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CABRERA v. BARNHART

United States District Court, S.D. New York


July 16, 2004.

DIEGO CABRERA, Plaintiff,
v.
JO ANNE BARNHART, Defendant.

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

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

TO THE HONORABLE RICHARD J. HOLWELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Plaintiff Diego Cabrera ("Cabrera") 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 Cabrera's application for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") benefits. The Commissioner has moved that this action be remanded for further administrative proceedings, on the ground that the administrative law judge ("ALJ") who denied Cabrera's application did not explain his reasons for rejecting certain medical evidence that supports the plaintiff's application. Cabrera did not respond to the motion.

  The Social Security Act provides, in pertinent part, that "[t]he court shall have power to enter, upon the pleadings and transcript of the record, a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security, with or without remanding the cause for a rehearing." 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). When a district court reviews a decision by the Commissioner denying a claim for SSI benefits, it must assess whether the Commissioner applied the appropriate legal standard and whether her decision is supported by substantial evidence. See Balsamo v. Chater, 142 F.3d 75, 79 (2d Cir. 1998).

  In this action, the record contains conflicting medical evidence regarding Cabrera's ability to perform light work. The ALJ found that Cabrera was capable of performing such work. However, the ALJ did not explain why he gave greater weight to the evidence supporting that conclusion than he gave to the evidence contradicting that conclusion. Therefore, it is unclear what legal standard the ALJ applied in evaluating the evidence. As a result, the Court cannot determine whether the standard applied was appropriate.

  In light of the foregoing, a remand of this action to the Commissioner for a rehearing is warranted. Thereafter, the Commissioner should make a new determination respecting Cabrera's application, and issue an opinion making specific findings of fact that explain the basis for her new determination.

  RECOMMENDATION

  For the reasons set forth above, I recommend that the defendant's remand motion be granted.

  FILING OF OBJECTIONS TO THIS REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

  Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the parties shall have ten (10) days from service of this Report to file written objections. See also Fed.R.Civ.P. 6. Such objections, and any responses to objections, shall be filed with the Clerk of Court, with courtesy copies delivered to the chambers of the Honorable Richard J. Holwell, 500 Pearl Street, Room 1950, New York, New York, 10007, and to the chambers of the undersigned, 40 Centre Street, Room 540, New York, New York, 10007. Any requests for an extension of time for filing objections must be directed to Judge Holwell. FAILURE TO FILE OBJECTIONS WITHIN TEN (10) DAYS WILL RESULT IN A WAIVER OF OBJECTIONS AND WILL PRECLUDE APPELLATE REVIEW. See Thomas v. Arn 474 U.S. 140 (1985); IUE AFL-CIO Pension Fund v. Herrmann, 9 F.3d 1049, 1054 (2d Cir. 1993); Frank v. Johnson, 968 F.2d 298, 300 (2d Cir. 1992); Wesolek v. Canadair Ltd., 838 F.2d 55, 57-59 (2d Cir. 1988); McCarthy v. Manson, 714 F.2d 234, 237-38 (2d Cir. 1983).

20040716

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



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