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Scarborough v. Principi

Docket No.: 02-1657
Certiorari Granted: Sep 30 2003
Argued: February 23, 2004
Decided: May 3, 2004

Topics:

Equal Access to Justice, Attorneys, Attorneys' Fees, Civil Procedure, Civil Rights Act, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Clean Air Act, EPA, Equal Access to Justice, False Claims Act, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Title VII, racial discrimination, sovereign immunity

PartyNames: Randall C. Scarborough v. Anthony J. Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Petitioner: Randall C. Scarborough
Respondent: Anthony J. Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Citation: CA Fed, 319 F.3d 1346 QUESTION PRESENTED In December 2001, in an earlier appeal in this case, the United States Courtof Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that an attorney's fee application under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d), is jurisdictionallybarred if the fee applicant does not allege, within the statute's 30-day limitations period, that the position of the United States lacked substantial justification, even when the application itself is timely filed and the applicant promptly amends the application to supply the allegation. The Federal Circuitacknowledged that its holding directly conflicted with decisions of other
Supreme Court Docket

Randall C. Scarborough
v.
Anthony J. Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs
541 U.S. 401 (2004)
Question:

May someone who won a suit against the government and applied for repayment of attorney's fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act amend his application to assert that the government's position in the suit was not "substantially justified"?

Note:

. CA Fed, 319 F.3d 1346 QUESTION PRESENTED In December 2001, in an earlier appeal in this case, the United States Courtof Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that an attorney's fee application under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d), is jurisdictionallybarred if the fee applicant does not allege, within the statute's 30-day limitations period, that the position of the United States lacked substantial justification, even when the application itself is timely filed and the applicant promptly amends the application to supply the allegation. The Federal Circuitacknowledged that its holding directly conflicted with decisions of other circuits. On June 17, 2002, this Co urt granted a petition for a writ of certiorari, vacated the Federal Circuit's decision, and remanded in light ofEdelman v. Lynchburg College, 122 S. Ct. 1145 (2002). In a nearly verbatim reprise of its earlier ruling, the Federal Circuit again held the fee applicationjurisdictionally barred. That court ag ain acknowledged the circuit split and then found Edelman inapposite. The question presented is the same as that presented in the earlier petition to this Court: Whether, or in what circumstances, an applicant for attorney's feesunder the Equal Access to Justice Act is barred from obtaining a fee award by the Act's 30-day statute of limitations solely because theapplicant's timely-filed fee applicatio n did not initially allege that the position of the government in the underlying litigation lacked substantial justification. CERT. GRANTED: 9/30/03

Scarborough v. Principi
ORAL ARGUMENT

February 23, 2004

Holding: reversed and remanded
Decision: Decision: 7 votes for Scarborough, 2 vote(s) against
Vote: 7-2
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