Gates v. Social Security, Commissioner of
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S 31 Motion to Amend/Correct - Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen. (CCie)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
TYRA LATRESE GATES,
District Judge Marianne O. Battani
Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION TO AMEND [Doc. #31]
This is a Social Security Disability case. On November 20, 2015, Plaintiff Tyra
Latrese Gates filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. 405(g), challenging the Defendant
Commissioner’s denial of her claim for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) disability
benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. In response to Plaintiff’s June 8, 2016
Motion for Summary Judgment [Docket #17], Defendant submitted a Motion to Remand on
September 2, 2016, offering to remand the case for further fact-finding. Docket #24.
Plaintiff declined to stipulate to a remand for further fact-finding. The Court held oral
argument on October 20, 2016 at which time Plaintiff’s counsel argued his client was entitled
to an award of benefits. On November 1, 2016, I recommended that Defendant’s Motion to
Remand be granted. Docket #28.
Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend [Docket #31] her original
motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff argues that evidence in Defendant’s possession
establishes that before age 22, she experienced “deficits of adaptive functioning” which
would dispositively establish her entitlement to benefits under the current application.
Docket #31, 4-5. Plaintiff reiterates her entitlement to a remand for benefits under the fourth
sentence of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), which 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.” However, newer evidence which is
presented subsequent to the administrative determination (such as the records Plaintiff relies
upon in the present motion) is analyzed not under the fourth sentence, but under the sixth
sentence of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), which states that the court “may at any time order additional
evidence to be taken before the Commissioner of Social Security, but only upon a showing
that there is new evidence which is material and that there is good cause for the failure to
incorporate such evidence into the record in a prior proceeding ...”
Plaintiff’s motion to amend her summary judgment motion, in which she requests a
sentence four remand for an award of benefits is futile, even assuming that she could show
both good cause for the tardy submission and the materiality of the newer evidence as
required for a sentence six remand. When the Appeals Council denies a claimant's request
for a review of an application based on new material, the district court cannot consider that
new evidence in deciding whether to “uphold, modify, or reverse the ALJ's decision.” Cotton
v. Sullivan, 2 F.3d 692, 696–696 (6th Cir. 1993). In contrast to a remand under the fourth
sentence of § 405(g), the Court cannot order a remand for benefits. Instead, the court retains
jurisdiction in a sentence six remand, and enters final judgment only “after post-remand
agency proceedings have been completed and their results filed with the court.” Shalala v.
Schaefer, 509 U.S. 292, 297, 113 S.Ct. 2625, 125 L.Ed.2d 239 (1993).
However, while the Court cannot order a remand for benefits based on the newer
material, Defendant has stipulated to a remand for further fact-finding and Plaintiff is not
barred from presenting the newer evidence to the Administrative Law Judge upon remand.
See Huber v. Commissioner of Social Security, 2009 WL 111738, *11 (E.D.Mich. January
15, 2009)(claimant not barred from presented newer material upon remand under Sentence
Four of § 405(g); Faucher v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 17 F.3d 171 (6th
Therefore, Plaintiff’s motion to amend [Doc. #31] is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/R. Steven Whalen
R. STEVEN WHALEN
United States Magistrate Judge
Dated: January 31, 2017
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was sent to parties of record on
January 31, 2017, electronically and/or by U.S. mail.
s/Carolyn M. Ciesla
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