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James Y. Herron v. Michael J. Astrue

May 31, 2012

JAMES Y. HERRON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Helen Gillmor United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES UNDER THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT (DOC. 66) AND ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES UNDER THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT (DOC. 65)

Plaintiff James Y. Herron filed an application for disability insurance benefits with the Social Security Administration. An Administrative Law Judge conducted a hearing on the application and concluded that the Plaintiff was not disabled. The Plaintiff appealed the decision to this Court. After carefully considering the evidence, the Court affirmed the Administrative Law Judge's decision and entered judgment for the Commissioner of Social Security.

On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Administrative Law Judge's decision was not supported by substantial evidence. The matter was remanded to the Commissioner to reevaluate the Plaintiff's disability determination.

The Plaintiff filed an application for attorneys' fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412. The Magistrate Judge, upon careful review of the administrative record and the parties' filings, concluded that the Plaintiff was not entitled to attorneys' fees and recommended the Plaintiff's application be denied. The Plaintiff objects to the Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendation.

PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES UNDER THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT" (Doc. 66), filed March 21, 2012, are DENIED.

The Magistrate Judge's FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES UNDER THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT (Doc. 65), filed February 29, 2012, are ADOPTED. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On February 22, 2005, Plaintiff James Y. Herron filed an application for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits. (Administrative Record ("AR") at 52-56.)

On March 7, 2005, Plaintiff's application was denied by the Social Security Commissioner. (AR at 22-26.)

On October 26, 2007, the Appeals Council for the Social Security Administration denied further review of Plaintiff's application and rendered a final administrative decision by the Commissioner of Social Security. (AR at 4-6.)

On December 27, 2007, Plaintiff sought judicial review of the Commissioner of Social Security's final decision to deny Plaintiff Social Security Disability Benefits in this Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). (Complaint, filed October 26, 2007 (Doc. 1).)

On June 20, 2008, Plaintiff filed a Motion For Summary Adjudication (Doc. 15.)

On February 19, 2009, the Magistrate Judge filed "FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION" (Doc. 31).

On June 12, 2009, the Court filed an "ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION, (DOC. 31), AS MODIFIED, TO DENY PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION" (Doc. 35).

On August 24, 2009, Plaintiff filed "NOTICE OF APPEAL" to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. (Doc. 37.)

On December 22, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals filed an order reversing this Court's Order. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case to this Court with instructions to:

[R]emand to the Commissioner for a determination of whether, in light of the above conclusions, Herron has the residual functional capacity to perform his past relevant work as actually performed and/or generally performed in the national economy, and if not, whether he can perform other substantial gainful work in the national economy.

On April 12, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals filed a formal mandate. (Doc. 51.)

On May 11, 2011, the matter was remanded to the Commissioner of Social Security (Doc. 53.)

On July 8, 2011, the Plaintiff filed "PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES UNDER THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT" (Doc. 54).

For several months, the Plaintiff's Application for Attorneys' Fees was delayed while the Court waited for the administrative record.

On February 29, 2012, the Magistrate Judge filed "FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES UNDER THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT" (Doc. 65).

On March 21, 2012, the Court adopted the Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendation, having not received any objections from the parties. (Order Adopting Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendation (Doc. 67).) During the time in which the Court's Order had been submitted to the Clerk's Office for filing, but before the Order had been entered on the CM/ECF docket, the Plaintiff filed "PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES UNDER THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT" (Doc. 66). The Plaintiff's Objections were seven days late. See Local Rule 74.2.

On March 27, 2012, the Plaintiff filed, "PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO VACATE ORDER ADOPTING THE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S RECOMMENDATION TO DENY EAJA PETITION PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE 60(b) OR MOTION TO RECONSIDER PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P. 59(e) AND CONSIDER OBJECTIONS FILED ON MARCH 21, 2012" (Doc. 68).

On April 9, 2012, the Commissioner filed "DEFENDANT'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO VACATE ORDER ADOPTING THE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S RECOMMENDATION TO DENY EAJA PETITION PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE 60(b) OR MOTION TO RECONSIDER PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P. 59(e) AND CONSIDER OBJECTIONS FILED ON MARCH 21, 2012" (Doc. 70).

On April 18, 2012, the Court granted "PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO VACATE ORDER ADOPTING THE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S RECOMMENDATION TO DENY EAJA PETITION PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE 60(b) OR MOTION TO RECONSIDER PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P. 59(e) AND CONSIDER OBJECTIONS FILED ON MARCH 21, 2012" and ordered the Commissioner to file a Response to "PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES UNDER THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT" ...


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