Parson v. Dept. of Social Security Administration et al
MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order Signed by the Honorable Sharon Johnson Coleman on 3/17/2017:Mailed notice(rth, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, ACTING
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, 1
Case No. 16 cv 5403
Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff, Sharon Parson, filed a pro se amended complaint against the Social Security
Administration, alleging violations of her due process rights, First Amendment rights, obstruction of
justice, and discrimination. Defendant, Acting Commissioner of Social Security (“the agency”),
moves to dismiss the amended complaint for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated herein, this Court
grants the motion.
It is difficult to discern from the convoluted text of the amended complaint precisely what
Ms. Parson is alleging. The allegations in the amended complaint are rendered even less clear by the
inclusion of a lot of legalease and extensive quotations from cases from various jurisdictions. Ms.
Parson seems to be alleging that her monthly Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits were
reduced by $305.00 without a hearing or opportunity for administrative appeal. She alleges that she
initial sought reconsideration from the Social Security Administration and requested a hearing with
an Administrative Law Judge on June 6, 2014. Ms. Parson also alleges that she sought, what this
Pursuant to Rule 25(d), Nancy A. Berryhill is substituted for Carolyn W. Colvin as Acting Commissioner of Social
Court will interpret injunctive relief from the United States District Court for the Middle District of
Tennessee. Ms. Parson further asserts that the Chicago District Office of the Social Security
Administration also denied her request for reinstatement of the additional benefit amount.
The defendant agency seeks dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1), arguing that this Court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction over Parson’s claim. The agency also argues that this Court should
dismiss the amended complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. The standard applied to each motion is similar. Freiburger v. Emery Air Charter, Inc., 795
F.Supp. 253, 256 (N.D.Ill.1992). To survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient factual allegations to state a claim for relief
that is plausible on its face, Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 62, 678 (2009), raising the right to relief above a
speculative level, Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Under Rule 8, a plaintiff only
needs to “give enough details about the subject-matter of the case to present a story that holds
together.” United States ex rel. Presser v. Acacia Mental Health Clinic, LLC, 836 F.3d 770, 776 (7th Cir.
2016) (quoting Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 403 (7th Cir. 2010)). When reviewing a
motion to dismiss, the court must accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true and draw all
reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s favor. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Pisciota v. Old
Nat. Bancorp, 499 F.3d 629, 633 (7th Cir. 2007).
The agency argues that this Court must dismiss the amended complaint both for failure to
state a claim and for lack of jurisdiction. Judicial review of agency decisions regarding social security
benefits is only available for a final decision from the Commissioner. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Here, Ms.
Parson does not identify a final agency decision. Moreover, it appears she is seeking judicial review
of the denial of a state (Illinois) supplement to her SSI benefits. Since any decision to reduce or
suspend or terminate state supplementary payments, even if federally administered, are determined
by the state, the agency is without authority to reconsider that decision. Program Operations Manual
System (“POMS”) SI 04020.030B, https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0504020030#b.
There is also therefore no final agency determination for this Court to review pursuant to section
405(g). Accordingly, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
This Court must also dismiss the amended complaint for failure to state a claim. The
allegations in the complaint are insufficient to put the agency on notice of the claim against it. As
noted above, the Court finds the allegations in the complaint convoluted and mired in legal rhetoric
that serves only to confuse issues. Ms. Parson might fare better if she plainly and succinctly states
what actions she claims this agency took. This Court understands from the complaint that her SSI
benefits have been reduced, but that is not sufficient information for this Court to allow Ms. Parson
to proceed on this complaint.
Based on the foregoing discussion, this Court grants the agency’s motion to dismiss .
The Court will allow Ms. Parson to file a motion for leave to amend her complaint plainly stating
factual support for this Court’s jurisdiction; i.e., a final decision by the Social Security Commissioner
that is reviewable by this Court. Ms. Parson must also include a copy of her proposed amended
complaint with her motion for leave to amend. Any motion to amend the complaint must be filed
within 45 days of the entry of this Order.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: March 17, 2017
SHARON JOHNSON COLEMAN
United States District 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?