Morris v. Astrue
OPINION,MEMORANDUM AND ORDER--HEREBY ORDERED that the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security is affirmed. A separate judgment in accordance with this Opinion, Memorandum and Order is entered this same date. Signed by District Judge Henry E. Autrey on 02/18/2014. (CLK)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
RODNEY D. MORRIS,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN1
Commissioner of Social
Case No. 4:12CV2129 HEA
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s request for judicial review under
28 U.S.C. § 405(g) of the final decision of Defendant denying Plaintiff’s
applications for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) under Title II of the Social
Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401, et seq and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
under Title XVI, 42 U.S.C. §1381, et seq. For the reasons set forth below, the
Court affirms the Commissioner's denial of Plaintiff's applications.
FACTS AND BACKGROUND
Carolyn W. Colvin became the Acting Commissioner of Social Security on
February 14, 2013. Pursuant to Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
Carolyn W. Colvin should be substituted for Michael J. Astrue as the Defendant in
this suit. No further action needs to be taken to continue this suit by reason of the
last sentence of section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
When Plaintiff appeared to testify at the hearing he was 47 years old. He has
completed his high school equivalence by acquiring his GED. Plaintiff has had
training/employment as a banquet captain, dining room supervisor and maitre’d, as
well as a restaurant server. The last time he worked was in January, 2009. The
ALJ found Plaintiff had the severe impairments of: major depressive disorder, an
anxiety disorder with panic attacks, agoraphobia, flexion deformities of the 4 and 5
fingers of the right hand, and right shoulder residuals from surgical reattachment of
the right arm.
A vocational expert also testified. The VE testified, in relation to an onset
date of July 1, 2009, and in response to a hypothetical, that Plaintiff could not
perform light work. The VE also concluded from the hypothetical question that
Plaintiff could occasionally lift 20 pounds and can frequently lift 10 pounds. He
can stand/walk six hours in an eight hour workday and sit six hours. He cannot
reach overhead with his right arm and can only occasionally perform fingering/fine
manipulation and handling/gross manipulation with his right hand. He must avoid
concentrated exposure to unprotected heights. The Plaintiff should not work in a
setting which includes constant/regular contact with the general public and should
not perform work which includes more than infrequent handling of customer
complaints. He can understand, remember, and carry out at least simple
instructions and non-detailed tasks. Plaintiff should not work in close proximity to
alcohol or controlled substances.
Plaintiff’s application for social security and supplemental security income
benefits under Titles II, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401, et seq., and XVI of the Act, 42 U.S.C. §
1381, et seq., was denied on September 10, 2010. On September 29, 2010, Plaintiff
filed a timely Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge. After a hearing,
the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision dated March 17, 2011. On May 9, 2011,
Plaintiff filed a Request for Review of Hearing Decision with the Appeals Council.
The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review on September 21, 2012.
Thus, the decision of the ALJ became the final decision of the agency.
Standard For Determining Disability
The Social Security Act defines as disabled a person who is “unable to engage
in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable
physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which
has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve
months.” 42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)(A); see also Hurd v. Astrue, 621 F.3d 734, 738
(8th Cir.2010). The impairment must be “of such severity that [the claimant] is not
only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education, and
work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists
in the national economy, regardless of whether such work exists in the immediate
area in which he lives, or whether a specific job vacancy exists for him, or whether
he would be hired if he applied for work.” 42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)(B).
A five-step regulatory framework is used to determine whether an individual
claimant qualifies for disability benefits. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a), 416.920(a); see
also McCoy v. Astrue, 648 F.3d 605, 611 (8th Cir.2011) (discussing the five-step
process). At Step One, the ALJ determines whether the claimant is currently
engaging in “substantial gainful activity”; if so, then he is not disabled. 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(a)(4)(I), 416.920(a)(4)(I); McCoy, 648 F.3d at 611. At Step Two, the
ALJ determines whether the claimant has a severe impairment, which is “any
impairment or combination of impairments which significantly limits [the
claimant's] physical or mental ability to do basic work activities”; if the claimant
does not have a severe impairment, he is not disabled. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)
(4)(ii), 404.1520(c), 416.920(a)(4)(ii), 416.920(c); McCoy, 648 F.3d at 611.
At Step Three, the ALJ evaluates whether the claimant's impairment meets or
equals one of the impairments listed in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1
(the “listings”). 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(iii), 416.920(a)(4)(iii). If the claimant
has such an impairment, the Commissioner will find the claimant disabled; if not,
the ALJ proceeds with the rest of the five-step process. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(d),
416.920(d); McCoy, 648 F.3d at 611.
Prior to Step Four, the ALJ must assess the claimant's “residual functional
capacity” (“RFC”), which is “the most a claimant can do despite [his] limitations.”
Moore v. Astrue, 572 F.3d 520, 523 (8th Cir.2009) (citing 20 C.F.R. § 404.1545 (a)
(1)); see also 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(e), 416.920(e). At Step Four, the ALJ
determines whether the claimant can return to his past relevant work, by comparing
the claimant's RFC with the physical and mental demands of the claimant's past
relevant work. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(iv), 404.1520(f), 416.920(a)(4)(iv),
416.920(f); McCoy, 648 F.3d at 611. If the claimant can perform his past relevant
work, he is not disabled; if the claimant cannot, the analysis proceeds to the next
step. Id. At Step Five, the ALJ considers the claimant's RFC, age, education, and
work experience to determine whether the claimant can make an adjustment to
other work in the national economy; if the claimant cannot make an adjustment to
other work, the claimant will be found disabled. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(v),
416.920(a)(4)(v); McCoy, 648 F.3d at 611.
Through Step Four, the burden remains with the claimant to prove that he is
disabled. Moore, 572 F.3d at 523. At Step Five, the burden shifts to the
Commissioner to establish that the claimant maintains the RFC to perform a
significant number of jobs within the national economy. Id.; Brock v. Astrue, 674
F.3d 1062, 1064 (8th Cir.2012).
In the application of the five-step analysis, the ALJ in this case determined at
Step One the ALJ found Plaintiff had not performed substantial gainful activity
since the alleged onset date of disability of July 1, 2009. At Step Two, the ALJ
found Plaintiff’s severe impairments were: major depressive disorder; anxiety
disorder with panic attacks and agoraphobia; flexion deformities of the 4 and 5
fingers of the right hand; and right shoulder residuals from surgical reattachment of
the right arm. At Step Three the ALJ concluded Plaintiff did not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled an
impairment listed in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
Prior to Step Four the ALJ found Plaintiff had the residual functional
capacity (RFC) to perform light work: except…The claimant cannot reach
overhead with his right arm and can only occasionally perform fingering/fine
manipulation and handling/gross manipulation with his right hand. He must avoid
concentrated exposure to unprotected heights. The claimant can understand,
remember and carry out at least simple instructions and non-detailed tasks. He
should not work in a setting which includes constant/regular contact with the
general public and should not perform work which includes more than infrequent
handling of customer complaints. He should not work in close proximity to alcohol
or controlled substances. At Step Four, the ALJ found Plaintiff was unable to
perform past relevant work. At Step Five, considering the age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, the ALJ found, there are jobs that
exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the Plaintiff can perform.
Standard For Judicial Review
The Court’s role in reviewing the Commissioner’s decision is to determine
whether the decision “‘complies with the relevant legal requirements and is
supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole.’” Pate–Fires v. Astrue,
564 F.3d 935, 942 (8th Cir.2009) (quoting Ford v. Astrue, 518 F.3d 979, 981 (8th
Cir.2008)). “Substantial evidence is ‘less than preponderance, but enough that a
reasonable mind might accept it as adequate to support a conclusion.’” Renstrom
v. Astrue, 680 F.3d 1057, 1063 (8th Cir.2012) (quoting Moore v. Astrue, 572 F.3d
520, 522 (8th Cir.2009)). In determining whether substantial evidence supports the
Commissioner’s decision, the Court considers both evidence that supports that
decision and evidence that detracts from that decision. Id. However, the court
“‘do[es] not reweigh the evidence presented to the ALJ, and [it] defer[s] to the
ALJ’s determinations regarding the credibility of testimony, as long as those
determinations are supported by good reasons and substantial evidence.’” Id.
(quoting Gonzales v. Barnhart, 465 F.3d 890, 894 (8th Cir.2006)). “If, after
reviewing the record, the court finds it is possible to draw two inconsistent
positions from the evidence and one of those positions represents the ALJ’s
findings, the court must affirm the ALJ’s decision.’” Partee v. Astrue, 638 F.3d
860, 863 (8th Cir.2011) (quoting Goff v. Barnhart, 421 F.3d 785, 789 (8th
Cir.2005)). The Court should disturb the administrative decision only if it falls
outside the available “zone of choice” of conclusions that a reasonable fact finder
could have reached. Hacker v.Barnhart, 459 F.3d 934, 936 (8th Cir.2006).
In his appeal of the Commissioner's decision, Plaintiff makes the following
arguments: (1) The ALJ’s finding that Plaintiff had a moderate to marked
restriction in concentration, persistence and pace was inconsistent with the RFC
determination, which failed to include any restriction in concentration, persistence
or pace. This constituted an incomplete analysis of the evidence; (2) Plaintiff
submitted additional evidence that was material to his medically determinable
impairments during the period of disability and as such the decision of the ALJ is
contrary to the weight of the evidence currently of record; (3) The ALJ failed to
properly consider opinion evidence; (4) The ALJ failed to properly consider
credibility; (5) The ALJ failed to fully and fairly develop the record.
The ALJ’s finding that Plaintiff had a moderate to marked restriction in
concentration, persistence and pace was inconsistent with the RFC
determination, which failed to include any restriction in concentration,
persistence or pace. This constituted an incomplete analysis of the evidence.
Plaintiff argues that the ALJ’s mental RFC finding is inconsistent with his step
two finding that Plaintiff was moderately to markedly limited at concentration,
persistence, or pace. Evaluation of mental impairments at the second and third
stages of the sequential evaluation, requires the ALJ to use the “special technique”
set out in 20 C.F.R. sections 404.1520a and 416.920a. The purpose of this
technique is to evaluate the severity of the claimant’s mental impairments and to
determine whether they meet or equal a listing. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520a(d),
416.920a(d). The technique is not a part of the ALJ’s RFC assessment. Indeed,
Social Security Ruling 96-8p specifically cautions that the ALJ “must remember
that the limitations identified in the ‘paragraph B’ and ‘paragraph C’ criteria are
not an RFC assessment but are used to rate the severity of mental impairment(s) at
steps 2 and 3 of the sequential evaluation process”. The ALJ’s step-four RFC
determination “requires a more detailed assessment” than the special technique
provides. See Lacroix v. Barnhart, 465 F.3d 881, 888 & n.3 (8th Cir. 2006)
(rejecting the claimant’s argument that the ALJ’s step-two findings conflicted with
his RFC analysis at step four because “[e]ach step in the disability determination
entails a separate analysis and legal standard”). Thus, the ALJ’s finding that
Plaintiff was moderately to markedly limited at concentration, persistence, or pace
was not part of his RFC assessment.
The evidence did not support a need for greater concentration, persistence, or
pace restrictions in the RFC. Plaintiff claimed he had trouble concentrating,
remembering, completing tasks, and following instructions (Tr. 165). However,
Dr. Hogins observed that he had normal attention and concentration, and Dr.
Gangwani found that Plaintiff had good recall (Tr. 17, 535, 666). In fact, Plaintiff
passed the short term memory and attention tests on his MMSE (Tr. 667). Plaintiff
was also able to complete shopping trips to the grocery store, clean his home, and
prepare meals. There was, therefore, no need for need for greater restrictions. The
point is therefore overruled and the ALJ is affirmed on this point.
Plaintiff submitted additional evidence that was material to his medically
determinable impairments during the period of disability and as such the
decision of the ALJ is contrary to the weight of the evidence currently of
The Plaintiff argues at this point that the submitted new evidence was not
considered or evaluated by the ALJ2. The suggestion is that the Appeals Council
did not consider the assessment of Dr. Hogins. The Appeals Council did in fact
consider the assessment, and Dr. Hogins’s opinion did not change the weight of the
The evidence referred relates to an assessment by Dr. Hogins that was submitted as part of the
request to review the decision of the AlJ. This evidence was submitted after the hearing was
evidence in the record as a whole. The Appeals Council stated, “In looking at your
case, we considered the reasons you disagree with the decision and the additional
evidence listed on the enclosed Order of Appeals Council” (Tr. 1). The Order
listed as one of the exhibits: “Assessment for Social Security Disability Claim,
dated February 24, 2011, and Mental Residual Functional Capacity Assessment,
dated February 25, 2011, by Joshua Hogins, D. O.” (Tr. 4). The Appeals Council
then found that the additional evidence “[did] not provide a basis for changing the
Administrative Law Judge’s decision” (Tr. 1). Thus, “[w]here . . . the Appeals
Council considers new evidence but denied review, [the Court] must determine
whether the ALJ’s decision was supported by substantial evidence on the record as
a whole, including the new evidence.” Davidson v. Astrue, 501 F.3d 987, 990 (8th
The record before the ALJ contained Dr. Hogins’s treatment notes (Tr. 65567). The ALJ discussed the treatment notes at length in his decision (Tr. 16-18).
He noted that Plaintiff told Dr. Hogins he was “doing pretty well right now” during
their initial visit on July 16, 2010 (Tr. 17, 664). Dr. Hogins observed that
Plaintiff’s “depressive and anxiety symptoms [were] markedly improved” with
medication (Tr. 17, 665). He stated that Plaintiff had a stable and logical flow of
thought, and normal attention and concentration (Tr. 17, 666). Dr. Hogins said that
Plaintiff was responding well to therapy (Tr. 17, 666). He assigned Plaintiff a
Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) score of 61-65, consistent with “mild”
symptoms in a person who is “generally functioning pretty well.” (Tr. 17, 666)3.
It was noted that Dr. Hogins treated Plaintiff three more times—in August,
November, and December 2010 (Tr. 18, 658-59, 662). The ALJ observed that Dr.
Hogins listed Plaintiff as doing well and remaining stable during each visit (Tr. 18,
656, 659, 662). Although Plaintiff continued to have some occasional panic
attacks, Dr. Hogins stated that he seemed to cope with the attacks “fairly well
using relaxation techniques and other skills” (Tr. 18, 659). Additionally, in
November 2010, Dr. Hogins administered a mini-mental status examination
(MMSE) and Plaintiff scored “quite well”, passing the rudimentary tests for short
term memory and attention (Tr. 667).
Despite Dr. Hogins’s positive findings during Plaintiff’s treatment, his
mental RFC assessment was highly restrictive and inconsistent with his previous
observations. See, e.g., Raney v. Barnhart, 396 F.3d 1007, 1010 (8th Cir. 2005)
(ALJ could properly discount a therapist’s RFC when contemporaneous treatment
notes showed that the claimant had “improved” and was “fair”). Dr. Hogins stated
that Plaintiff was markedly limited at maintaining attention, concentration, and
A clinician uses the GAF scale to assess a patient’s level of psychological, social, and
occupational functioning. See Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IVTR) 34 (4th ed. text revision 2000). A score of 61 to 70 corresponds with “mild” symptoms in a
person who is “generally functioning pretty well.”
focus (Tr. 730). However, in July 2010 he noted that Plaintiff had normal attention
and concentration. Dr. Hogins also stated that Plaintiff was moderately limited at
understanding, remembering, and carrying out simple work instructions (Tr. 730).
But on the other hand Dr. Hogins found that Plaintiff had average intelligence and
good insight during his November 2010 appointment (Tr. 658, 730).
Dr. Hogins’s opinion did not change the weight of the evidence in the record.
Therefore, the ALJ’s conclusion will be affirmed.
The ALJ failed to properly consider opinion evidence.
The mental assessment from Kyle DeVore was considered by the ALJ, Ph.D.,
a non-examining agency psychologist. Plaintiff tries to convince this court that the
ALJ failed to make clear which of Dr. DeVore’s “three” assessments the ALJ
credited. Dr. DeVore only submitted one mental RFC assessment though (Tr. 651).
The other two exhibits were psychiatric review technique forms (Tr. 426, 639).
Furthermore, Dr. DeVore’s mental RFC assessment is aligned with the ALJ’s RFC
findings. He opined that Plaintiff was moderately limited at understanding,
remembering, and carrying out detailed instructions. The ALJ restricted Plaintiff
to jobs with simple instructions and non-detailed tasks . The ALJ correctly noted
that his RFC finding was consistent with Dr. DeVore’s mental assessment (Tr. 21).
The ALJ found that mental treatment notes from Dr. Gangwani and Dr.
Hogins showed that Plaintiff was stable and doing pretty well. Both psychiatrists
assigned Plaintiff GAF scores indicating only mild to moderate symptoms. Dr.
Gangwani’s and Dr. Hogins’s provided positive findings. The ALJ, however,
provided a number of mental RFC restrictions, including limiting Plaintiff’s
contact with the general public and restricting him to work with simple instructions
and non-detailed tasks. The argument of Plaintiff fails.
The ALJ failed to properly consider credibility.
The ALJ appropriately questioned Plaintiff’s credibility based on the lack of
objective medical evidence to support his claims, his improvement with treatment,
his poor work history, his activities of daily living, his inconsistent statements, and
the lack of doctor imposed limitations. See Pearsall v. Massanari, 274 F.3d 1211,
1218 (8th Cir. 2001) (“Before determining a claimant’s RFC, the ALJ first must
evaluate the claimant’s credibility.”)
The objective medical evidence did not support the severity of Plaintiff’s
alleged mental impairments (Tr. 17-18). See Gonzales v. Barnhart, 465 F.3d 890,
895 (8th Cir. 2006) (an ALJ may determine that “subjective pain complaints are
not credible in light of objective medical evidence to the contrary” (citation
omitted)). For example, Plaintiff claimed limitations based on severe depression
and anxiety (Tr. 17, 35). He said that he had four panic attacks per week and had
not seen a change in his condition since starting psychiatric treatment (Tr. 40-41).
Suni Gangwani, M.D., a psychiatrist, found, however, that Plaintiff’s affect was
normal and stable in March 2010 (Tr. 17, 535). He observed that Plaintiff had
good recall with preserved insight and judgment (Tr. 17, 535). Similarly, Dr.
Hogins found that Plaintiff had “normal attention and concentration” (Tr. 666).
The objective medical evidence from Plaintiff’s treating psychiatrists was
inconsistent with his alleged limitations.
Plaintiff’s mental impairments improved with treatment (Tr. 18). See Brown
v. Astrue, 611 F.3d 941, 955 (8th Cir. 2010) (“If an impairment can be controlled
by treatment or medication, it cannot be considered disabling.” (quoting Brace v.
Astrue, 578 F.3d 882, 885 (8th Cir. 2009))). Dr. Hogins stated that Plaintiff’s
“depressive and anxiety symptoms [had] markedly improved” in July 2010.
Plaintiff’s mental impairments could be controlled with treatment, these
impairments were not disabling.
The ALJ also noted that Plaintiff’s prior work history and low earnings
created a question as to the true reason for his unemployment (Tr. 19). See
Pearsall v. Massanari, 274 F.3d 1211, 1218 (8th Cir. 2001) (“A lack of work
history may indicate a lack of motivation to work rather than a lack of ability.”);
Comstock v. Chater, 91 F.3d 1143, 1147 (8th Cir. 1996) (claimant’s prior work
history, “characterized by fairly low earnings and some significant breaks in
employment,” cast doubt on his credibility). Plaintiff’s summary earnings report
showed that he never worked at the level of substantial gainful activity (Tr. 20,
145). This created some doubt relating to his motivation to work.
The Eighth Circuit has noted that activities which are inconsistent with a
claimant’s assertion of disability reflect negatively upon that claimant’s credibility.
See Johnson v. Apfel, 240 F.3d 1145, 1148 (8th Cir. 2001). For example, “acts
such as cooking, vacuuming, washing dishes, doing laundry, shopping, driving,
and walking are inconsistent with subjective complaints of disabling pain.”
Medhaug v. Astrue, 578 F.3d 805, 817 (8th Cir. 2009). Here, Plaintiff testified that
he cleaned his house and cooked. In his function report, he stated that he took care
of his dogs. Plaintiff also said that he regularly went grocery shopping. He claimed
he could drive a car and go out alone. His medical records indicated that he was
driving alone in July 2009 (Tr. 17, 600).
In furtherance of the detailed credibility assessment the ALJ pointed out that
Plaintiff made inconsistent statements regarding his marijuana and prescription
drug use (Tr. 18-20). See Karlix v. Barnhart, 457 F.3d 742, 748 (8th Cir. 2006)
(“[T]he ALJ found Karlix unreliable because his testimony at the administrative
hearing regarding his consumption of alcohol conflicted with medical
documentation.”). Plaintiff testified that the last time he smoked marijuana was
January 2009 (Tr. 35). However, the ALJ noted Dr. Ganwani reported Plaintiff’s
continued marijuana use in March 2010 (Tr. 18, 535). Similarly, Plaintiff failed to
initially report taking his friend’s pain medication to William Feldner, D.O.
The ALJ pointed out that, despite Plaintiff’s allegations of both physical and
mental limitations, none of his physicians ever instructed him to restrict his
activity. See Hensley v. Barnhart, 352 F.3d 353, 357 (8th Cir. 2003) (“As for
Hensley’s claims of persistent dizziness and blackout spells . . . no functional
restrictions were placed on Hensley's activities, a fact that . . . is inconsistent with a
claim of disability.”)
The ALJ was in the best position to evaluate Plaintiff’s credibility when he
testified at the hearing. Because the ALJ had good reasons for his credibility
finding, the Court will defer to the ALJ’s determination. See Cox, 471 F.3d at 907
(“Because the ALJ [is] in a better position to evaluate credibility, we defer to his
credibility determinations as long as they were supported by good reasons and
The ALJ failed to fully and fairly develop the record.
The essence of Plaintiff’s position is that the ALJ should have sought a
medical opinion from Dr. Hogins before rendering a decision. Plaintiff bears the
burden to demonstrate that the record was not fully developed. Plaintiff must show
both a failure to develop necessary evidence and unfairness or prejudice resulting
therefrom. See Haley v. Massanari, 258 F.3d 742, 749-50 (8th Cir. 2001). Here,
the record consists of almost six-hundred pages of medical records, including Dr.
Hogins’s treatment notes, Dr. DeVore’s mental RFC assessment, and Plaintiff’s
hospital records (Tr. 258, 651, 659-666, 855). See id. (ALJ did not err by failing to
order a consultative examination because “there was substantial evidence in the
record to allow the ALJ to make an informed decision”).
The ALJ’s findings were clearly based upon the record as a whole. The ALJ
summarized Plaintiff’s testimony regarding his limitations, the treatment notes
regarding his impairments, the medical opinions in the record, and the ALJ’s
specific credibility findings. The ALJ applied the proper standard to the facts and
the determination of Plaintiff’s RFC and his ability to perform his past relevant
work is supported by the record as a whole.
After careful review, the Court finds the ALJ’s decision is supported by
substantial evidence on the record as a whole. The decision will be affirmed.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the decision of the Commissioner of Social
Security is affirmed.
A separate judgment in accordance with this Opinion, Memorandum and
Order is entered this same date.
Dated this 18th day of February , 2014.
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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