United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES PURSUANT TO
42 U.S.C. § 406(B)
KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Bartholomew W. (“Plaintiff”)'s counsel,
Monica Perales of the Law Offices of Lawrence D. Rohlfing
(“Counsel”), filed a Motion for Attorney Fees
(“Motion”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 406(b)
(“Section 406(b)”). The Motion seeks an award of
$20, 000.00 for representing Plaintiff in an action to obtain
disability insurance benefits with a refund to Plaintiff of
$2, 816.40 for the Equal Access to Justice Act
(“EAJA”) fees previously awarded. The 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 Motion.
December 16, 2016, 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 Title II Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and Title XVI
Supplemental Security Income Benefits (“SSI”).
Id. at 2. On September 25, 2017, the Court approved
the parties' Stipulation to Voluntary Remand and remanded
the action to Defendant for further proceedings. Dkt. 23,
November 27, 2017, the Court issued an order approving the
Parties' stipulation of EAJA fees to Counsel in the
amount of $2, 816.40. Dkt. 25, Order Granting EAJA Fees.
August 16, 2019, Counsel filed the instant Motion pursuant to
Section 406(b) seeking the amount of $20, 000.00 for
representing Plaintiff in the underlying proceedings before
the Court. Dkt. 26, Mot. at 1. Counsel states she expended
15.4 hours of attorney and paralegal time on Plaintiff's
case. Dkt. 26 at 12-13, Declaration of Monica Perales
(“Perales Decl.”), ¶ 5, Ex. 4, Itemized
Hours. Counsel seeks compensation pursuant to a contingency
fee agreement dated November 6, 2017 stating, “If this
matter requires judicial review of any adverse decision of
the Social Security Administration, the fee for successful
prosecution of this matter is a separate 25% of the
past due benefits awarded upon reversal of any unfavorable
ALJ decision for work before the court.”
Perales Decl. ¶ 2, Ex. 1, Contingency Fee Agreement
(emphasis in original). Additionally, Counsel seeks an order
to “reimburse [Plaintiff] the amount of the $2, 816.40
for EAJA fees previously paid by the Commissioner.”
Dkt. 26, Mot. at 1.
August 19, 2019, Counsel served Plaintiff with the Motion and
informed him of his right to file a response to the Motion.
Dkt. 26, Mot. at 2, 14. Plaintiff, however, failed to
respond. On August 28, 2019, Defendant filed a response to
the Motion stating Defendant “takes no position on the
reasonableness of the request.” Dkt. 27 at 5. Thus, the
Court deems this matter submitted.