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Santos v. Colvin

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

January 9, 2014

ALEXIS SANTOS, Plaintiff,
v.
APPLICATION FOR ATTORNEY FEES, CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner of COSTS Social Security, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR ATTORNEY FEES, COSTS AND OTHER EXPENSES PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 2412

KAREN L. STROMBOM, Magistrate Judge.

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73 and Local Rule MJR 13, the parties have consented to have this matter heard by the undersigned Magistrate Judge. This matter comes before the Court on plaintiff's filing of an application for attorney fees, costs and other expenses pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act ("EAJA"), 28 U.S.C. § 2412. See ECF #17. After reviewing plaintiff's application, defendant's response to that application, plaintiff's reply thereto, and the remaining record, the Court finds that for the reasons set forth below plaintiff's application should be granted.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On September 13, 2012, plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court seeking judicial review of defendant's decision to deny his application for disability insurance benefits. See ECF #1. In his opening brief, plaintiff argued defendant's decision should be reversed and remand for an award of benefits, or in the alternative for further administrative proceedings, because the ALJ erred:

(1) in finding plaintiff's hypertension and sleep apnea were not severe impairments;

(2) in evaluating the opinions of Gary Gaffield, D.O., James Parker, M.D., and Kristine S. Harrison, Psy.D.;
(3) in discounting plaintiff's credibility;
(4) in failing to adopt all of the mental limitations found by Michael L. Brown, Ph.D., Patricia Kraft, Ph.D., and Leslie Postovoit, Ph.D., in assessing plaintiff's residual functional capacity ("RFC");
(5) in failing to resolve the inconsistency between the vocational expert'stestimony identifying the jobs of laundry worker, warehouse laborer, mailroom clerk, and office helper that could be performed and the descriptions of those jobs contained in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles with respect to the limitation to simple, repetitive work assessed by the ALJ; and
(6) in failing to consider the vocational impact of the need to accommodate plaintiff's use of a service dog.

See ECF #15; see also ECF #12. On September 12, 2013, the Court issued an order reversing and remanding defendant's decision to deny benefits for further administrative proceedings, agreeing that the ALJ erred: (a) by failing to properly take into consideration all of the mental limitations found by Drs. Brown, Kraft and Postovoit in assessing plaintiff's RFC; (b) by failing to properly consider the vocational impact of plaintiff's use of a service dog; and (c) in finding plaintiff to be capable of performing the job of mailroom clerk. See ECF #15.

On December 10, 2013, plaintiff filed her application for attorney fees, costs and expenses pursuant to the EAJA, requesting attorney fees in the amount of $6, 377.00, costs in the amount of $350.00 and other expenses in the amount of $17.85. See ECF #17. On December 23, 2013, defendant filed her response to plaintiff's application, arguing plaintiff's application should be denied on the basis that the government's position was substantially justified. See ECF #20. As plaintiff has filed her reply to defendant's response (see ECF #21), plaintiff's application is now ripe for the Court's review.

DISCUSSION

The EAJA provides in ...


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