Koller v. Social Security Administration
OPINION AND ORDER by Magistrate Judge T Lane Wilson ; denying 27 Motion to Reconsider (kah, Chambers)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA
NANCY A. BERRYHILL,1
Acting Commissioner of Social Security, )
Case No. 15-cv-673-TLW
OPINION AND ORDER
Before the Court is plaintiff’s Motion to Reconsider the Opinion and Order Affirming the
Commissioner’s Denial. (Dkt. 27). Plaintiff requests that the Court reconsider its analysis of Dr.
Garner’s opinion that plaintiff have limited contact with coworkers and supervisors. Id. Plaintiff
contends that the Court failed to consider this limitation, focusing only on the limitation on contact
with the public. Id.
The Commissioner filed a response, arguing that plaintiff’s motion is an improper motion
to alter or amend judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). (Dkt. 28). The
Commissioner contends that plaintiff is re-arguing an issue raised in her brief. Id.
Plaintiff does not cite Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), but the Court treats this motion
as a motion to amend or alter judgment. Under Rule 59(e), the three grounds for granting a motion
to reconsider are “(1) an intervening change in the controlling law, (2) new evidence previously
unavailable, and (3) the need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” Servants of
Paraclete v. Does, 204 F.3d 1005, 1012 (10th Cir. 2000) (citing Brumark Corp. v. Samson
Effective January 23, 2017, Nancy A. Berryhill has replaced Carolyn W. Colvin as Acting
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration and should be substituted as defendant in this
action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(d).
Resources Corp., 57 F.3d 941, 948 (10th Cir. 1995)). Plaintiff’s argument is based on an assertion
of clear error.
The Court did not specifically address whether the ALJ’s findings were consistent with a
limitation on superficial contact with co-workers and supervisors because the ALJ included that
limitation in his residual functional capacity findings that plaintiff could “interact with co-workers
and supervisors, under routine supervision.” (R. 20). In weighing Dr. Garner’s opinion, the ALJ
further explained that “[t]he claimant’s residual functional capacity does limit his interaction with
co-workers and supervisors, so that this would be done under routine supervision consistent with
Dr. Garner’s medial opinion.” (R. 30). Plaintiff contends that the phrase “under routine
supervision” is not sufficient to signal limited contact. (Dkt. 27). Plaintiff fails to cite any case law
to support his argument.
Even if plaintiff is correct that the ALJ should specifically have stated that contact with coworkers and supervisors should be limited, the Court’s analysis of the ALJ’s step five findings,
which would support a finding of limited contact with the public, is also applicable to a limitation
on contact with co-workers and supervisors. See Lane v. Colvin, 643 F. App’x 766, 770 n.1 (10th
Cir. 2016) (unpublished)2 (holding that when the fifth digit of a DOT code is 8, the job “is
consistent with superficial contact with supervisors and co-workers”). Accordingly, any error in
interpreting the ALJ’s decision is harmless error.
Plaintiff’s argument does not raise any error that would qualify as a clear error of law or
fact. Plaintiff simply disagrees with the Court’s analysis.
10th Cir. R. 32.1 provides that “[u]npublished opinions are not precedential, but may be cited for
their persuasive value.”
For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff’s motion to reconsider is DENIED.
SO ORDERED this 16th day of April, 2017.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?