itemized statement of counsel's hours, rates and expenses. In Eleven Vehicles III, the Court did not discuss the issue of claimants' expenses, but did award claimants attorney's fees and denied claimants an award of costs. Eleven Vehicles III, 937 F. Supp. at 1149-54. To the extent that the Court did not rule on the request for payment of claimants' expenses, the Court will treat claimants' request as a motion for reconsideration.
An award of costs to a claimant is expressly prohibited where the Court issues a certificate that there was reasonable cause for the seizure. 28 U.S.C. § 2465. Here, since the Court issued a certificate of reasonable cause to the government, the claimants are not entitled to costs.
The statute, however, is silent as to attorneys' fees and expenses. The Court earlier found that the statute does not preclude an award of attorneys' fees. Id. at 1149 (citing United States v. One Parcel of Real Estate, 864 F. Supp. 1267, 1269 (S.D. Fla. 1994); 255 Broadway, 795 F. Supp. at 1234).
It is clear that the EAJA distinguishes between expenses and costs. As the Eleventh circuit observed "the EAJA authorizes the recovery of three types of litigation expenditures . . . costs . . . fees and other expenses." Jean v. Nelson, 863 F.2d 759, 776-77 (11th Cir. 1988), aff'd sub nom., Commissioner, I.N.S. v. Jean, 496 U.S. 154, 110 L. Ed. 2d 134, 110 S. Ct. 2316 (1990). The Jean court read the EAJA definition that "'fees and other expenses include the reasonable expenses of expert witnesses, the reasonable cost of any study, analysis, engineering report, test or project which is found by the court to be necessary for the preparation of the party's case, and reasonable attorney fees. . . ,'" as an attempt by Congress "to enlarge, rather than contract, the category of expenses that are reimbursable under the EAJA." 863 F.2d at 777-78 (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(2)(A)). The court thus "rejected the government's argument that telephone, reasonable travel, postage, and computerized research expenses are not compensable under the EAJA." Id. at 778. See also International Woodworkers of America v. Donovan, 792 F.2d 762, 767 (9th Cir. 1986) (finding that expenses routinely billed to a client such as telephone calls, postage, air courier and attorney travel, are recoverable under the EAJA); The Taylor Group v. Johnson, 919 F. Supp. 1545, 1555 (M.D. Ala. 1996) (finding that compensable expenses include telephone, reasonable travel, postage, and computerized research expenses).
The Court finds that 28 U.S.C. § 2465 does not bar an award for claimants' expenses under the EAJA. Therefore, the claimants' request for an award of expenses, interpreted by the Court as a motion for reconsideration, is granted. The claimants are awarded reasonable expenses in the amount of $ 7,963.81.
An appropriate order follows.
AND NOW this 30th day of May 1997, upon consideration of claimants' motion for reconsideration and supporting memoranda (doc. nos. 161 & 168), and government's response thereto (doc. no. 166), government's motion for reconsideration and supporting memorandum (doc. no. 162), and claimants' response thereto (doc. no. 165), claimants' motion for cost of living adjustment for attorney's fees and supporting memoranda (doc. nos. 160 & 164), claimants' itemized statement of counsel's hours, rates and expenses and supporting affidavits and documentation (doc. no. 163), and government's objections thereto and supplemental memoranda (doc. nos. 171 & 172), and claimants' reply to the government's objection (doc. no. 174).
For the reasons contained in the accompanying memorandum, it is ORDERED that the motions for reconsideration are DENIED ; the claimant's motion for a cost of living adjustment is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART ; the government's objections to claimants itemized statement of attorney's fees and expenses are SUSTAINED IN PART and OVERRULED IN PART ; and the claimants' request for expenses, interpreted by the Court as a motion for reconsideration, is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
It is FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d), claimants are awarded attorney's fees of $ 142,643.76, for 1182 hours at a rate of $ 120.68 per hour, and expenses of $ 7,963.81.
AND IT IS SO ORDERED.
EDUARDO C. ROBRENO, J.