March 5, 1979
LINDA THOMPSON, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
SECRETARY OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Present: HON. WILLIAM H. TIMBERS, HON. THOMAS J. MESKILL, Circuit Judges, HON. LEE P. GAGLIARDI, United States District Judge Sitting by Designation
This cause came on to be heard on the transcript of record from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and was argued by counsel and submitted.
ON CONSIDERATION WHEREOF, it is now hereby ordered, adjudged, and decreed that the judgment of said District Court be and it hereby is affirmed on the opinion of Judge Mishler dated June 27, 1978.
Our role on this appeal from a determination by the Secretary of HEW relating to an illegitimate child's entitlement to share in her father's child insurance benefits is limited to determining whether that decision was supported by "substantial evidence." Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971). We hold that it was.
As to the child's paternity, the administrative law judge had the evidence of the birth certificate, the information in which was provided at a time when it did not stand to benefit anyone financially. Moreover, the finding of paternity was supported by Julius Thompson's mother's earlier statement and "numerous statements" from others. Similarly, there was adequate evidence to support the conclusion that Julius helped support Mini.
Finally, it is clear that formal evidentiary rules and opportunity for cross-examination need not be applied merely because there are two adverse parties to this proceeding. It is well established that "[hearings] under the Social Security Act are non-adversary," Gold v. Secretary of HEW, 463 F.2d 38, 43 (2 Cir. 1972). That Linnie Blakely did not testify, of course, does not undermine the substantiality of the evidence here.
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