ROCKRIVER v. COLVIN
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE signed by MAG/JUDGE JOI ELIZABETH PEAKE on 10/12/2016; that the Commissioner's Motion to Remand to Agency [Doc. # 14 ] be GRANTED, that the Commissioner's decision find ing no disability be REVERSED, and that the matter be REMANDED to the Commissioner under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The Commissioner should be directed to remand the matter to the ALJ for further consideration of Plaintiff's claims in light of the above Recommendation. Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Doc. # 10 ] should be TERMINATED as moot. (Sheets, Jamie)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND RECOMMENDATION
OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
This matter is before the Court on the Commissioner’s Motion to Remand to Agency
[Doc. #14]. Plaintiff Rockriver has filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Doc. #10].
The parties agree that the case should be remanded, but disagree on the language of the Court’s
For the reasons set forth below, the Court recommends that the
Commissioner’s Motion to Remand be granted and that Plaintiff Rockriver’s Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings be terminated as moot given that the case will be remanded.
The Commissioner consents to remand of this action under sentence four of 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g) for further evaluation of the record and re-evaluation of Plaintiff’s claim of disability.
Specifically, the Commissioner states that the Appeals Council will refer Plaintiff’s case to an
ALJ for further proceedings, including but not limited to, evaluating the treatment notes and
opinions from Drs. Pettiman and Motyka, holding a new hearing, and issuing a new decision.
Plaintiff responded [Doc. #17] to the Commissioner’s Motion to Remand, consenting
to remand but urging the Court to adopt a more detailed order than that proposed by the
Commissioner. Plaintiff’s proposed order includes language instructing the ALJ to reevaluate
Plaintiff’s residual functional capacity and credibility, including Plaintiff’s complaints of
fatigue, to provide an appropriate rationale for his decision, and to explain the weight given to
all medical opinions including those of Dr. Pittman and Dr. Motyka. Plaintiff’s proposed
order also contains language stating that “[n]o aspect of the Commissioner’s final decision is
affirmed.” The Commissioner objects [Doc. #18] to the more detailed language proposed by
Having considered the parties’ contentions, the Court concludes that remand is
appropriate on the Commissioner’s Motion to Remand, and any of the matters raised by
Plaintiff may be further addressed on remand. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.983 (providing that on
remand, “[a]ny issues relating to your claim may be considered by the administrative law judge
whether or not they were raised in the administrative proceedings leading to the final decision
in your case.”). Thus, there is no need to resolve or address the additional issues raised by
Plaintiff, since all of those issues can be raised and further considered on remand. This Court
cannot anticipate now how those issues will be resolved after further consideration on remand,
and it would be an inefficient use of the Court’s and the Parties’ resources to require briefing
on issues that may well be addressed differently on remand. Plaintiff will have the opportunity
to appeal the Commissioner’s decision following the decision on remand if she believes that
any errors were not properly addressed in that process.
IT IS THEREFORE RECOMMENDED that the Commissioner’s Motion to
Remand to Agency [Doc. #14] be GRANTED, that the Commissioner’s decision finding no
disability be REVERSED, and that the matter be REMANDED to the Commissioner under
sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The Commissioner should be directed to remand the
matter to the ALJ for further consideration of Plaintiff’s claims in light of the above
Recommendation. Plaintiff’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Doc. #10] should be
TERMINATED as moot.
This, the 12th day of October, 2016.
/s/ Joi Elizabeth Peake
United States Magistrate Judge
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