Huynh v. Colvin
ORDER denying 19 Motion for Reconsideration signed by Hon. James P. Donohue.(TF)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting
Commissioner of Social Security,
THI THU THUY HUYNH,
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration. Dkt. 19.
The Commissioner filed a response at the Court’s direction. Dkt. 21. For the reasons
explained herein, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s motion.
Motions for reconsideration are disfavored under the local rules. See LCR (W.D.
Wash.) 7(h)(1). The local rules indicate that motions for reconsideration should be denied
unless the moving party establishes manifest error in a prior ruling, or new facts or authority
that could not have been brought to the court’s attention earlier. Id.
Plaintiff has not made this showing here. Plaintiff argues that the Court erred in finding
that the ALJ’s errors should be remedied by a remand for further proceedings, rather than a
remand for a finding of disability. Dkt. 19. The Court has discretion to determine the
appropriate remedy, however, and explained why it exercised that discretion to remand for
ORDER - 1
further proceedings, under the circumstances of this case. See Dkt. 17 at 9-11. Plaintiff has
not shown that the Court abused its discretion or that the Court’s decision contains any error.
Although Plaintiff contends that an unchallenged credibility finding should never
preclude a remand for a finding of benefits if medical opinions alone establish disability and
are credited as true (Dkt. 19 at 4-5), these predicates are not present here: the Court did not
credit any opinions as true, or hold that an unchallenged credibility finding always precludes a
finding of disability. Instead, the Court properly focused on the specific circumstances of this
case. The unchallenged credibility finding is particularly relevant here, where the challenged
opinions necessarily depended on Plaintiff’s description of symptoms.
The conflicts in the record suggest that further proceedings would be useful, although
the Court is appalled that the claimant must be subjected to yet another hearing in this matter.
The protracted proceedings that have already occurred to date make this a close case, and the
ALJ is directed to be especially mindful of the relevant legal obligations in managing the
proceedings on remand. Nonetheless, the Court emphasizes that a “claimant is not entitled to
benefits under the statute unless the claimant is, in fact, disabled, no matter how egregious the
ALJ’s errors may be.” Strauss v. Comm’r of Social Sec. Admin., 635 F.3d 1135, 1138 (9th Cir.
Because Plaintiff has not shown that the Court’s prior order contains a manifest error,
the motion for reconsideration (Dkt. 19) is DENIED.
DATED this 11th day of August, 2017.
JAMES P. DONOHUE
Chief United States Magistrate Judge
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