I-4-9-35.Equal Access to Justice Act

Last Update: 1/12/16 (Transmittal I-4-49)

Before the enactment of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) (28 U.S.C. § 2412), some individuals believed that because of the greater resources and expertise of a government agency, persons were often deterred from seeking review of, or defending against, adverse government actions. EAJA was enacted as a way for individuals to obtain reimbursement of expenses incurred during court and certain administrative proceedings involving government agencies.

Under EAJA, a person is eligible for reimbursement of legal fees and other expenses when the person prevails against the agency in an adversarial adjudication and the position of the agency was not substantially justified. However, EAJA does not apply when a person prevails against the agency but a court finds the position of the agency was substantially justified or that special circumstances would make an award unjust.

Payments allowed under the provisions of EAJA will be made from the agency's administrative expense account.

For further information, see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law manual I-1-2-91.