Caldwell v. Social Security Administration Commissioner
MEMORANDUM OPINION: Signed by Honorable James R. Marschewski on August 31, 2009. (sh)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS FORT SMITH DIVISION MARY JO CALDWELL v. CIVIL NO. 09-2047 PLAINTIFF
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner Social Security Administration
MEMORAMDUM OPINION Mary Jo Caldwell ("plaintiff") brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) seeking judicial review of a decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (Commissioner) denying her application for supplemental security income ("SSI"). (Doc. # 1). The defendant filed an answer to plaintiff's action on June 16, 2009, asserting that the findings of the Commissioner were supported by substantial evidence and were conclusive. (Doc. # 8). On August 28, 2009, the Commissioner, having changed positions, filed a motion requesting that plaintiff's case be remanded pursuant to "sentence four" of section 405(g) in order to conduct further administrative proceedings. (Doc. # 11). Specifically, the defendant requests remand to allow the ALJ to obtain vocational expert testimony to determine the effect, if any, plaintiff's nonexertional limitations have on her ability to perform jobs existing in significant numbers in the national economy. Further, the defendant requests that, on remand, the ALJ obtain evidence from a mental health expert and consider plaintiff's obesity in accordance with Social Security Ruling 0201p. The exclusive methods by which a district court may remand a social security case to the Commissioner are set forth in "sentence four" and "sentence six" of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). A remand pursuant to "sentence six" is limited to two situations: where the Commissioner requests a remand
before answering the complaint, or where the court orders the Commissioner to consider new, material evidence that was for good cause not presented before the agency. The Fourth sentence of the statute provides that "[t]he court shall have power to enter, upon the pleadings and transcript of the record, a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security, with or without remanding the cause for a rehearing." 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Shalala v. Schaefer, 509 U.S. 292, 296, 113 S.Ct. 2625 (1993). Here, we find remand for the purpose of the ALJ to further evaluate the evidence as addressed above, appropriate. Therefore, the Commissioner's motion to remand is hereby GRANTED and the case is remanded to the Commissioner for further administrative action pursuant to "sentence four" of section 405(g). DATED this 31st day of August 2009.
/s/ J. Marschewski
HON. JAMES R. MARSCHEWSKI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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