U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 29, 2022

§ 14.50 - Definitions.

Act. The Equal Access to Justice Act, 5 U.S.C. 504,title. L. 96-481, as amended by Pub. L. 99-80.

Adjudicative officer. The Administrative Law Judge, Administrative Judge of the HUD Office of Hearings and Appeals, or other officer designated by the Secretary, who presided at the adversary adjudication.

Adversary adjudication. (a) An adjudication under 5 U.S.C. 554 in which the position of the United States is represented by counsel or otherwise, but not including an adjudication for the purpose of establishing or fixing a rate or for the purpose of granting or renewing a license; and

(b) Appeals of decisions of contracting officers made pursuant to section 6 of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (41 U.S.C. 605) before agency boards of contract appeals as provided in section 8 of that Act (41 U.S.C. 607).

Agency counsel (a) When the position of the Department is being represented, the attorney or attorneys designated by the Department's General Counsel to represent the Department in a proceeding covered by this part, and

(b) When the position of another agency of the United States is being represented, the representative as designated by that agency.

Department. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the organizational unit within the Department responsible for conducting an adversary adjudication subject to this part.

Proceeding. An adversary adjudication as defined above.

Secretary. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

[52 FR 27126, July 17, 1987, as amended at 72 FR 53877, Sept. 20, 2007; 87 FR 8196, Feb. 14, 2022]

§ 14.100 - Time computation.

Time periods stated in this part shall be computed in accordance with the Department's rules with respect to computation of time which apply to the underlying proceeding.

§ 14.105 - Purpose of these rules.

The Act provides for the award of attorney fees and other expenses to eligible individuals and entities who are parties to certain administrative proceedings (adversary adjudications) before the Department. An eligible party may receive an award when it prevails over an agency, unless the agency's position was substantially justified or special circumstances make an award unjust. The rules in this part described the parties eligible for awards and the proceedings that are covered. They also explain how to apply for awards and the procedures and standards that the Department will use to make them.

§ 14.110 - When the Act applies.

The Act applies to any adversary adjudication pending or commenced before this Department on or after August 5, 1985. It also applies to any adversary adjudication commenced on or after October 1, 1984, and finally disposed of before August 5, 1985, provided that an application for fees and expenses, as described in subpart B of these rules, has been filed with the Department no later than 30 days after August 5, 1985, and to any adversary adjudication pending on or commenced on or after October 1, 1981, in which an application for fees and other expenses was timely filed and was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

§ 14.115 - Proceedings covered.

(a) The proceedings to which this part applies are adversary adjudications conducted by the Department under:

(1) The Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 1701 et seq., pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1715 and 24 CFR part 1720;

(2) Section 602 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d-1,and;

(3) Section 505(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 794a,28,and;

(4) Section 305(a) of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, 42 U.S.C. 6104(a), 45 CFR part 90 and any applicable HUD regulations;

(5) [Reserved]

(6) Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Salary Offset), 5 U.S.C. 5514,and.125-.140;

(7) Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 5401 et seq., and 24 CFR part 3280;

(8) Section 111 of title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 5311,and.913;

(9) Appeals of decisions of contracting officers made pursuant to section 6 of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (41 U.S.C. 605) before the HUD Board of Contract Appeals as provided in section 8 of that Act (41 U.S.C. 607); or

(10) Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3600-3620) and 24 CFR part 104.

(b) The Department's failure to identify a type of proceeding as an adversary adjudication shall not preclude the filing of an application by a party who believes the proceeding is covered by the Act; whether the proceeding is covered will then be an issue for resolution in proceedings on the application.

(c) If a proceeding includes both matters covered by the Act and matters specifically excluded from coverage, any award made will include only fees and expenses related to covered issues.

[52 FR 27126, July 17, 1987, as amended at 54 FR 3283, Jan. 23, 1989; 85 FR 61562, Sept. 29, 2020]

§ 14.120 - Eligibility of applicants.

(a) To be eligible for an award of attorney fees and other expenses under the Act, the applicant must be a party to the adversary adjudication for which it seeks an award. The term party is defined in 5 U.S.C. 551(3). The applicant must show that it meets all conditions of eligibility set out in this subpart and in subpart B.

(b) The types of eligible applicants are as follows:

(1) An individual with a net worth of not more than $2 million;

(2) The sole owner of an unincorporated business who has a net worth of not more than $7 million, including both personal and business interests, and not more than 500 employees;

(3) A charitable or other tax-exempt organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3), with not more than 500 employees;

(4) A cooperative association as defined in section 15(a) of the Agricultural Marketing Act, 12 U.S.C. 1141j(a), with not more than 500 employees; or

(5) Any other partnership, corporation, association, unit of local government, or organization with a net worth of not more than $7 million and not more than 500 employees.

(c) For the purpose of eligibility, the net worth and number of employees of an applicant shall be determined as of the date the proceeding was initiated. For the purpose of eligibility of applicants before the HUD Board of Contract Appeals, the net worth and number of employees of an applicant shall be determined as of the date the applicant filed its appeal under 41 U.S.C. 606.

(d) An applicant who owns an unincorporated business will be considered as an individual rather than a sole owner of an unincorporated business if the issues on which the application prevails are related primarily to personal interests rather than to business interests.

(e) The employees of an applicant include all persons who regularly perform services for remuneration for the applicant, under the applicant's direction and control. Part-time employees shall be included on a proportional basis.

(f) The net worth and number of employees of the applicant and all of its affiliates shall be aggregated to determine eligibility. Any individual, corporation or other entity that directly or indirectly controls or owns a majority of the voting shares or other interests of the applicant, or any corporation or other entity of which the applicant directly or indirectly owns or controls a majority of the voting shares or other interest, will be considered an affiliate for purposes of this part, unless the adjudicative officer determines that such treatment would be unjust and contrary to the purposes of the Act in light of the actual relationship between the affiliated entities. In addition, the adjudicative officer may determine that financial relationships of the applicant other than those described in this paragraph constitute special circumstances that would make an award unjust.

(g) An applicant that participates in a proceeding primarily on behalf of one or more other persons or entities that would be ineligible is not itself eligible for an award.

§ 14.125 - Standards for awards.

(a) A prevailing applicant may receive an award for fees and expenses incurred in connection with a proceeding, or in a significant and discrete substantive portion of the proceeding, unless the position of the agency over which the applicant has prevailed was substantially justified. The position of the agency includes, in addition to the position taken by the agency in the adversary adjudication, the action or failure to act by the agency upon which the adversary adjudication is based. The burden of proof that an award should not be made to an ineligible prevailing applicant because the agency's position was substantially justified is on the agency counsel, who may avoid an award by showing that its position was reasonable in law and fact.

(b) An award will be reduced or denied if the applicant has unduly or unreasonably protracted the proceeding, if the applicant has falsified the application (including documentation) or net worth exhibit or if special circumstances make the award sought unjust.

§ 14.130 - Allowable fees and expenses.

(a) No award for the fee of an attorney or agent under these rules may exceed $75.00 per hour. However, an award may also include the reasonable expenses of the attorney, agent or witness as a separate item, if the attorney, agent or witness ordinarily charges clients separately for such expenses.

(b) In determining the reasonableness of the fee sought for an attorney, agent or expert witness, the adjudicative officer shall consider the following:

(1) If the attorney, agent or witness is in private practice, his or her customary fee for similar services, or, if an employee of the applicant, the fully allocated cost of the services;

(2) The prevailing rate for the kind and quality of services furnished in the community in which the attorney, agent or witness ordinarily performs services;

(3) The time actually spent in the representation of the applicant;

(4) The time reasonably spent in the light of the difficulty or complexity of the issues in the proceeding; and

(5) Such other factors as may bear on the value of the services provided.

(c) The reasonable cost of any study, analysis, engineering report, test, project, or similar matter prepared on behalf of a party may be awarded, to the extent that the charge for the services does not exceed the prevailing rate for similar services, and the study or other matter was necessary for preparation of the applicant's case.

§ 14.135 - Rulemaking on maximum rates for attorney fees.

Any person may file with the Department a petition for rulemaking to increase the maximum rate for attorney fees as provided in 5 U.S.C. 504(b)(1)(A)(ii), in accordance with 24 CFR part 10. The petition should identify the rate the petitioner believes the Department should establish and the types of proceedings in which the rate should be used. It should also explain fully the reasons why the higher rate is warranted. The Department will respond to the petition in accordance with 24 CFR 10.20(b).

§ 14.140 - Awards against other agencies.

If an applicant is entitled to an award because it prevails over another agency of the United States that participates in a proceeding before the Department and takes a position that is not substantially justified, the award or an appropriate portion of the award shall be made against that agency.