United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
December 11, 2014
JOSEPH BART GOFF, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
G. R. SMITH, Magistrate Judge.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and this Court's Local Rule 72.3(a), this appeal from the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying plaintiff's claim for Social Security benefits has been referred to the Magistrate Judge for review and recommendation as to disposition.
The defendant has filed her answer, together with a certified copy of the transcript of the administrative proceedings. Briefing is now appropriate. However, several caveats are necessary in briefing the issue.
Arguments in the briefs should be short and succinct, citing by page in the transcript the necessary evidentiary support. Inasmuch as this circuit has formulated a fair body of law in social security cases, citations to Eleventh and former Fifth Circuit decisions will be expected. Bonner v. City of Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206, 1209 (11th Cir. 1981). CITE CASES FROM OTHER CIRCUITS ONLY WHERE THERE IS NO ELEVENTH CIRCUIT AUTHORITY OR IF IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS CIRCUIT'S PRECEDENTS. BRIEFS FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THIS DIRECTIVE WILL BE DEEMED NONRESPONSIVE AND MAY BE RETURNED BY THE COURT.
Requests for remand must strictly comply with the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Remands should be designated as either "sentence four" or "sentence six" remands. Melkonyan v. Sullivan, 501 U.S. 89 (1991). Counsel are advised to read the discussion of remands set forth in Newsome v. Shalala, 8 F.3d 775 (11th Cir. 1993). Any requests for remand not clearly designated as proceeding under one or the other sentence will be deemed vague and unresponsive. The opposing party shall promptly make known its opposition or acquiescence to any request for remand.
Requests for extensions of time to file briefs, particularly by the Commissioner, will also be closely examined. The Commissioner under our Local Rules receives 100 days to file a response to plaintiff's complaint. Local Rule 12.1. The Court recognizes that from time to time requests for an enlargement of time to file a brief are unavoidable, and these requests will be liberally extended. Since social security cases deal with physical problems which often impact significantly on a claimant's ability to work and thus survive, this Court is obliged to give these cases as prompt a resolution as is possible. Your cooperation will assist in this objective being more quickly obtained.
IT IS ORDERED that counsel for the parties submit briefs in accordance with the following additional requirements:
(1) Within thirty days from the entry of this Order, plaintiff shall serve and file a brief setting forth all errors which plaintiff contends entitle the plaintiff to relief. The brief shall contain under the appropriate headings and in the order here indicated:
(a) A statement of the issues presented for review, set forth in separate numbered paragraphs.
(b) A statement of the case. This statement should indicate briefly the course of the proceedings and its disposition at the administrative level and should set forth a general statement of the facts. This statement of facts shall include plaintiff's age, education, and work experience; a summary of physical and mental impairments alleged; a brief outline of the medical evidence; and a brief summary of other evidence of record. Each statement of fact shall be supported by reference to the page in the record where the evidence may be found.
(c) An argument. The argument shall be divided into sections separately treating each issue and must set forth the contentions of plaintiff with respect to the issues presented and reasons therefor. Each contention must be supported by specific reference to the portion of the record relied upon and by citations to statutes, regulations, and cases supporting plaintiff's position. Citations to unreported appellate or district court opinions must be accompanied by a copy of the opinion.
(d) A short conclusion stating the relief sought. The issues before the Court are limited to the issues properly raised in the briefs.
(2) Within forty-five days after service of plaintiff's brief, defendant shall serve and file a brief which responds specifically to each issue raised by plaintiff. Defendant's brief shall conform to the requirements set forth above for plaintiff's brief, except that a statement of the issues and a statement of the case need not be made unless defendant is dissatisfied with plaintiff's statement thereof.
(3) Plaintiff may file a brief in reply to the brief of defendant within fifteen days of service of defendant's brief.
Let a copy of this Order be served upon counsel for the parties.