Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, any person may commence in a district court of the United States a civil action on such person's own behalf against the Secretary where there is alleged a failure of the Secretary to perform any act or duty under this part.
No action may be commenced under subsection (a) of this section before the date which is 60 days after the person bringing the action has given written notice of intent to commence such action to the Secretary.
The court, in issuing any final order in any action under this section, may award costs of litigation (including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees) to any plaintiff who substantially prevails on one or more significant issues in the action.
(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXI, §2131, as added Pub. L. 99–660, title III, §311(a), Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 3778; amended Pub. L. 100–203, title IV, §4305, Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1330–224.)
1987—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 100–203, which directed that subsec. (c) be amended by substituting “to any plaintiff who substantially prevails on one or more significant issues in the action” for “to any party, whenever the court determines that such award is appropriate”, was executed by making the substitution for “to any party, whenever the court determines such award is appropriate”, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
Subpart effective Dec. 22, 1987, see section 323 of Pub. L. 99–660, set out as a note under section 300aa–1 of this title.