United States District Court, S.D. New York
March 30, 2004.
DOROTHY WILLIAMS o/b/o BRANDON TORRES Plaintiff, -against- JO ANNE B. BARNHART, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: VICTOR MARRERO, District Judge
DECISION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Dorothy Williams ("Williams") filed an application for
Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") benefits in March 2000 on behalf of
her son Brandon Torres ("Torres"), who suffers from asthma. An
administrative law judge (the "ALJ") held a hearing and denied the
application. The ALJ's decision became the final decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security (the "Commissioner") in April 2003 when
the Appeals Council denied Williams's request for review. Williams now
seeks judicial review of the Commissioner's decision.
Both parties agree that the ALJ erred during the hearing by, inter
alia, inadequately developing and considering the evidence on the
record. Upon due consideration of the arguments from the parties and
applicable law and precedent, and in light of the already extensive delay
in adjudicating this application, the Court determines that remanding
this case to the ALJ for further administrative proceedings as to
the March 2000 application would serve no purpose given the substantial
evidence supporting Torres's claim of disability. Accordingly, the Court
denies the Commissioner's motion for remand and grants Williams's motion
for judgment on the pleadings as to the March `2000 application, and
remands the March 2000 application to the Commissioner for the sole
purpose of awarding benefits. See Curry v. Apfel. 209 F.3d 117, 124 (2d
Cir. 2002); Carroll v. Sec, of Health and Human Servs., 705 F.2d 638, 644
(2d Cir. 1983). The Court will more fully explain its reasoning in a
subsequent written decision.
As both parties concede is appropriate, the Court remands to the
Commissioner Williams's June 1998 SSI application, also filed on behalf
of Torres, so that the Commissioner may remedy its failure to rule on
Williams's request to reopen that application.
The Clerk of Court is directed to enter judgment for Williams
consistent with this order and close this case.
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