Hoffman v. Astrue

Filing 19

ORDER granting 14 Plaintiff's Motion to Remand to Social Security Administration. The Clerk is directed to remand back to the Social Security Administration. Signed by Judge G Murray Snow on 3/11/10.(LSP)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 WO NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA ) ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) ) Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social) ) Security, ) ) Defendant. ) ) ) Tony Hoffman, No. CV-09-896-PHX-GMS ORDER On November 30, 2009, Plaintiff Tony Hoffman ("Plaintiff") filed a Motion to Remand the instant action back to the Social Security Administration. (Dkt. # 14.) For the following reasons, the Court grants the Motion. DISCUSSION Under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 401, et seq. (the "Act"), there are only two kinds of possible remands. Melkonyan v. Sullivan, 501 U.S. 89, 99 (1991). "Under sentence four" of 405(g) of the Act, "a district court may remand in conjunction with a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the [Commissioner's] decision." Id. at 99100 (citing 42 U.S.C. 405(g)). "Under sentence six" of that Section, "the district court may remand in light of additional evidence without making any substantive ruling as to the correctness of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 the [Commissioner's] decision, but only if the claimant shows good cause for failing to present the evidence earlier."1 Id. at 100. In this case, the Court finds that Plaintiff has presented new and material evidence that was not considered when this action was before the administrative tribunals. He has also demonstrated good cause for not presenting this evidence earlier. The instant appeal arises out of Plaintiff's 2008 administrative hearing, wherein the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") precluded Plaintiff from presenting certain medical evidence of his disability. Relying on the doctrine of res judicata, the ALJ determined that such evidence could not be considered because a previous administrative tribunal had determined that such evidence was insufficient to demonstrate that Plaintiff was disabled. The adverse administrative decision, to which the ALJ gave res judicata effect, however, was recently vacated by another Division of this Court. (See Dkt. # 14, Ex. A.) Because the previous decision has been vacated, it appears that the excluded medical evidence should now be considered in the instant action. Accordingly, Plaintiff has presented material evidence that was not considered by the ALJ, and Plaintiff has further demonstrated good cause for his failure to present that evidence earlier. See Melkonyan, 501 U.S. at 100. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion to Remand to the Social Security Administration is GRANTED. (Dkt. # 14.) The Clerk of the Court is directed to remand back to the Social Security Administration. DATED this 11th day of March, 2010. Sentence six also authorizes the district court to remand on motion by the Secretary made before the Secretary has filed a response in the action. That subcategory of sentence six remands, however, is not implicated in this case. -2- 1

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