7 CFR 1.184 - Eligibility of applicants.
(a) To be eligible for an award of attorney fees and other expenses under EAJA, the applicant must meet one of the following conditions:
(1) The applicant must be a prevailing party to the adversary adjudication for which it seeks an award; or
(2) The applicant must be a party to an adversary adjudication arising from an agency action to enforce the party's compliance with a statutory or regulatory requirement in which the demand by the agency was substantially in excess of the decision of the adjudicative officer and the demand is unreasonable when compared with such decision under the facts and circumstances of the case.
(b) In addition to the criteria set out in paragraph (a) of this section, a party seeking an award must be one of the following:
(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;
(c) For the purpose of eligibility, the net worth and number of employees of an applicant shall be determined as of the date the adversary adjudication was initiated: Provided, that for purposes of eligibility in proceedings covered by § 1.183(a)(1)(ii) of this part, 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) In interpreting the criteria set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, the following apply:
(1) 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 applicant prevails are related primarily to personal interests rather than to business interests.
(2) 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.
(3) 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 interest 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 subpart, unless the adjudicative officer determines such treatment would be unjust and contrary to the purposes of EAJA 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.