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Dejesus v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, S.D. New York

May 15, 2015

MICHELLE DeJESUS, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

HENRY PITMAN, Magistrate Judge.

TO THE HONORABLE ALISON J. NATHAN, United States District Judge,

I. Introduction

By notice of motion dated May 7, 2014 (Docket Item 13), defendant moves to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment dismissing, plaintiff's complaint on the ground that it is untimely. For the reasons set forth below, I respectfully recommend that defendant's motion for summary judgment be granted and that the complaint be dismissed as untimely.

II. Facts

Plaintiff commenced this action seeking judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (the "Commissioner") denying her applications for disability insurance benefits ("DIB") and supplemental security income ("SSI"); the action is brought pursuant to Section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (the "Act").

Plaintiff submitted her applications for DIB and SSI on October 26, 2010 (Exhibit 1 to the Declaration of Patrick J. Herbst, dated Nov. 22, 2013 (Docket Item 15) ("Herbst Decl.") at 8[1]). Both claims were initially denied on February 17, 2011 (Herbst Decl. Ex. 1 at 8). Plaintiff subsequently requested a hearing, and an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") conducted a hearing on November 22, 2011 (Herbst Decl. Ex. 1 at 8). Although plaintiff had counsel, plaintiff elected to proceed pro se at the hearing and stated that her attorneys "didn't do anything" for her (Herbst Decl. Ex. 1 at 8). The ALJ concluded that plaintiff suffered from coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, asthma and high blood pressure and that these conditions constituted "severe impairments" (Herbst Decl. Ex. 1 at 10). Nevertheless, he concluded that plaintiff had the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work provided she avoided concentrated exposure to respiratory irritants and that she was also capable of performing her past work as a receptionist (Herbst Decl. Ex. 1 at 11, 13). The ALJ's decision was mailed to plaintiff on February 2, 2012 (Herbst Decl. ¶ 3(a)).

Plaintiff timely requested review of the ALJ's decision, and on August 20, 2013, the Appeals Council advised plaintiff that it had denied her request for review (Herbst Decl. ¶ 3(a) & Ex. 2 thereto). The Appeals Council's notice advised plaintiff that she had the right to seek judicial review of the adverse decision by filing a complaint in federal court. The notice went on to state:

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.

(Herbst Decl. Ex. 2 at 18). The 65th day after August 20, 2013 was October 24, 2013.

Plaintiff submitted her complaint to the Court's Pro Se Office on November 6, 2013 (Docket Item 2). There is no evidence in the record that plaintiff ever sought an extension of time to file her ...


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