Walker v. Social Security Administration Commissioner
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable Barry A. Bryant on July 10, 2012. (dmc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
HOT SPRINGS DIVISION
Civil No. 6:12-cv-06022
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE
Commissioner, Social Security Administration
Before this Court is Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. ECF No. 7.
Defendant filed this Motion on May 17, 2012 and seeks to have Plaintiff’s case dismissed because
she did not exhaust her administrative remedies prior to filing suit. Id. Plaintiff has not responded
to this Motion, and the deadline for her response was June 5, 2012. 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, this Court enters this Memorandum Opinion.
On February 1, 2012, Plaintiff filed her Complaint in this matter. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff
brought this action pursuant to § 205(g) of Title II of the Social Security Act (“The Act”), 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g) (2010), seeking judicial review of a decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration (“SSA”) denying her request for disability benefits.
Thereafter, on May 17, 2012, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction.
ECF No. 7. With this Motion, Defendant claims Plaintiff’s Complaint should be dismissed because
Plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies prior to the filing this case. Id. Specifically,
Defendant claims no administrative hearing has been held in Plaintiff’s case. Id. Because no
administrative hearing has been held, Defendant claims Plaintiff has failed to exhaust her
administrative remedies. Id. Plaintiff has not responded to this Motion, and the time to respond has
expired. See Local Rule 7.2.
The subject matter jurisdiction of this Court is based upon 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Pursuant to
this provision, an individual may only appeal a “final decision of the Commissioner of the Social
Security” which is “made after a hearing to which he [the individual] was a party.” (emphasis
added). In this case, it is undisputed Plaintiff has not been a party to an administrative hearing
addressing the SSA’s denial of her request for disability benefits.
Thus, the decision by the SSA is not “final,” and this Court does not have jurisdiction over
this case. See Sheehan v. Sec’y of Health, Ed. & Welfare, 593 F.2d 323, 325 (8th Cir. 1979) (noting
that the U.S. Supreme Court has specifically held that federal courts can only review the decisions
of the SSA in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)) (citing Weinberger v. Salfi, 422 U.S. 749, 766
(1975)). Indeed, this Court cannot ignore the exhaustion requirement even if the failure to exhaust
was not intentional. Id. Based upon these laws, this Court is simply without the authority to remand
Plaintiff’s case to the ALJ for further administrative review.
Based on the foregoing and because Plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies
prior to filing this case, this Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over this case under 42
U.S.C. § 405(g). As such, Plaintiff’s case is dismissed without predjudice.
ENTERED this 10th day of July 2012.
/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?