Schmidt v. Saul
ORDER granting 18 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 22 Motion for Summary Judgment (Written Opinion). Signed by Magistrate Judge Katherine M. Menendez on 11/17/2021. (JEN)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Case No. 0:20-cv-1755 (KMM)
This matter came before the Court on the parties’ cross-motions for summary
judgment. [ECF Nos. 20, 22]. The Court held a hearing on November 16, 2021, at which counsel
for Plaintiff Stephanie S. and Defendant Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi presented oral argument.
The Court issued a ruling from the bench denying the Commissioner’s Motion for Summary
Judgment and granting Ms. S.’s Motion. [Minutes, ECF No. 30]. The Court fully stated its
reasoning for the decision on the record at the hearing.
Having thoroughly reviewed the record and considered the parties’ written and oral
arguments, the Court found that the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) decision was not
supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. Clark v. Chater, 75 F.3d 414, 416 (8th
Cir. 1996) (stating that the court’s “review is limited to determining whether there is substantial
evidence based on the entire record to support the ALJ’s factual findings, and whether his
decision was based on legal error”). The Court focused on the ALJ’s handling of the opinion of
an agency expert, Dr. Karen Butler, who testified twice regarding Ms. S. Dr. Butler concluded
that Ms. S. met Listing 12.04 because she had marked limitations in two of the areas identified
CASE 0:20-cv-01755-KMM Doc. 31 Filed 11/17/21 Page 2 of 2
by the part-B analysis. Dr. Benet specifically concluded that Ms. S. met the listings beginning in
October of 2016. For the reasons stated on the record, the Court found that the ALJ’s conclusion
that Dr. Butler’s opinion was not supported by the overall treatment records and other evidence
was not itself supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. 1 Because the Court
found that this error on its own required remand, the Court did not reach the two other issues
briefed by the parties.
Accordingly, based on a thorough review of the record and the parties’ arguments, and
for the reasons stated on the record at the hearing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. The Commissioner’s Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 22] is DENIED;
2. Ms. S.’s Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 18] is GRANTED; and
3. This matter is remanded to the Social Security Administration for further proceedings
consistent with this Order and with the Court’s ruling at the hearing.
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.
s/ Katherine Menendez
United States Magistrate Judge
Date: November 17, 2021
At the hearing, Counsel for Ms. S. conceded that they have not met their burden with
respect to the period between the initial alleged onset date—November 4, 2014—and
October 2016. Accordingly, the further proceedings for which this matter is remanded
need only address the period beginning in October 2016.
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