special circumstance provision of the Act was not a stamp of approval for "novel" government arguments. The provision does require that due attention be paid to theories which are new or not commonly accepted, but such arguments must still satisfy the substantial justification requirement. Id.
In sum, none of the reasons advanced by the government satisfy this Court that its position during this litigation was substantially justified.
In Concerned Veterans our Court of Appeals determined the standards an attorney must meet to sustain a request for attorney's fees. National Association of Concerned Veterans v. Secretary of Defense, 219 U.S. App. D.C. 94, 675 F.2d 1319 (D.C.Cir.1982). Among other things, the Court determined that the primary objective was to establish the "lodestar" -- the number of hours expended multiplied by the prevailing community rate. Of major concern in this proceeding is the computation of the lodestar.
In a footnote to its opposition brief, the government argues that plaintiff's application does not satisfy the Concerned Veterans criteria and thus an award of attorney's fees is not justified. Government's Brief at 1, n. *. Specifically, it argues that the number of hours for which plaintiff's counsel seeks reimbursement is not based on contemporaneous time records but rather that it is reconstructed. But at best this would reduce an award -- not eliminate it. "Where the documentation of hours is inadequate, the district court may reduce the award accordingly." Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 103 S. Ct. 1933, 1939, 76 L. Ed. 2d 40 (1983) (emphasis supplied). Plaintiff's counsel concedes that he did not keep contemporaneous time records. However, in Concerned Veterans, 675 F.2d at 1327, the court concluded that the purpose of such time records is to enable the trial court to make a just determination and provide adequate and sufficient information to consider the validity of the claim. Counsel's records do in fact provide the necessary information upon which a reasonable determination can be based. The records supplied by Ms. Blitz's counsel are not "casual after the fact estimate[s]." Id. They provide a detailed account of the work performed and the time assigned to each task. The opinion of our circuit in Concerned Veterans was issued well after the services were rendered to Ms. Blitz.
While the letter of Concerned Veterans has not been complied with in counsel's submissions the spirit has certainly been fulfilled. Plaintiff requests reimbursement for 111.5 hours which included the filing of a complaint, a notice for a temporary restraining order and a motion for a preliminary injunction with supporting points and authorities, as well as an opposition to the defendant's motion to dismiss. Ms. Blitz's counsel has exercised billing judgment in order to eliminate the possibility of duplicative or non-productive efforts and details the time spent on this matter which was not billed. With the knowledge of what was not billed, this Court can make a more informed judgment about the merits of the hours which were billed.
Mr. Lynch has requested $75 per hour for 111.5 hours of work. The government does not contest the validity of the requested rate nor the hours spent on the case. In Hensley, the Supreme Court stated that "where a plaintiff has obtained excellent results, his attorney should recover full compensatory fee." Hensley, 103 S. Ct. at 1940. In this litigation counsel succeeded in a challenge to a congressional enactment which was constitutionally suspect and questionable, and thereby obtained an opportunity for his client to participate in a federally funded program for disadvantaged persons. Such results mandate an award of attorney's fees. Moreover, it cannot be said that several "relevant considerations" which lend support to a fee request, namely, the objective sought, the experience of the attorney, and the type of issues presented, are not present in this proceeding. In Citizens Bank v. United States, 558 F. Supp. 1301 (N.D.Ala.1983), the court employed such considerations to award an attorney the maximum $75 per hour. Counsel's experience and professional activities testify to his skill in litigation of this type. This Court witnessed and saw for itself the legal services rendered by plaintiff's counsel. Considering the prevailing rate in the District of Columbia, $75 per hour is more than reasonable for the quality of representation that Blitz received.
The defendant also contests $350.60 of the requested $393.24 in expenses incurred by the plaintiff. The government contends that expenses incurred in the delivery of pleadings and documents to the defendant's counsel and plaintiff's travel expenses are not compensable under 28 U.S.C. § 1920. "The taxing of costs is a matter within the Trial Judge's discretion." Marcus v. National Life Insurance Co., 422 F.2d 626, 631 (7th Cir.1970) (taxing costs of a transcript); accord, Independent Iron Works Inc. v. United States Steel, 322 F.2d 656 (9th Cir.1963), and the court should apply a test of "reasonableness" to decide whether the cost is taxable. Keystone Shipping Co. v. S.S. Monfiore, 275 F. Supp. 606 (D.C.Tex.1967), affirmed 409 F.2d 1345 (5th Cir.1969). Plaintiff's travel request covers two round trips from Martinsville, Virginia to Washington, D.C., one to meet with her attorney and the other to be present at the summary judgment proceedings. There are "strong policies which lie behind remedial civil rights legislation, and the need to insure that those who defend their rights are not financially penalized." Hodge v. Seiler, 558 F.2d 284, 287 (5th Cir.1977).
It is more than reasonable, it is a necessity, for the plaintiff to have the opportunity to meet and confer with counsel, and, as the moving force behind the assertion of her rights, to be present at and to participate in the court proceedings. Because the plaintiff is indigent, without the support of the American Civil Liberties Union this would not have been possible. Indeed, she alleged in her supporting affidavit for injunctive relief (filed March 11, 1982), that the total earnings of her family for the first six months of 1982 were less than $4,500; and that she and her husband, with two children to support, were unable to obtain steady, gainful employment. The request is not at all unreasonable. Under this Court's discretion such costs are taxable as is the fee for delivery of documents. The total of all costs requested should be and is allowed.
Also, given the rationale behind the Concerned Veterans requirements, the relatively short number of hours expended to obtain the results which were achieved, and the specific, uncontested documentation provided by plaintiff's counsel, the attorney's fees requested by plaintiff in the amount of $8,362.50 is fair and reasonable.
An appropriate Order will be entered.