Carriker v. Saul

Filing 10

ORDER Granting 9 Motion to Extend Time. Defendant CAR and answer to Plaintiffs Complaint, due 11/9/2021. Signed by Magistrate Judge Nancy J. Koppe on 9/8/2021. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - JQC)

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Case 2:21-cv-00671-NJK Document 10 Filed 09/07/21 Page 1 of 4 Case 2:21-cv-00671-NJK Document 9 Filed 09/08/21 Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 CHRISTOPHER CHIOU Acting United States Attorney District of Nevada Nevada Bar No. 14853 7 Christopher J. Bella, CSBN 294049 Special Assistant United States Attorney 160 Spear Street, Suite 800 San Francisco, California 94105 Telephone: (510) 970-4805 Facsimile: (415) 744-0134 E-Mail: 8 Attorneys for Defendant 4 5 6 9 10 11 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 12 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 13 HEATHER LYNN CARRIKER, Plaintiff, 14 vs. 15 16 KILOLO KIJAKAZI, Acting Commissioner of Social Security,1 17 Defendant. 18 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No.: 2:21-cv-00671-NJK UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE CERTIFIED ADMINISTRATIVE RECORD AND ANSWER; DECLARATION OF JEBBY RASPUTNIS (SECOND REQUEST) 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 1 Kilolo Kijakazi became the Acting Commissioner of Social Security on July 9, 2021. Pursuant to Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Kilolo Kijakazi should be substituted, therefore, for Andrew Saul as the defendant in this suit. No further action need 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). Case 2:21-cv-00671-NJK Document 10 Filed 09/07/21 Page 2 of 4 Case 2:21-cv-00671-NJK Document 9 Filed 09/08/21 Page 2 of 3 1 Defendant, Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security (the “Commissioner”), by 2 and through her undersigned attorneys, hereby moves for a 60-day extension of time to file the Certified 3 Administrative Record (CAR) and answer to Plaintiff’s Complaint. The CAR and answer to Plaintiff’s 4 Complaint are due to be filed by September 10, 2021. This is the Commissioner’s second request for an 5 extension of time. 6 7 8 9 10 Defendant makes this request in good faith and for good cause, because the CAR, which must be filed with the Answer and is necessary to adjudicate the case, is not yet available. The public health emergency pandemic caused by COVID-19 has significantly impacted operations in the Social Security Administration’s Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) in Falls Church, Virginia, which is responsible for producing the CAR that must be filed with the Answer, per 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and (h). As detailed in the attached declaration from Jebby Rasputnis, Executive Director of the OAO, beginning mid-March 11 2020, OAO restricted physical access to the Falls Church building, which impacted the production of 12 13 14 15 CARs because physical access was previously required to produce CARs. OAO has since developed and employed a new business process to produce CARs. Much of the difficulty in producing CARs stemmed from the old process of transmitting hearing recordings to vendors for transcription, how the vendors transcribed the recordings, and how the vendors provided the completed transcripts to OAO. OAO 16 changed this process by reworking how the audio files are submitted, seeking additional vendor capacity, 17 and increasing in-house transcription capacity. With the most recent changes, OAO anticipates being 18 able to produce more than 700 transcripts a week, a significant increase over the pre-COVID-19 average 19 of 300–400 hearing transcripts a week. 20 Despite these improvements, OAO still faces a significant backlog of cases due to the combined 21 effects of pandemic-related disruption and a marked increase in district court filings. New case receipts 22 during the last quarter of FY 2020 and the first quarter of FY 2021 increased (on average) to 2,257 case 23 receipts per month, as compared to 1,458 per month for the same period one year before. Despite this, 24 OAO is making progress in its backlog of cases. At the end of January 2021, OAO had 11,109 pending 25 cases. As of August 9, 2021, OAO had 3,760 pending cases, representing a decrease in our backlog of 26 nearly 7,350 cases over the last seven months. OAO continues to work on increasing productivity by Unopposed Mot. for Ext.; 2:21-cv-00671-NJK 1 Case 2:21-cv-00671-NJK Document 10 Filed 09/07/21 Page 3 of 4 Case 2:21-cv-00671-NJK Document 9 Filed 09/08/21 Page 3 of 3 1 collaborating with our vendors and searching out and utilizing technological enhancements. Defendant 2 asks this Court for its continued patience as OAO works to increase its efficiency and production of 3 CARs, reduce the current backlog, and address rising court case filings. Counsel for Defendant further 4 states that the Office of General Counsel (OGC) is monitoring receipt of transcripts on a daily basis and 5 is committed to filing Answers as soon as practicable upon receipt and review of the administrative 6 records. 7 8 9 10 Given the volume of pending cases, Defendant requests an extension in which to respond to the Complaint until November 9, 2021. If Defendant is unable to produce the certified administrative record necessary to file an Answer in accordance with this Order, Defendant shall request an additional extension prior to the due date. On August 31, 2021, the undersigned conferred with Plaintiff’s counsel, who has no opposition to 11 the requested extension. 12 13 It is therefore respectfully requested that Defendant be granted an extension of time to file the CAR and answer to Plaintiff’s Complaint, through and including November 9, 2021. 14 15 Dated: September 7, 2021 CHRISTOPHER CHIOU Acting United States Attorney 16 17 /s/ Christopher J. Bella CHRISTOPHER J. BELLA Special Assistant United States Attorney 18 19 20 21 IT IS SO ORDERED: 22 23 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 24 September 8, 2021 DATED: ___________________________ 25 26 Unopposed Mot. for Ext.; 2:21-cv-00671-NJK 2

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