United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
se plaintiff Gerard Carmichael Campbell seeks judicial
review of the Social Security Administration's denial of
his application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and
Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB).
social security cases, courts
. . . review the Commissioner's decision for substantial
evidence. Winschel v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 631
F.3d 1176, 1178 (11th Cir. 2011). “Substantial evidence
is more than a scintilla and is such relevant evidence as a
reasonable person would accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Id. (quotation omitted). . . .
“We may not decide the facts anew, reweigh the
evidence, or substitute our judgment for that of the
Commissioner.” Winschel, 631 F.3d at 1178
(quotation and brackets omitted). “If the
Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial
evidence, this Court must affirm, even if the proof
preponderates against it.” Dyer v. Barnhart,
395 F.3d 1206, 1210 (11th Cir. 2005) (quotation omitted).
Mitchell v. Comm'r, Soc. Sec. Admin., 771 F.3d
780, 782 (11th Cir. 2014).
burden of proving disability lies with the claimant.
Moore v. Barnhart, 405 F.3d 1208, 1211 (11th Cir.
2005). The ALJ applies
. . . a five-step, “sequential” process for
determining whether a claimant is disabled. 20 C.F.R. §
404.1520(a)(1). If an ALJ finds a claimant disabled or not
disabled at any given step, the ALJ does not go on to the
next step. Id. § 404.1520(a)(4). At the first
step, the ALJ must determine whether the claimant is
currently engaged in substantial gainful activity.
Id. § 404.1520(a)(4)(i). At the second step,
the ALJ must determine whether the impairment or combination
of impairments for which the claimant allegedly suffers is
“severe.” Id. § 404.1520(a)(4)(ii).
At the third step, the ALJ must decide whether the
claimant's severe impairments meet or medically equal a
listed impairment. Id. § 404.1520(a)(4)(iii).
If not, the ALJ must then determine at step four whether the
claimant has the RFC to perform her past relevant work.
Id. § 404.1520(a)(4)(iv). If the claimant
cannot perform her past relevant work, the ALJ must determine
at step five whether the claimant can make an adjustment to
other work, considering the claimant's RFC, age,
education, and work experience. An ALJ may make this
determination either by applying the Medical Vocational
Guidelines or by obtaining the testimony of a [Vocational
Stone v. Comm'r. of Soc. Sec. Admin., 596 F.
App'x, 878, 879 (11th Cir. 2015) (footnote added).
THRESHOLD PROCEDURAL MATTERS
complains, again, that he is better able to argue his claims
in person than on paper. Doc. 19 at 1 (“I am tired of
writing letters I have explained to you I am a verbal
person.”). But he has adequately pointed to the error
he contends the ALJ made in evaluating the record and his
physical impairments (i.e., that his status
post-prostate removal, and resultant frequent urination,
comprises a medically severe (and, further, disabling)
impairment). Id. at 2. The Court needs no hearing or
oral argument to review the Commissioner's decision to
see if it is indeed supported by substantial evidence.
also disputes the Court's repeated denial of his request
that counsel be appointed to represent him. He notes that he
“is willing to pay for some representation (within
reason) knowing that [he is] at a 150%
disadvantage” proceeding pro se. Doc. 19 at 1
(footnote added). But, as he has been informed, he does not
have a constitutional right to counsel in this civil case
seeking administrative review. The Court appoints counsel
only in exceptional circumstances, where the “facts and
legal issues are so novel or complex as to require assistance
of a trained practitioner.” Kilgo v. Ricks,
983 F.2d 189, 193 (11th Cir. 1993). This is not such a case.
See, e.g., Bostic v. Astrue, 2012 WL 3113942 at *2
(S.D. Ga. July 31, 2012); Ledford v. Astrue, 2009 WL
321632 at *1 (S.D. Ga. Feb. 9, 2009).
Campbell freshly demands “$100, 000 in damages [and]
$50, 000 punitive of the 100, 000.” Doc. 19 at 3.
Campbell misperceives the nature of this action. He has
invoked this Court's jurisdiction only to review
the denial of benefits. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)-(h) (limiting
the federal district courts' judicial review of final
decisions of the Commissioner); Shalala v. Illinois
Council on Long Term Care, Inc., 529 U.S. 1, 8-10
(2000). Money damages are not on the table.
plaintiff's requests for a hearing, for appointment of
counsel, and for monetary damages (doc. 19) should be