Chronister v. Social Security Administration Commissioner

Filing 8

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable James R. Marschewski on November 26, 2012. (lw)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS FORT SMITH DIVISION DENA LARIE CHRONISTER v. PLAINTIFF CIVIL NO. 2:12-cv-02117-JRM MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner Social Security Administration DEFENDANT MEMORANDUM OPINION Plaintiff, Dena Larie Chronister, 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 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 September 4, 2012, asserting that the findings of the Commissioner were supported by substantial evidence. ECF No. 4. On November 21, 2012, 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. 7. Specifically, the Commissioner seeks remand to hold a supplemental hearing and issue a new decision. See Def.’s Mot. Remand, 1. The Commissioner states that opposing counsel has been contacted and has no objection. Id. 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. See AO72A (Rev. 8/82) 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). 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." Id.; Shalala v. Schaefer, 509 U.S. 292, 296, 113 S.Ct. 2625 (1993). Here, the undersigned finds remand to allow the Administrative Law Judge 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 section 405(g). IT IS SO ORDERED this 26th day of November 2012. /s/ J. Marschewski HONORABLE JAMES R. MARSCHEWSKI CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE -2- AO72A (Rev. 8/82)

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