Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

GARCIA v. COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY

May 4, 2004.

ROBERTO GARCIA, Plaintiff, -against- COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant


The opinion of the court was delivered by: KEVIN FOX, Magistrate Judge

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Roberto Garcia ("Garcia") brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to obtain judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying Garcia's application for disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq. The Commissioner has moved for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

  For the reasons set forth below, I recommend that the defendant's motion be denied and that this matter be remanded to the Commissioner for further administrative proceedings.

  II. BACKGROUND

 Procedural History

  On May 4, 1993, Garcia filed applications for disability insurance benefits and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") benefits, in which he alleged that he became disabled on June 6, 1987, as a consequence of wounds he sustained to his hands. (Tr. 215-18).*fn1 Both applications were denied initially on August 26, 1993, and on reconsideration on December 15, 1993. (Tr. 149-52, 156-59). Garcia then requested a de novo hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"), and appeared pro se before ALJ Jonathan Jacobs on January 11, 1995, for a hearing in connection with the disability insurance benefits application.*fn2 (Tr. 45). On March 11, 1995, ALJ Jacobs issued a decision ("1995 ALJ Decision") finding that the plaintiff was not entitled to disability benefits because he was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act as of December 31, 1989, the date he was last insured for disability benefits. (Tr. 45-48).

  On April 25, 1996, the Appeals Council granted the plaintiff's request for review and found that the ALJ had failed to develop the record adequately with respect to medical treatment received by the plaintiff. (Tr. 232-32). Accordingly, the Appeals Council vacated the 1995 ALJ Decision and remanded Garcia's application for another hearing. (Id.) Garcia appeared, this time with counsel, for an additional hearing before ALJ Jacobs on July 18, 1996. Thereafter, on September 26, 1996, the ALJ issued a new decision ("1996 ALJ Decision"), again finding that Garcia was not entitled to disability benefits. (Tr. 278-83).

  On April 17, 1998, the Appeals Council again granted review, vacated the 1996 ALJ Decision, and remanded the application — this time with instructions that the ALJ: 1) elicit the testimony of a vocational expert, in order to determine whether there were a significant number of jobs in the national economy that Garcia could have performed during the relevant period; and 2) determine whether Garcia was unable to communicate in English. (Tr. 263-64). Garcia appeared, with counsel, before ALJ Mark J. Hecht on December 9, 1998, ("December 1998 hearing"). (Tr. 14-18). At that hearing, the testimony of vocational expert Edna Clark ("Clark") was taken, as well as testimony from Garcia regarding his English language skills. (Id.). In a decision dated March 22, 1999, ("1999 ALJ Decision"), ALJ Hecht found that Garcia was not entitled to disability benefits. (Id.) The 1999 ALJ Decision became the final decision of the Commissioner when the Appeals Council denied Garcia's request for review of that decision on March 23, 2001. (Tr. 3-4).

  At each of the three administrative hearings, a Spanish language interpreter was provided for Garcia.

  Garcia filed the instant complaint seeking review of the Commissioner's decision on May 22, 2001; thereafter, the Commissioner moved for judgment on the pleadings, pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Although Garcia received notice of the defendant's motion, he has not filed any response in opposition to it.

 Factual Background

  1. Non-Medical Evidence

  Garcia was born on September 7, 1947, in the Dominican Republic. (Tr. 128). He attended school in the Dominican Republic, completing the eleventh grade. (Tr. 93). In 1970, Garcia came to the United States and, in 1982, he became a citizen. (Tr. 89). He has testified that: (a) he can speak a limited amount of English, but not well; (b) he cannot read or write in English; and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.