This bill seeks to make changes to the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). The EAJA "awards costs of litigation and attorney’s fees when a citizen, non-profit organization, or small business wins a case involving the federal government AND can show that the federal government’s position was not 'substantially justified.'"
Specifically, this bill would:
-restrict awards of fees and other expenses under EAJA to prevailing parties with a direct and personal interest in an adjudication, including because of medical costs, property damage, determination of benefits, an unpaid disbursement, and other expenses of adjudication, or because of a policy interest.
Require (currently, authorizes) the reduction or denial of an award if the party during the course of the proceedings engaged in conduct which unduly or unreasonably (currently, unduly and unreasonably) protracted the final resolution of the matter in controversy.
-increase to $200 per hour the cap on attorney fees awarded under EAJA while at the same time eliminating the cost-of-living and special factor considerations for allowing an increase in the hourly rate for such fees, and;
-eliminate the net worth exemption for determining eligibility for using the EAJA. Currently, the EAJA is limited to organizations with a net worth less than $7 million. This bill would extend that $7 million limitation to ALL entities associated with the person, organization or entity involved in the court case in question.