United States District Court, S.D. New York
July 16, 2004.
DIEGO CABRERA, Plaintiff,
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
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.
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.
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).
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