§ 8601. Fees and other expenses in certain actions against the state. (a) When awarded. In addition to costs, disbursements and additional allowances awarded pursuant to sections eight thousand two hundred one through eight thousand two hundred four and eight thousand three hundred one through eight thousand three hundred three of this chapter, and except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, a court shall award to a prevailing party, other than the state, fees and other expenses incurred by such party in any civil action brought against the state, unless the court finds that the position of the state was substantially justified or that special circumstances make an award unjust. Whether the position of the state was substantially justified shall be determined solely on the basis of the record before the agency or official whose act, acts, or failure to act gave rise to the civil action. Fees shall be determined pursuant to prevailing market rates for the kind and quality of the services furnished, except that fees and expenses may not be awarded to a party for any portion of the litigation in which the party has unreasonably protracted the proceedings. (b) Application for fees. A party seeking an award of fees and other expenses shall, within thirty days of final judgment in the action, submit to the court an application which sets forth (1) the facts supporting the claim that the party is a prevailing party and is eligible to receive an award under this section, (2) the amount sought, and (3) an itemized statement from every attorney or expert witness for whom fees or expenses are sought stating the actual time expended and the rate at which such fees and other expenses are claimed.