United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division
Hector L. Sanchez Plaintiff,
Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
D. Johnston United States Magistrate Judge
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.
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.
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
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
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.
claimant's DMS-5 diagnosis is: