Reif v. Astrue

Filing 20

ORDER granting 19 Defendant's Unopposed Motion to Remand. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED reversing the Commissioner's decision and remanding the decision to the Commissioner for further administrative proceedings. Signed by Judge G Murray Snow on 4/16/12.(LSP)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 ) ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) ) Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social) ) Security, ) ) Defendant. ) ) Paul Stewart Reif, No. CV-11-1917-PHX-GMS ORDER 16 17 18 Pending before the Court is Defendant’s Unopposed Motion for Remand for Further Proceedings (Doc. 19). For the reasons stated below, Defendant’s motion is granted. 19 On March 4, 2010, Administrative Law Judge John Wojciechowski determined that 20 Plaintiff Paul Reif was not entitled to disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social 21 Security Act. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff appealed the ALJ decision to the Social Security 22 Administration Appeals Council. (See Doc. 1 at 2). On August 3, 2011, the Appeals Council 23 denied Plaintiff’s request for review of the ALJ decision and adopted the decision as the final 24 decision of Defendant Michael J. Astrue, the Commissioner of the Social Security 25 Administration. (See id.). On September 29, 2011, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in the instant 26 action, seeking review of Defendant’s decision. (Doc. 1). 27 On April 6, 2012, Defendant filed a motion to remand this action for further 28 administrative proceedings. (Doc. 19). Defendant has labeled his motion “Defendant’s 1 Unopposed Motion for Remand for Further Proceedings” and states that he “obtained e-mail 2 consent to this motion on April 6, 2012” from Plaintiff’s counsel. (Doc. 19 at 1–2) (emphasis 3 added). The motion states that the Appeals Council “has further reviewed Plaintiff’s case and 4 determined that a remand for further proceedings is appropriate.” (Doc. 19 at 1). The motion 5 also states that should the Court remand this action, the Appeals Council will vacate the 6 ALJ’s decision and remand the matter to the ALJ for a de novo hearing and new decision, 7 directing the ALJ to reevaluate his decision in light of the new evidence submitted at the 8 Appeals Council level. (Id. at 2). 9 Sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) provides that the Court may reverse decisions of 10 the Commissioner and at the same time “remand[ ] the cause for a rehearing.” Given that 11 Plaintiff’s counsel has consented to Defendant’s motion, the Court grants the motion. A 12 “sentence-four” remand is treated as a final judgment, and therefore upon remand the Court 13 must, as requested by Defendant, enter judgment against him. See Shalala v. Schaefer, 509 14 U.S. 292, 302–303 (1993) (holding that a sentence-four remand is a “final judgment” and that 15 therefore “a ‘separate document’ of judgment should [be] entered” upon such remand). 16 17 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Defendant’s Unopposed Motion for Remand for Further Proceedings (Doc. 19) is GRANTED. 18 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED reversing the Commissioner’s decision and 19 remanding the decision to the Commissioner for further administrative proceedings as set 20 out above. 21 DATED this 16th day of April, 2012. 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -2-

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