United States District Court, D. Minnesota
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. Magnuson United States District Court Judge
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Attorney's Fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act
(“EAJA”). (Docket No. 32.) Plaintiff Haji S.
requests that the Court order the Government to pay his
requested fees and costs.
full factual background is set forth in the Report and
Recommendation and this Court's previous Order and will
not be repeated here. (Docket Nos. 15, 23.) In sum, this
Court granted in part Plaintiff's Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus on July 18, 2019, and ordered that an
Immigration Judge conduct a bond hearing within 30 days.
(Docket No. 23.) The Immigration Judge released Plaintiff on
bond. Because Plaintiff prevailed in that action, he requests
$5, 163.75, which represents 25 hours and six minutes of
attorney time, claiming that these fees and expenses are
reasonable, necessary, and recoverable under the EAJA.
(Docket Nos. 33 at 14, 34-1.)
contend that their position advocating detention under 8
U.S.C. § 1226(c) was substantially justified under the
facts and law, and thus it is inappropriate to award fees to
Equal Access to Justice Act states that “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 . . . including proceedings for judicial review of
agency action, brought by or against the United States in any
court having jurisdiction of that action . . . .” 28
U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A). “The EAJA renders the
United States liable for attorney's fees for which it
would not otherwise be liable, and thus amounts to a partial
waiver of sovereign immunity. Any such waiver must be
strictly construed in favor of the United States.”
Ardestani v. I.N.S., 502 U.S. 129, 137 (1991). An
award of attorney's fees under the EAJA is unavailable,
however, if the agency's actions were
“substantially justified or that special circumstances
make an award unjust.” Id. at 132 (quoting 5
U.S.C. § 504(a)(1)). “Substantially justified
means justified to a degree that could satisfy a reasonable
person or having a reasonable basis in law and fact.”
Koss v. Sullivan, 982 F.2d 1226, 1229 (8th Cir.
1993) (quoting Pierce v. Underwood, 487 U.S. 552,
566 n. 2 (1988) (internal quotation marks omitted)). The
Government bears the burden to prove that its position was
substantially justified. Muse v. Barr, No. 18cv54,
2019 WL 4254676, at *1 (D. Minn. Sept. 9, 2019) (Schiltz, J.)
(citing Friends of Boundary Waters Wilderness v.
Thomas, 53 F.3d 881, 885 (8th Cir. 1995)).
1226(c) dictates that certain removable aliens are to remain
detained throughout removal proceedings. Jennings v.
Rodriguez, 138 S.Ct. 830, 846 (2018). Detention of a
removable alien is not limitless, however, as this Court
found in ordering Defendants to provide Plaintiff with a bond
hearing. But no bright-line rule exists to deem a certain
length of detention automatically unreasonable.
Abdulkadir A. v. Sessions, No. 18cv2353, 2018 WL
7048363, at *10, (D. Minn. Nov. 13, 2018) (Bowbeer, M.J.), R.
& R. adopted, 2019 WL 201761 (D. Minn. Jan. 15, 2019)
(Brasel, J.). In light of existing law, the Government was
justified to advocate for continued detention under §
1226(c). See Denmore v. Kim, 538 U.S. 510, 531
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's
Motion for Attorney's Fees (Docket No. 32) is
 This District has adopted the policy
of using only the first name and last initial of any
nongovernmental parties in immigration ...