Phillips v. Social Security Administration Commissioner
ORDER re 9 reversing and remanding this case to the commissioner for further consideration pursuant to sentence four of 42 USC 405(g). Signed by Honorable James R. Marschewski on April 15, 2011. (sh)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
FORT SMITH DIVISION
MELVIN D. PHILLIPS
CIVIL NO. 10-2191
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner
Social Security Administration
Plaintiff, Melvin D. Phillips, 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 his applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental
security income pursuant to Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. ECF No. 1. Defendant
filed an answer to Plaintiff’s action on February 22, 2011, asserting that the findings of the
Commissioner were supported by substantial evidence. ECF No. 7.
On April 15, 2011, 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. ECF No. 9. Specifically, the Commissioner
seeks remand to allow the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) to request updated reports from
treating sources, obtain a mental status examination and/or expert medical evidence as necessary
to clarify the record, and receive further vocational input in light of the newly acquired evidence.
ECF No. 9.
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 to allow the ALJ to further evaluate the evidence as addressed
above, appropriate. Therefore, the Commissioner’s motion is granted and the case will be
remanded to the Commissioner for further administrative action pursuant to sentence four of
IT IS SO ORDERED this 15th day of April 2011.
/s/ J. Marschewski
HON. JAMES R. MARSCHEWSKI
CHIEF U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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