Harris v. Social Security Administration Commissioner
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable Barry A. Bryant on September 14, 2011. (cnn)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
EL DORADO DIVISION
Civil No. 1:11-cv-01025
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE,
Commissioner, Social Security Administration
On August 30, 2011, Defendant filed an Unopposed Motion to Remand. ECF No. 10.1
Defendant states Plaintiff has been contacted and has no objection to this Motion. ECF No. 10. The
parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge to conduct any and all proceedings
in this case, including conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final judgment, and conducting
all post-judgment proceedings. ECF No. 5. Pursuant to this authority, the Court issues this
memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a final judgment in this matter.
Defendant requests a remand so the Commissioner may conduct further administrative
proceedings and further evaluate Plaintiff’s disability status. According to Defendant, the ALJ found
Plaintiff had the RFC for sedentary work with various nonexertional limitations, among them a slight
to moderate reduced ability to maintain attention and concentration for extended periods, and a slight
to moderate reduced ability to complete work tasks in a normal workday at a consistent pace. (Tr.
12, Finding 4). However, the tape of the administrative hearing is inaudible as to the attention,
concentration, and pace limitations that the ALJ posed to the Vocational Expert. (“VE”). (Tr. 53).
The docket numbers for this case are referenced by the designation “ECF No.” The transcript pages for
this case are referenced by the designation “Tr.”
Additionally, the ALJ’s decision specified that Plaintiff’s RFC included a limitation that
Plaintiff would need to elevate her legs three times per day for 15 minutes at a time. (Tr. 12, Finding
4). However, none of the hypothetical questions the ALJ posed to the VE included the requirement
that Plaintiff elevate her legs. (Tr. 51-53).
The Commissioner wishes to remand this case for further administrative proceedings to give
further consideration to Plaintiff’s maximum RFC while avoiding qualifying terms such as “slight”
and “moderate,”which do not usefully convey the extent of the claimant’s limitations; and to pose
to the VE a hypothetical question that accurately reflects the assessed maximum residual functional
This Court finds this motion is well-taken and should be granted. The Commissioner’s
decision is reversed, and this matter is hereby remanded pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. §
405(g) for further proceedings. In addition, the undersigned finds the Plaintiff’s Complaint should
be and hereby is dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff may still, however, file a motion for
attorney’s fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412.
A judgment incorporating these findings will be entered pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 52 and 58.
ENTERED this 14th day of September, 2011.
/s/ Barry A. Bryant
HON. BARRY A. BRYANT
U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?