Requesting Attorneys' Fees Under the Equal Access to Justice Act

Requesting Attorneys' Fees Under the Equal Access to Justice Act

August 14, 2020

The Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) authorizes payment by the government of attorneys’ fees and costs for successful federal court litigation against the government. A successful litigant who establishes eligibility under EAJA is entitled to a fee award for litigating both the case and the fee motion. Fees and costs under EAJA are assessed without regard to whether or how much money, if any, the client actually paid his or her attorney. As such, attorneys who take cases on a pro bono or “low bono” basis may seek reimbursement under EAJA.

In the immigration context, EAJA fees generally are available in petitions for review, mandamus actions, Administrative Procedure Act suits, habeas corpus actions, and naturalization actions.

This advisory addresses the deadline and venue for filing an EAJA motion, statutory requirements, fee calculations, and fee assignments.

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