(SS) Ray v. Commissioner of Social Security, No. 1:2010cv01240 - Document 16 (E.D. Cal. 2010)

Court Description: FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS Dismissing Plaintiff's Complaint signed by Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on 12/14/2010. Objections to F&R due by 12/29/2010. (Leon-Guerrero, A)
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(SS) Ray v. Commissioner of Social Security Doc. 16 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 DEBRA J. RAY, 12 13 14 Case No.: 1:10-CV-01240-OWW-JLT Plaintiff, FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS DISMISSING PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT vs. MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner of Social Security, 15 Defendants. 16 / 17 18 Before the Court is a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction filed by Defendant Michael J. 19 Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, on November 22, 2010. (Doc. 13). Defendant alleges that 20 the Court does not have jurisdiction over the action filed by Debra Ray (“Plaintiff”), who seeks 21 review of an administrative decision denying her claim for supplemental security income (“SSI”) 22 benefits. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff filed a statement of non-opposition to Defendant’s motion on December 23 9, 2010. (Doc. 15). 24 I. Factual and Procedural History 25 An administrative law judge denied Plaintiff’s application for SSI benefits on May 4, 2009, 26 and Plaintiff filed a request for review of the decision with the Appeals Council. (Doc. 13-1 at 2). 27 Plaintiff commenced this action against Defendant by filing a complaint on July 9, 2010. (Doc. 1). 28 On August 5, 2010, the Appeals Council granted Plaintiff’s request for review and remanded the 1 Dockets.Justia.com 1 matter to an administrative law judge. (Doc. 13-1, Ex. 2). Therefore, at the time Plaintiff filed the 2 civil action in this Court, the Appeals Council had not completed action on Plaintiff’s request for 3 review. 4 II. Jurisdiction 5 The Court has jurisdiction to review decisions regarding Social Security benefits and the 6 denial of SSI claims arising under Title XVI. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). In relevant part, the provision 7 states: 8 Any individual, after any final decision of the Commissioner made after a hearing to which he was a party, irrespective of the amount in controversy, may obtain a review of such decision by a civil action commenced within sixty days after the mailing to him of such decision or within such further time as the Commissioner may allow. 9 10 11 Id. Except as provided by statute, “[n]o findings of fact or decision of the Commissioner shall be 12 reviewed by any person, tribunal, or governmental agency.” 42 U.S.C. § 405(h). The Supreme Court 13 noted that the purpose of the legislation was “to forestall repetitive or belated litigation of stale eligibility 14 claims.” Califano v. Sanders, 420 U.S. 99, 108 (1977). 15 Defendant argues that the Court lacks jurisdiction because “Plaintiff . . . has not received a final 16 decision subject to judicial review.” (Doc. 13 at 4). Further, Defendant argues that because the Appeals 17 Council granted Plaintiff’s request for review, the decision for which Plaintiff seeks judicial review has 18 been vacated. Id. Given that Plaintiff’s request for review was granted by the Appeals Council she filed 19 her complaint, there has not been “a final decision” for the Court to review as required by 42 U.S.C. § 20 405(g). Therefore, the Court lacks jurisdiction over the matter. Notably, Plaintiff filed a statement of 21 non-opposition to Defendant’s motion, thereby conceding that the Court lacks jurisdiction. See Doc. 15 22 at 1. 23 III. Findings and Recommendations 24 For the foregoing reasons, the Court lacks jurisdiction over this matter. The Court may dismiss 25 an action if it lacks jurisdiction over the matter. Fielder v. Clark, 714 F.2d 77, 78 (9th Cir. 1983) (court 26 must dismiss action whenever it determines that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction). 27 /// 28 /// 2 1 Accordingly, the Court HEREBY RECOMMENDS: 2 1. Defendant’s motion to dismiss is GRANTED; and 3 2. Plaintiff’s Complaint is DISMISSED; and 4 3. Because the order dismissing the Complaint concludes this case, the Clerk of the Court 5 is ordered to close this matter. 6 It is HEREBY ORDERED that these Findings and Recommendations be submitted to the United 7 States District Court Judge assigned to the case pursuant to the provision of 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(B) 8 and Rule 72-304 of the Local Rules of Practice for the United States District Court, Eastern District of 9 California. Within fourteen (14) days after being served with a copy of this Report and 10 Recommendation, any party may file written objections with the Court and serve a copy on all parties. 11 Such a document should be captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and 12 Recommendations.” Replies to the Objections shall be served and filed within ten (10) court days (plus 13 three (3) days if served by mail) after service of the Objections. The Court will then review the 14 Magistrate Judge’s ruling pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 15 The parties are advised that failure to file objections within the specified time may waive the 16 right to appeal the Order of the District Court. Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991). 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. 18 19 Dated: December 14, 2010 20 9j7khi /s/ Jennifer L. Thurston UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3