Becknell-Jones v. Commissioner of Social Security

Filing 17

ORDER granting the Commissioner's Motions to Strike (Docs. 11 and 16), and denying Plaintiff's Motion to Supplement (Doc. 15). The exhibits attached to Plaintiff's Complaint are hereby stricken. Signed by Magistrate Judge Philip R. Lammens on 10/8/2013. (JWM)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA OCALA DIVISION ELLEN BECKNELL-JONES, Plaintiff, v. Case No: 5:13-cv-218-Oc-18PRL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY Defendant. ORDER This Social Security appeal comes before the Court for consideration of three pending motions, including Defendant’s Motion to Strike (Doc. 11), the pro se Plaintiff’s Motion to supplement (Doc. 15), and a second Motion to Strike (Doc. 16) filed by the Defendant. I. BACKGROUND On May 8, 2013, Plaintiff filed a pro se Complaint in this Court “to appeal the Appeal Board’s Decision.” (Doc. 1). Plaintiff seeks to appeal an administrative decision denying her applications for Disability Insurance Benefits (ADIB@) and Supplemental Security Income Benefits (“SSI”). As attachments to her Complaint, Plaintiff filed a handwritten list of “current conditions,” a letter signed by Plaintiff describing her pain and symptoms, a letter regarding her condition signed by Rama Karumaci from the Orlando Pain Clinic, and a diagnostic image. (Doc. 1, pages 4-9). Defendant filed a Motion to Strike (Doc. 11), arguing that Plaintiff’s exhibits to her Complaint must be stricken. In that motion, Defendant argues that this Court cannot consider extra-record evidence in its substantial evidence review of the Commissioner’s final decision. In Response, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Supplement New Medical Records (Doc. 15). In that document, Plaintiff explains that she does not “understand a lot of the legal paper that was sent.” She explains that she was in a car accident in May, and had neurological testing that revealed new medical findings about her condition. (Doc. 15, 2-3). She contends that new medical records are available from various sources, including a neurologist, hospital, and pain management clinic. (Doc. 15, 5). In response to Plaintiff’s Motion to Supplement, Defendant has filed a second Motion to Strike (Doc. 16). Defendant argues that Plaintiff’s supplements are not appropriate in proceedings under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Defendant also argues that Plaintiff’s motion should not be treated as a motion to remand under sentence six of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) because she has not made the necessary showing for a remand. III. DISCUSSION Section 405(g) expressly limits the Court’s jurisdiction to a review of the pleadings and the certified transcript of the administrative record. The section precludes consideration of extrarecord evidence. Neither party may put any additional evidence before the district court, and the court is limited to a review of the record made at the administrative level. Caulder v. Bowen, 701 F.2d 872, 876 (11th Cir. 1986). Although the record cannot be enlarged, the Court may treat Plaintiff’s submission of additional evidence as a motion to remand under sentence six of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Evidence submitted to the court may be considered only to determine if remand is warranted under sentence six of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). See Caulder, 791 F.2d at 876. To satisfy the criteria for a remand under sentence six, a claimant must establish that (1) the evidence is new and noncumulative; (2) the evidence is material such that a reasonable probability exists that it would -2- change the administ t trative result and (3) th t; here was go cause f the failu to submi the ood for ure it evidence at the admin nistrative lev Caulder 791 F.2d a 877. vel. r, at Here, Defend H dant contend that Plai ds intiff has no met her burden of s ot showing tha the at e evidence she has sub bmitted is new, material or that she had good cause for no submittin the l, ot ng evidence at the admin nistrative lev Defend further c vel. dant contends tha Plaintiff ha not shown that at as n the addit tional eviden would have changed the admin nce h nistrative res sult, nor has she offered any s d explanati of good cause for her failure to submit such records at th administra ion c s he ative level. The Court ag T grees. The documents Plaintiff has attached to the complai consist o her d P int of own handwritten des scriptions of her sympto f oms, as wel as an und ll dated letter f from the Orl lando Pain Clin (Doc. 1, 9), and an undated diagnostic i nic 1 a image (Doc 1, 10). c. Plaintiff has not demonstr rated that th evidence is new and noncumul his e d lative, or th it is mat hat terial such t that a reasonable probabilit exists tha it would change the a ty at c administrativ result. Likewise, Pla ve aintiff provides no good ca ause for her failure to su ubmit the ev vidence at th administr he rative level. See a erry v. Heck kler, 760 F. 1186, 1192 (11th C 1985). The .2d Cir. Caulder, 791 F.2d at 877; Che exhibits to Plaintiff’s Complaint are due to be stricken. t s IV CONCLU V. USION Accordingly, upon due consideration the Comm A c n, missioner’s Motions to Strike (Doc 11 cs. and 16) are GRAN NTED, and the exhibits attached to Plainti d d iff’s Compl laint are he ereby STRICK KEN. Plaintif Motion to Suppleme (Doc. 15 ) is DENIED ff’s ent D. DONE and ORDERED in Ocala, Flo D O orida on Oct tober 8, 2013. -3- Copies furnished to: Counsel of Record Unrepresented Parties -4-

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