CASEY v. COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 10/16/2015. (dmr)(n.m.)
THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
GERALD KEVIN CASEY,
Civil No. 13-5657(NLH)
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
GERALD KEVIN CASEY
203 WEBSTER STREET
CINNAMINSON, NJ 08077
Appearing pro se
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL
26 FEDERAL PLAZA
NEW YORK, NY 10278
On behalf of Defendant
HILLMAN, District Judge
This matter comes before the Court pursuant to Section
205(g) of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §
405(g), regarding Plaintiff’s application for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and Supplemental Security Income
(“Social Security benefits”) under Title II and Title XVI of the
Social Security Act.
42 U.S.C. § 401, et seq.
moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint for lack of subject
Plaintiff has not opposed Defendant’s
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On December 23, 2009, Plaintiff filed an application for
Plaintiff’s application was denied by notice dated May 15,
The notice stated that the agency had determined that
Plaintiff’s condition was not disabling on any date through
March 31, 2009, the date on which Plaintiff was last insured as
required to receive DIB.
The notice also explained that
Plaintiff had sixty days to request a hearing before an ALJ if
he disagreed with the decision.
Plaintiff did not appeal from
this determination, and it became the final decision on the
issue of Plaintiff’s disability prior to March 31, 2009.
Plaintiff filed a subsequent application for DIB on
December 6, 2010, which was denied on April 26, 2011.
requested a hearing before an ALJ.
On December 28, 2011, the
ALJ issued an order dismissing Plaintiff’s request after
determining that administrative res judicata applied.
sought Appeals Council review of this determination, and the
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff’s request on August 29, 2012.
Plaintiff filed this civil action on September 23, 2013.
He also continued to ask the Appeals Council to vacate the
August 29, 2012 denial of his request for review.
13, 2013, in response to subsequent mailings from Plaintiff, the
Appeals Council declined to vacate its denial of the request for
review, and noted that Plaintiff did not have the right to court
review of the denial of his request for reopening.
In claims arising under the Social Security Act, judicial
review is permitted only in accordance with sections 205(g) and
(h) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and (h).
The first sentence of section 405(g) provides that:
Any individual, after any final decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security made after a hearing to
which he was a party, irrespective of the amount in
controversy, may obtain a review of such decision by a
civil action commenced within sixty days after the mailing
to him of notice of such decision or within such further
time as the Commissioner of Social Security may allow.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Section 405(h) further states that:
No findings of fact or decision of the Commissioner of
Social Security shall be reviewed by any person, tribunal,
or governmental agency except as herein provided. No action
against the United States, the Commissioner of Social
Security or any officer or employee thereof shall be
brought under section 1331 or 1346 of Title 28 to recover
on any claim arising under this subchapter.
42 U.S.C. § 405(h).
Any judicial review of an action arising
under the Social Security Act is available only to the extent
that the Act provides.
Shalala v. Illinois Council on Long Term
Care, Inc., 529 U.S. 1, 10-15 (2000); Heckler v. Ringer, 466
U.S. 602, 614-16 (1984).
It is well settled that federal courts lack jurisdiction to
review the Commissioner’s discretionary decision to decline to
reopen a prior application or to deny a subsequent application
on res judicata grounds.
Tobak v. Apfel, 195 F.3d 183, 187 (3d
Cir. 1999) (citing Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99, 107-09
As the Supreme Court explained in Sanders, because an
administrative decision declining to reopen a prior claim or
denying a subsequent claim on res judicata grounds does not
require a hearing, it is not a “final decision . . . made after
a hearing” as required for jurisdiction under § 205(g) of the
In this case, no appealable final decision was made when
the Appeals Council determined not to reopen Plaintiff’s claim
on res judicata grounds, or when it dismissed Plaintiff’s
request for a hearing.
This Court therefore lacks subject
matter jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and (h) to hear
For the reasons expressed above, Plaintiff’s complaint must
be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
accompanying Order will be issued.
Date: October 16, 2015
At Camden, New Jersey
s/ Noel L. Hillman
NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
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