Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

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.

Sanchez v. Berryhill

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division

December 19, 2017

Hector L. Sanchez Plaintiff,
Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security,[1] Defendant.


          Iain D. Johnston United States Magistrate Judge


         As this Court has noted previously, some Social Security applicants may not be sympathetic, likeable or even entirely credible. Swagger v. Colvin, No. 14 CV 50020, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151502, *1 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 4, 2015). Sometimes, these applicants are less than pristine; they are people who possess very little, if any, work history, but who possess substantial criminal histories, drug abuse issues, and mental health concerns, which can all interrelate. Booth v. Colvin, No. 14 CV 50347, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82754, *2 (N.D. Ill. June 27, 2016). The plaintiff in this case-Hector L. Sanchez-is one of those applicants.

         By his own admission, plaintiff's problems began when he was ten years old and was arrested for starting a dumpster fire. In the subsequent years, he repeatedly got into fights, quit school, joined a gang, used and sold illegal drugs, committed numerous crimes (serving four prison sentences), and was arrested over fifty (50!) other times. He does not appear to have ever worked full-time for any significant period. Upon release from prison, he almost immediately began abusing drugs once again. Dkt. #9 at p. 5.

         Administrative law judges likely see a parade of these types of applicants. Koelling v. Colvin, No. 14 CV 50018, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140754, *1 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 6, 2015). And some may wonder why these applicants should receive taxpayer assistance. But that is a question beyond this Court's jurisdiction. The question before this Court is very limited: whether, after considering the relevant facts and law, there is substantial evidence to support the administrative decision as written. And in answering this question, the Court must follow controlling precedent. This Court is not free to disregard Seventh Circuit authority, including the Seventh Circuit's requirement that administrative law judges may not ignore entire lines of evidence and must build a logical bridge between the facts and the ultimate determination, a process that neither this Court or the government can do on appeal. Swagger, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151502 at *2-3. This Court, like the administrative law judge, cannot deny benefits because an applicant is an unsavory character who engages in awful behavior. Instead, both must carefully review the facts and follow fundamental statutory, regulatory, and case-law requirements. Koelling, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140754 at *2. In remanding this case, this Court makes no determination as to whether plaintiff is entitled to benefits. Moore v. Colvin, 743 F.3d 1118, 1124 (7th Cir. 2014).


         On April 30, 2014, plaintiff was released from the Lawrenceville Correctional Center after serving a seven-year sentence for his most recent crimes. A week later, he applied for supplemental security income. He was then 39 years old, and alleged that he had been disabled since 1994 based on mental impairments (the initial form listed psychosis, mood disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression). To support his claim, plaintiff submitted (among other things) his prison medical records allegedly showing mental problems including auditory hallucinations.

         A couple of months after being released from prison, plaintiff was examined by a consultative examiner, psychologist John L. Peggau, who prepared a four-page report. Dr. Peggau diagnosed plaintiff with antisocial personality disorder. Because the Peggau report provides a good initial factual overview, and also because the administrative law judge relied on it in denying plaintiff's claim, the Court will set forth the entire “Summary and Conclusion” section contained at the end of the report. It states as follows:


The claimant is a 39 1/2-year-old, left-handed, Hispanic male who will be 40 years old in a few days. A friend of his drove him to the evaluation session. His driver's license has been suspended for seven years following his fourth prison term for possession of a stolen vehicle and sales. Other prison sentences included possession/sales of cocaine and car theft. He was first arrested at 10 years of age for starting a dumpster on fire that spread to a building. He estimated having 29 juvenile detentions and 25 adult arrests including the four prison sentences. They included vandalism, auto theft, burglary, possession of a controlled substance cocaine, assault and battery of a police officer and battery. He was kicked out of school after eighth grade for constantly getting into fights and he never did get a GED.
The claimant said that he smokes less than one pack of cigarettes daily. He estimated not using cannabis in seven years and had also use[d] various forms of cocaine, acid and hallucinogenic mushrooms. He does drink three beers once per week, he estimated.
The claimant appeared muscular and physically fit. He had normal motor activity but said he was shot four times in the left leg in October 1997. He was not in any type of physical or emotional or traumatic distress. He has repeatedly performed acts that are grounds for arrest as indicated by nearly countless arrests, jail terms, juvenile detention and prison sentences. He has two children from a woman other than the woman he was married and divorced from. His 23-year-old son chooses to not have any contact with the claimant but the claimant has some contact with his 21-year-old daughter.
The claimant is not capable of managing finances, if awarded benefits. He is very irresponsible and has never worked more than three months, and that was only while in prison.

         The claimant's DMS-5 diagnosis is:

         301.7 Antisocial ...

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.