United States District Court, N.D. New York
RONALD REAPE Plaintiff, Pro Se Schenectady, NY.
KATRINA M. LEDERER, ESQ., U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN. OFFICE OF REG'L GEN. COUNSEL - REGION II, New York, NY, Counsel for Defendant,
GLENN T. SUDDABY, District Judge.
Currently before the Court, in this Social Security action filed by Ronald Reape ("Plaintiff") against the Commissioner of Social Security ("Defendant" or "the Commissioner") pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3), is a motion by Defendant to dismiss this action for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion is granted.
I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND
Plaintiff applied for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income in April 2012. (Dkt. No. 5-2 at 8 [Ex. 1 to Decl. of Patrick J. Herbst, Dec. 18, 2013].) Plaintiff's applications were initially denied, after which he timely requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("the ALJ"). On May 7, 2013, Plaintiff appeared before the ALJ and a hearing was held. ( Id. ) The ALJ issued a written decision finding Plaintiff not disabled on May 28, 2013. ( Id. at 5-18.) On September 6, 2013, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review in writing, rendering the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner. (Id. at 19-24.) The Appeals Council informed Plaintiff of his right to file a civil action and included the following notice of the time limit for such a filing:
Time To File a Civil Action
You have 60 days to file a civil action (ask for court review).
The 60 days start the day after you receive this letter. We assume you received this letter 5 days after the date on it unless you show us that you did not receive it within the 5-day period.
If you cannot file for court review within 60 days, you may ask the Appeals Council to extend your time to file. You must have a good reason for waiting more than 60 days to ask for court review. You must make the request in writing and give your reason(s) in the request.
You must mail your request for more time to the Appeals Council at the address shown at the top of this notice. Please put the Social Security number(s) also shown at the top of this notice on your request. We will send you a letter telling you whether your request for more time has been granted.
(Dkt. No. 5-2 at 21 [Ex. 1 to Decl. of Patrick J. Herbst, Dec. 18, 2013].)
Plaintiff, appearing pro se, commenced this action seeking judicial review on November 15, 2013. ( See Dkt. No. 1 [Compl.].) In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges receiving the Appeals Council's September 6, 2013 notice on September 13, 2013. ( Id. ) On February 26, 2014, Defendant filed the current motion to dismiss. Shortly thereafter, the Court issued a briefing schedule, which included a March 17, 2014 deadline for the filing of opposition papers by Plaintiff. On April 3, 2014, Plaintiff filed a letter motion requesting an extension of time to file his opposition papers. The next day, the Court issued an order granting Plaintiff's request for an extension and directing that Plaintiff's opposition papers be filed on or before April 28, 2014. (Dkt. No. 7 [Text Order, April 4, 2014].) On August 14, 2014, more than three months after expiration of the due date for filing his opposition papers, Plaintiff again filed a letter motion seeking an extension of time to file his opposition papers or to retain counsel. The Court issued an Order that, due to Plaintiff's pro se status, a "FINAL extension" for the filing of Plaintiff's opposition papers ...