
benefits and supplemental social security income.
Id. at 2. On February 26, 2016, the Court found
Defendant erred in denying Plaintiff benefits and entered
Judgment reversing and remanding the case to Defendant for
further administrative proceedings. Dkt. 19, Judgment.
6, 2016, the Court issued an order approving the Parties'
stipulation for award of EAJA fees to Counsel in the amount
of $2, 500.00. Dkt. 21, Order Granting EAJA Fees.
remand, Defendant stated she would withhold $15, 702.00 as
twenty-five percent of Plaintiff's past due benefits
“to pay the approved representative's fee.”
Dkt. 22-3, Notice of Award at 3.
1, 2018, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 406(b) (“Section
406(b)”), Counsel filed the instant Motion seeking the
amount of $15, 702.00 for representing Plaintiff in the
underlying proceedings before the Court. Dkt. 22, Mot. at 1.
Counsel states 24.35 hours of attorney time and 4.10 hours of
paralegal time were expended on Plaintiff's case, Dkt.
22-4, Itemized Hours, and seeks compensation pursuant to a
contingency fee agreement stating Counsel would receive
“25% of the backpay awarded upon reversal of an
unfavorable ALJ decision, ” Dkt. 22-1, Contingency Fee
Agreement. Additionally, Counsel seeks an order to
“reimburse [Plaintiff] the amount of $2, 500.00 for
EAJA fees previously paid by the Commissioner.” Dkt.
22, Mot. at 1.
1, 2018, Plaintiff was served with the Motion and informed
she had a right to file a response to the Motion. Dkt. 22,
Mot. at 2, 11. However, Plaintiff failed to file a response.
On May 14, 2018, Defendant filed a Response to the Motion
stating she has “no objection to the fee.” Dkt.
23, Response at 2. Thus, the Court deems this matter
to Section 406(b):
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 . . . certify the