United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, E.D
April 4, 1985
ALPHA SIZEMORE, PLAINTIFF,
MARGARET HECKLER, SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Plunkett, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
With this case we address the controversial issue of whether
or not a terminated social security disability claimant, whose
suit in federal court seeks, as one of two alternative
remedies, a remand order to the Secretary of Health and Human
Services (the "Secretary") for a redetermination of
eligibility, and whose claim is in fact remanded by this court
to the Secretary, is a "prevailing party" and entitled to
attorneys' fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (the
"EAJA"), 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A). For the reasons discussed
below, we find that such an individual is a "prevailing party"
within the meaning of the EAJA. We further find that this
conclusion holds true where, as here, we remanded plaintiff's
claim for inclusion in the Secretary's national moratorium,
announced in April of 1984, which suspended disability review
processes pending the passage of legislation clarifying the
standard for terminating benefits. The Secretary does not
contend, and therefore fails to meet its burden of making a
strong showing, that the agency action giving rise to this
lawsuit was substantially justified. See Natural Resources
Defense Council v. U.S.E.P.A., 703 F.2d 700, 712 (3d Cir.
1983). Hence, plaintiff has satisfied the requirements of the
EAJA and is entitled to an award of attorneys' fees.
On August 7, 1984, plaintiff Alpha Sizemore, invoking this
court's jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), filed a
complaint against the Secretary in which she alleged that the
Secretary wrongfully terminated her eligibility for disability
benefits after a hearing before an administrative law judge and
a review by the Social Security Administration Appeals Council.
Plaintiff alleged that the termination decision was contrary to
law in that the Secretary showed neither medical improvement on
plaintiff's part nor clear error in the original disability
determination, and was not supported by substantial evidence.
Plaintiff requested that this court reverse the Secretary's
finding of ineligibility or, in the alternative, remand the
matter for a rehearing. Plaintiff also moved this court to
remand her case to the Secretary for inclusion in the
Secretary's national moratorium, restoring benefits and
suspending hearings or review for terminated recipients
involved in the administrative appeal process. (The Secretary
did not expressly extend this moratorium to claimants such as
plaintiff with pending civil cases.)
On September 7, 1984, we announced in open court that the
Secretary had failed to apply the proper legal standard, as
set forth by the Seventh Circuit, in determining that
plaintiff was ineligible to continue receiving benefits, and
remanded the case for rehearing. We also ordered the Secretary
to include plaintiff's claim within the moratorium. As a
result, the Secretary restored plaintiffs benefits and delayed
holding a rehearing pending the passage of legislation
prescribing the standard for terminating eligibility. On
October 9, 1984, the Social Security Disability Benefits
Reform Act of 1984, Pub.L. No. 98-460, 98 Stat. 1794-1813
(codified in scattered sections of 42 U.S.C.), became law, and
set forth a "medical improvement" standard similar to that
which plaintiff had alleged in this court that the Secretary
should have applied to her claim. The Secretary has not yet
held plaintiffs rehearing.
Plaintiff has filed an application for attorneys' fees
pursuant to the EAJA. The Secretary opposes the application on
the grounds that plaintiff is not yet at least a "prevailing
party," as required for recovery under the EAJA, because
plaintiff has not been deemed by this court or the Secretary
to be eligible for benefits.
The EAJA provides, in relevant part, as follows:
[A] court shall award to a prevailing party other
than the United States fees and other
expenses . . . incurred by that party in any civil
action [other than cases sounding in tort] brought
by or against the United States in any court having
jurisdiction of that action, unless the court
finds that the position of the United States was
substantially justified or that special
circumstances make an award unjust.
28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A). Although the statute expired by its
own terms on October 1, 1984, it remains applicable to cases
such as this that were commenced before the date of repeal.
Pub.L. No. 96-481 § 204(c); see Berman v. Schweiker,
713 F.2d 1290, 1294 n. 13 (7th Cir. 1983). Furthermore, the statute is
applicable to actions such as this one against an agency
official acting in her official capacity as well as to those
against the United States itself. See
28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(2)(C).
The government does not claim that its position was
substantially justified or that this case falls within the
"special circumstances" provision of the EAJA. Therefore, the
question that determines plaintiff's entitlement to fees under
the EAJA is whether or not plaintiff is a "prevailing party."
A claimant is clearly a prevailing party when a district
court finds that the claimant is entitled to benefits,
reverses the Secretary's determination of non-eligibility and
remands to the Secretary simply for calculation and payment of
benefits. See McGill v. Secretary of HHS, 712 F.2d 28, 30 (2d
Cir. 1983), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 104 S.Ct. 1420, 79
L.Ed.2d 745 (1984); Berman v. Schweiker, 531 F. Supp. 1149, 1153
(N.D.Ill. 1982), aff'd, 713 F.2d 1290 (7th Cir. 1983);
Ruiz-Rivera v. Heckler, No. 83C2987, slip op. at 1 (N.D.Ill.
Mar. 14, 1985). The question on which courts divide is whether
or not a plaintiff prevails when the Secretary is reversed and
the claim is remanded, either for a rehearing because of error
in the original hearing process or for the taking of more
evidence because of insufficient factfinding, without a
judicial finding of eligibility for benefits. Compare, e.g.,
Brown v. Secretary of HHS, 747 F.2d 878, 885 (3d Cir. 1984)
(remand after denial of original application); McGill v.
Secretary of HHS, 712 F.2d at 31-32 (same); with Haney v.
Heckler, No. 82 C 7714, slip op. at 5-11 (N.D.Ill. Sept. 10,
1984) (remand after termination); Gross v. Schweiker,
563 F. Supp. 260, 262 (N.D.Ind. 1983) (remand after denial of
original application); see also cases cited in Brown, 747 F.2d
A number of considerations lead us to favor plaintiff's
contention that she was a prevailing party in this civil
action. The EAJA does not define the term "prevailing party,"
but the plain meaning of the term seemingly extends to a
plaintiff who obtains one of the two alternative forms of
relief sought — a rehearing according to specific guidelines.
The standard definition of "prevailing party" is "[t]he party
to a suit who successfully prosecutes the action or
successfully defends against it, prevailing on the main issue,
even though not necessarily to the extent of his original
contention. The one in whose favor the decision or verdict is
rendered and judgment entered. . . ." Black's Law Dictionary
1069 (5th ed. 1979). In this case, plaintiff succeeded on the
only claim in her complaint, that the Secretary's decision was
contrary to law or not supported by substantial evidence. As
she requested as one alternative for relief, we reversed the
decision of the Secretary and ordered that the legal standard
advocated by plaintiff be applied to plaintiff's claim on
rehearing. Judgment was entered and we retained no jurisdiction
over the matter on remand. Thus, under ordinary standards,
plaintiff prevailed in her lawsuit.
Under this analysis, this case is comparable to Bagby v.
Beal, 606 F.2d 411, 415 (3d Cir. 1979), in which the Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit found that a plaintiff who had
been terminated from employment was a prevailing party under
the Civil Rights Attorneys' Fees Awards Act when the court
ordered a rehearing by the Civil Service Commission in
accordance with the
requirements of due process. In each case, the plaintiff,
while not fulfilling her ultimate goal of reinstatement,
successfully invoked the judicial process to require the
defendant to follow more protective procedures than those that
led to termination.
The Third Circuit in Brown, in rejecting the position
advocated here by plaintiff, attempted to distinguish its
holding in Bagby, reasoning that:
[t]he Constitution does not guarantee anyone an
absolute right to enjoy a protected interest,
such as Mrs. Bagby's employment, but rather,
ensures that one will not be deprived of the
interest without due process of law. In the
procedural due process context, the relief sought
in court is the vindication of the right to be
afforded an opportunity to be heard. In contrast,
claimants such as Brown allege simply that a
denial of an entitlement to benefits was not
based on substantial evidence. Although such a
claimant may request, in the alternative, relief
other than his or her ultimate goal (the receipt
of benefits), it is the receipt of those benefits
that renders a typical Social Security plaintiff
a prevailing party.
Brown, 747 F.2d at 883. We believe the court may have assumed
its conclusion. But even if the Brown reasoning is correct with
regard to remand after denial of an original application for
benefits, as was involved in that case, we do not think a true
distinction exists between the Bagby plaintiff and ours. Like
the state employee in Bagby, a recipient of disability benefits
cannot be terminated from the program without the benefit of
certain procedures and findings. While both plaintiffs may
ultimately be found ineligible, they prevailed on the only
claims they raised — that they had not been accorded their
procedural entitlement. True, the plaintiff in our case
requested more complete relief, in the alternative, than what
this court granted upon finding her claim meritorious. We had
the power to grant the more complete relief, reversal without
remand, if we deemed it appropriate. See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
But since this court could not have granted both forms of
relief requested, and we did grant the relief which we believed
to be the appropriate measure to remedy plaintiff's injury, we
fail to see a reason why plaintiff did not prevail within the
plain meaning of the term.
We turn to the legislative history of the EAJA to determine
whether Congress intended something more restrictive than the
plain meaning of the term. To the contrary, the House Report,
after stating that the term should be interpreted consistently
with the law that has developed under fee shifting statutes,
a point discussed infra, emphasized the expansive reading the
term was meant to be given:
Thus the phrase "prevailing party" should not be
limited to a victor only after entry of judgment
following a full trial on the merits. A party may
be deemed prevailing if he obtains a favorable
settlement of his case . . . or even if he does
not ultimately prevail on all issues, Bradley v.
School Board of the City of Richmond, 416 U.S. 696
[94 S.Ct. 2006, 40 L.Ed.2d 476] (1974).
In cases that are litigated to conclusion, a
party may be deemed "prevailing" for purposes of
a fee award in a civil action prior to the losing
party having exhausted its final appeal. A fee
may thus be appropriate where the party has
prevailed on an interim order which was central
to the case, Parker v. Mathews, 411 F. Supp. 1059,
1064 (D.D.C. 1976), or where an interlocutory
appeal is "sufficiently significant and discrete to
be treated as a separate unit", Van Hoomissen v.
Xerox Corp., 503 F.2d 1131, 1133 (9th Cir. 1974).
H.R.Rep. No. 1418, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. 11, reprinted in 1980
U.S.Code Cong. & Ad. News 4953, 4984, 4990 [hereinafter cited
as House Report].
We have difficulty delineating Congress' precise meaning
from this passage, because several of the cited cases do not
pertain to the propositions for which they are cited.
Moreover, Congress did not address the particular situation at
It is clear, though, that Congress intended fees to be
available at significant junctures of a case prior to the
point at which either party has entirely achieved its ultimate
goals. Thus, for instance, Congress cited with approval the
case of Van Hoomissen v. Xerox Corp., 503 F.2d 1131 (9th Cir.
1974), where the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held
that Xerox was entitled to attorneys' fees under Title VII when
the court dismissed the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission's ("EEOC") appeal of a district court decision
limiting the EEOC's intervention in a Title VII suit against
Xerox to only one of two issues upon which the agency sought to
intervene. The court awarded fees even though Xerox had not
yet, of course, succeeded in defending against the Title VII
claims that remained. The court gave the following analysis
from which the House Report quoted:
Although Xerox "prevailed" on this interlocutory
appeal, it might still lose the principal case
and thus not "prevail." We agree that litigation
should not be dissected to the point that the
losing party be permitted to recover attorney's
fees connected with every procedural motion on
which it prevails. But this interlocutory appeal
is sufficiently significant and discrete to be
treated as a separate unit. Thus, the fact that
Xerox prevailed on this appeal qualifies it as a
"prevailing party" eligible for an award of
attorney's fees connected with this appeal.
Id. at 1133.
The case before us is an even stronger case than
Xerox for granting fees. As discussed, plaintiff prevailed in
full on the merits of her civil case and received a portion of
the relief she requested, which, by its nature, left this court
without jurisdiction to grant the remainder of the relief.
Certainly plaintiff achieved as "significant and discrete" a
victory as did Xerox, in that she succeeded in her claim that
the Secretary's decision was contrary to law and, as she
requested, the Secretary was required to provide her with a new
hearing according to more favorable standards. Whereas Xerox
succeeded only on appeal and only on one procedural fragment of
its defense, plaintiff here succeeded on the merits before the
Admittedly, an argument can be made from the legislative
history of the EAJA which undercuts our analysis. Looking to
the law of fee shifting statutes which existed at the time of
the enactment of the EAJA, and which Congress intended courts
to follow in interpreting the EAJA, see House Report at 11,
courts find that the case of Hanrahan v. Hampton, 446 U.S. 754,
100 S.Ct. 1987, 64 L.Ed.2d 670 (1980) (per curiam) suggests a
contrary result to that which we are suggesting. See e.g.
McGill v. Secretary of HHS, 712 F.2d 28, 31 (2d Cir. 1983),
cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 104 S.Ct. 1420, 79 L.Ed.2d 745
(1984). In Hanrahan, the Supreme Court determined that
plaintiffs were not prevailing parties under the Civil Rights
Attorney's Fees Awards Act when the court of appeals reversed
the district court's directed verdict for the defendants and
remanded the matter for a new trial. The Court found that a
party must establish liability and entitlement to some relief
on the merits in order to prevail for purposes of attorneys'
fees. Id. at 757, 100 S.Ct. at 1989.
We are not certain that Congress meant for
Hanrahan's result to apply to the EAJA. The sentence of the
House Report stating that the law that has developed under fee
shifting statutes should guide courts in interpreting the EAJA
is followed by examples, not of Hanrahan's restrictive view,
but rather of expansive interpretations of the term. ("Thus,
the phrase `prevailing party' should not be limited . . ."
House Report at 11, U.S.Code Cong. & Admin.News 1980, p. 4990).
Among these examples, the House Report cited Xerox in which, as
noted above, the "prevailing party" did not prevail in any
respect on the merits. Therefore, Hanrahan may not govern EAJA
Even if Hanrahan is relevant authority, it does not govern
this case where plaintiff did not achieve simply a remand from
one court to another with the merits of her civil
action undetermined but rather an order on the merits
remanding the matter from the court system to a
non-adversarial agency procedure. The reasons that the
Hanrahan situation is distinguishable from a case such as this
one are thoroughly examined in Haney v. Heckler, No. 82C7714,
slip op. at 8-10 (N.D.Ill. Sept. 10, 1984):
Here, the plaintiff's claims were originally
presented to an executive agency, with an appeal
to the district court for the filing of a new and
separate civil action. The civil action starts in
the district court and is not simply a
continuation of the executive action. Indeed, the
executive action is deemed to be non-adversarial
under the EAJA, . . . and the district courts are
limited to granting fees only for representation
in the district court, and not in the Secretary's
proceedings. . . . By the time the claimant files
the district court action, the Secretary has made
a final decision on her or his case, the
executive action is completed, and a new, civil
suit is started. Similarly, in remanding for
further proceedings, instead of reversing
outright, the district court still finally
decides the issues in its action. . . .
. . . The court has granted most of the relief
requested by finding on the present record that
the Secretary may not terminate plaintiff's
benefits, and by remanding the case. Hence,
plaintiff has prevailed in this civil action in a
way that the plaintiff in Hanrahan . . ., whose
civil complaint requested damages and equitable
relief, did not.
For the foregoing reasons, we believe that the legislative
history of the EAJA supports plaintiff's claim that she is a
prevailing party. The Third Circuit found support for the
contrary position in a recent Senate Report accompanying a
bill to reauthorize the EAJA prior to its repeal. See Brown v.
Secretary of HHS, 747 F.2d 878, 885 n. 8 (3d Cir. 1984). We
believe this report has no persuasive effect. A House bill was
passed in lieu of the Senate bill, CCH Congressional Index,
98th Cong., Senate (1983-84) at 20,506, and was vetoed by the
President on November 9, 1984, id., House (1983-84) at 34,550.
Moreover, the Senate Report did not purport to examine the
meaning of the EAJA as enacted in 1981 but rather to clarify
its future meaning as of 1984. Thus the Report described
departures from the original EAJA, such as coverage of
non-adversarial Social Security hearings, S.Rep. No. 586, 98th
Cong., 2d Sess. 7-8 (1984), as well as intended interpretations
of terms from the old act. Hence, the legislative report is
unpersuasive subsequent history in that it not only represents
the views of a different Congress than the one which enacted
the EAJA applicable to plaintiff's case, see Consumer Product
Safety Commission v. GTE Sylvania Inc., 447 U.S. 102, 118 n.
13, 100 S.Ct. 2051, 2061 n. 13, 64 L.Ed.2d 766 (1980); Oscar
Mayer Co. v. Evans, 441 U.S. 750, 758, 99 S.Ct. 2066, 2072, 60
L.Ed.2d 609 (1979); Teamsters v. United States, 431 U.S. 324,
354 n. 39, 97 S.Ct. 1843, 1864 n. 39, 52 L.Ed.2d 396 (1977);
but it also accompanies a bill which never acquired the force
of law, see Consumer Product Safety Commission, 447 U.S. at 118
n. 13, 100 S.Ct. at 2061 n. 13.
Of course, the legislative history of the original EAJA did
not specifically address the issue raised by this case, so
that our extrapolation involves guesswork. Our guess is
substantiated, though, by the fact that the legislative
purposes of the EAJA are served by granting fees in suits such
as this one. Those purposes were expressed in the House Report
While the influence of the bureaucracy over all
aspects of life has increased, the ability of
most citizens to contest any unreasonable
exercise of authority has decreased. Thus, at the
present time, the Government with its greater
resources and expertise can in effect coerce
compliance with its position. . . .
The exception [to the "American rule" of
attorney's fees] created by [the bill] focuses
primarily on those individuals for whom cost may
be a deterrent to vindicating their rights. The
bill rests on the premise that a party who
chooses to litigate an issue against the
not only representing his or her own vested
interest but is also refining and formulating
House Report at 10, U.S.Code Cong. & Admin.News 1980, p. 4988.
This case exemplifies the concerns underlying the EAJA.
Plaintiff is an indigent woman without income, property, or
savings, who has, since 1973, depended primarily on federal
disability benefits for her support. In 1982, the Social
Security Administration notified her that, upon review of her
case, it found her ineligible and terminated her benefits.
Plaintiff requested and received first a hearing by an
administrative law judge and then a review by the Appeals
Council. At no time during these proceedings was the "medical
improvement" standard applied to determine whether plaintiff's
benefits could be terminated. Plaintiff filed suit in this
court in August of 1984, and in September 1984, nearly two
years after plaintiff stopped receiving benefits, we remanded
the matter to begin the hearing process again.
Regardless of whether or not plaintiff is ultimately deemed
eligible, she has been subjected to a lengthy and wearying
bureaucratic process. Only through her persistence in filing
her claim in the district court is she able to have the agency
apply the proper standard to her case to determine if indeed
she is eligible. By bringing these claims to federal court,
claimants like plaintiff have not only redressed their own
situations, but helped prompt Congress to pass the Social
Security Disability Benefits Act of 1984 which expressly
mandates application of the standard which courts previously
merely inferred. See H.R.Rep. No. 618, 98th Cong., 2d Sess. 11
(1984), U.S. Code Cong. & Admin.News 1984, p. 3038 (agency
policies have come under severe criticism in federal courts
which have ruled that the agency must meet "medical
improvement" standard to terminate recipients.) For these
reasons we believe that granting attorneys' fees to plaintiff
would serve the purposes of the EAJA.
The Third Circuit, in holding that a plaintiff does not
prevail upon remand, admitted concern about the magnitude of
agency error in these cases and the need for plaintiffs to
invoke the aid of federal courts to oversee agency decisions.
See Brown v. Secretary of HHS, 747 F.2d at 881-882. In our
view, the court created a fiction to circumvent its undesirable
conclusion that these plaintiffs are not prevailing parties.
The court claimed that a district court retains jurisdiction
over the remanded claim so that, if the plaintiff is ultimately
deemed eligible, the court can then award fees. See id. at
883-885. The court found authority for retaining jurisdiction
by deferring to the reading of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) advocated by
the Secretary in that case, according to which the Secretary
would be required to return to the district court upon
conclusion of any remand proceeding. Plainly, though, the
language in question in § 405(g) pertains only to cases in
which the basis for remand is the discovery of new and material
evidence. See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) ("The court may . . . at any
time order additional evidence to be taken before the
Secretary, but only upon a showing that there is new evidence
which is material . . .; and the Secretary shall, after the
case is remanded, . . . modify or affirm his findings of fact
or his decision, or both, and shall file with the court any
such additional and modified findings of fact and
decision. . . .") The section of the statute
providing for reversal and remand for rehearing,
under which we remanded this case, does not provide
for such filing of the results of rehearing in the
In fact, we believe that the statement of the Brown court
that "[w]e assume that under this arrangement [of retaining
jurisdiction for EAJA purposes] a district court may mark the
case closed for statistical purposes, even though a final
judgment has not been rendered," Brown, 747 F.2d at 884 n. 6,
belies the claim that the court retains jurisdiction. Our cases
are closed for statistical purposes when judgment has been
entered and the court has disposed of the case.
The Brown system is also illogical because the EAJA does not
time spent during Social Security Administration proceedings.
See House Report at 12. The resulting paradox under Brown is
that plaintiff's eligibility for fees depends on the result of
the very portion of proceedings which is not part of the civil
suit and for which she is ineligible to recover fees.
While we sympathize with Brown's result of not denying fees
altogether, we believe the fiction is unnecessary to the
result. The civil action ends with entry of judgment. What
remains to be done is an administrative, and not a judicial,
function. As the Supreme Court said in F.P.C. v. Idaho Power
Co., 344 U.S. 17, 20, 73 S.Ct. 85, 86, 97 L.Ed. 15 (1952), "the
guiding principle . . . is that the function of a reviewing
court ends where an error of law is laid bare. At that point
the matter once more goes to [the agency] for
reconsideration . . ." (citations omitted). The
decision on remand of whether the plaintiff's
"objective may be achieved" if the proper law is
followed "is an administrative, not a judicial
decision." Id. at 21, 73 S.Ct. at 87 (footnote
omitted). Accordingly, we believe that plaintiff
prevailed in the judicial decision which terminated this civil suit.
Yet another indication leading to this result is that the
Secretary could probably have immediately appealed our remand
order, rather than having to wait to appeal the rehearing
requirement until the agency rendered a decision upon
rehearing. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit asserted
appellate jurisdiction in an appeal from a district court
order like ours and held that where a district court remands
a case to an agency for a new hearing in accordance with
specified guidelines, the order is final and appealable.
Cohen v. Perales, 412 F.2d 44, 48 (5th Cir. 1969), reversed on
other grounds sub nom Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 91
S.Ct. 1420, 28 L.Ed.2d 842 (1971). The Supreme Court as well
asserted jurisdiction over the case on certiorari to the Fifth
Circuit. Id. While the issue is complex, virtually every
circuit has agreed with the Fifth Circuit on facts such as
these. See, e.g., Bender v. Clark, 744 F.2d 1424, 1426-1428
(10th Cir. 1984); Souch v. Califano, 599 F.2d 577, 578 n. 1
(4th Cir. 1979); Lopez Lopez v. Secretary of HEW,
512 F.2d 1155, 1156 (1st Cir. 1975); Gueory v. Hampton, 510 F.2d 1222,
1225 (D.C. Cir. 1974); Jamieson v. Folsom, 311 F.2d 506, 507
(7th Cir.), appeal dismissed and cert. denied, 374 U.S. 487, 83
S.Ct. 1868, 10 L.Ed.2d 1043 (1963). The likelihood that our
order is final and appealable is all the more evidence that the
judicial portion of this matter is completed, and that as
between the parties, it is the plaintiff who prevailed in that
judicial portion, albeit not to the fullest extent she
Our conclusion that plaintiff is a prevailing party is not
altered by the fact that we instructed the Secretary to
include her case in the national moratorium. In so doing, we
ensured that plaintiff's rehearing would be held according to
the standards to be promulgated by Congress and that plaintiff
would be treated as an eligible recipient in the meanwhile.
Thus, she is now receiving procedural protections which she
would not have received without bringing suit to protest the
improper procedure employed by the Secretary in the
For all of the foregoing reasons, plaintiff is entitled to
an award of attorneys' fees under the EAJA. Plaintiff's
attorney, Helen Cropper of the Legal Assistance Foundation of
Chicago, has submitted an affidavit requesting $1,691.25 and
detailing what she computes to be 21.55 hours of work at a
requested rate of $75.00 per hour. While this request is
reasonable, according to our mathematics the figures are
incorrect. The hours billed total 23.35, rather than Cropper's
total of 21.55. Then again, multiplying her total of 21.55 by
the hourly rate of $75.00, we arrive at a product of
$1,616.25, rather than Cropper's submission of $1,691.25.
Because we cannot tell wherein the errors lie, Cropper should
submit a corrected version of her requested bill upon which we
will rule by mail.
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