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.

Bryson v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Statesville Division

June 11, 2018

CRYSTAL GAIL BRYSON, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER

          David C. Keesler United States Magistrate Judge

         THIS MATTER IS BEFORE THE COURT on Plaintiff's “Motion For Judgment On The Pleadings” (Document No. 15) and Defendant's “Motion For Summary Judgment” (Document No. 21). The parties have consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), and these motions are ripe for disposition. After careful consideration of the written arguments, the administrative record, applicable authority, and oral arguments, the undersigned will direct that Plaintiff's “Motion For Judgment On The Pleadings” (Document No. 15) be granted; that Defendant's “Motion For Summary Judgment” (Document No. 21) be denied; and that the Commissioner's decision be vacated.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Crystal Gail Bryson (“Plaintiff”), through counsel, seeks judicial review of an unfavorable administrative decision on her application for disability benefits. (Document No. 2). Plaintiff originally filed applications for disability benefits and supplemental social security income on or about July 19, 2010, alleging disability beginning July 16, 2010. (Tr. 23). On February 10, 2012, an Administrative Law Judge, Todd D. Jacobson (“ALJ Jacobson”), issued an unfavorable decision, which Plaintiff did not appeal. (Transcript of the Record of Proceedings (“Tr.”) 73-85). ALJ Jacobson determined that Plaintiff was not disabled between July 16, 2010, and February 10, 2012. (Tr. 84-85).

         On or about June 21, 2013, Plaintiff filed a second application for supplemental security income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging an inability to work due to a disabling condition beginning February 11, 2012. (Tr. 13, 209). The Commissioner of Social Security (the “Commissioner” or “Defendant”) denied Plaintiff's second application initially on August 30, 2013, and again after reconsideration on December 10, 2013. (Tr. 13, 135, 144). In its “Notice of Reconsideration, ” the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) included the following explanation of its decision:

The medical evidence shows that your condition is not severe enough to be considered disabling. You are able to think, act in your own interest, communicate, handle your own affairs, and adjust to ordinary emotional stresses without significant difficulties. We do not have sufficient vocational information to determine whether you can perform any of your past relevant work. However, based on the evidence in file, we have determined that you can adjust to other work.
It has been decided, therefore, that you are not disabled according to the Social Security Act.

(Tr. 144).

         Plaintiff filed a timely written request for a hearing on December 31, 2013. (Tr. 13, 154). On September 24, 2015, Plaintiff appeared and testified at a hearing before Administrative Law Judge Valorie Stefanelli (the “ALJ”). (Tr. 13, 38-69). In addition, Kathryn H. Mooney, a vocational expert (“VE”), and David Lund, Plaintiff's attorney, appeared at the hearing. Id.

         The ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on February 10, 2016, denying Plaintiff's claim. (Tr. 10-12, 13-27). On March 31, 2016, Plaintiff filed a request for review of the ALJ's decision, which was denied by the Appeals Council on March 7, 2017. (Tr. 1-3, 8). The ALJ decision became the final decision of the Commissioner when the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's review request. (Tr. 1).

         Plaintiff's “Complaint” seeking a reversal of the ALJ's determination was filed in this Court on April 20, 2017. (Document No. 2). On July 26, 2017, the parties consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction in this matter. (Document No. 12).

         Plaintiff's “Motion For Judgment On The Pleadings F. R. Civ. Pro. 12(c)” (Document No. 15) and Plaintiff's “Memorandum Of Law In Support Of Plaintiff's Motion For Judgment On The Pleadings” (Document No. 16) were filed on October 2, 2017; and the Commissioner's “Motion For Summary Judgment” (Document No. 21) and “Memorandum In Support Of Defendant's Motion For Summary Judgment” (Document No. 22) were filed January 8, 2018. Plaintiff declined to file a reply brief, and the time to do so has lapsed. See Local Rule 7.2 (e).

         On May 2, 2018, the undersigned scheduled this matter for a hearing on June 7, 2018, and directed the parties to make a good faith attempt to resolve or narrow the issues. (Document No. 24). The parties filed a “Joint Notice” (Document No. 25) on May 15, 2018, reporting that their attempt to resolve or narrow the issues had failed.

         The undersigned held a hearing in this matter on June 7, 2018, allowing the parties one more opportunity to present their arguments. Based on the foregoing, the pending motions are now ripe for review and disposition.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) and § 1383(c)(3), limits this Court's review of a final decision of the Commissioner to: (1) whether substantial evidence supports the Commissioner's decision; and (2) whether the Commissioner applied the correct legal standards. Richardson v. ...


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.