Sakhawati v.Lynch

Sakhawati, a citizen of Bangladesh, was apparently admitted to the U.S. in 1998, using a passport issued to Nessa. She travelled to Canada and was denied refugee status there in 2003. She was granted asylum and withholding of removal in the U.S. under the name Sakhawati in 2006 after testifying to being kidnapped, forced to marry, and targeted for promoting feminist political views inside Bangladesh. In 2007, DHS appealed and moved to reopen, based on new information showing that that Sakhawati had actually been residing in Canada during the time that she was allegedly being held captive in Bangladesh. On remand, the IJ denied Sakhawati relief, and ordered her removed to Bangladesh. The Sixth Circuit vacated and remanded; a DHS official exercising due diligence could have readily discovered the existence of the Nessa alien file and presented it at Sakhawati’s original hearing. Sakhawati then sought Attorney Fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. 2412(d). Sakhawati’s counsel, billing at an hourly rate of $190.28, sought $21,248.37 in attorney fees, legal-assistance fees, and expenses for 104.85 hours claimed to have been spent on the matter prior to the Application for Attorney Fees, plus an additional $1,908.20 for 10.00 hours spent preparing the Application and responding to the opposition. The Sixth Circuit awarded a total of $15,653.76 in attorney fees, legal-assistance fees, and expenses. View "Sakhawati v.Lynch" on Justia Law