United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JEFFREY I. CUMMINGS MAGISTRATE JUDGE
brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to review
the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security
denying his applications for disability benefits. The parties
have consented to the jurisdiction of a United States
Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (Dkt.
5.) This Court has jurisdiction to hear this matter pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). On April 30, 2019, the
Commissioner filed a motion to dismiss (Dkt. 6.) The Court
construes the Commissioner's motion to dismiss as a
motion for summary judgment as required by Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(d) because the Commissioner has attached
the declaration of Christianne Voegele (the Social Security
Administration's Office of Appellate Operation's
Chief of Court Case Preparation and Review Branch I) with
attached exhibits (Dkt. 6-1), in support of its motion. For
the reasons stated below, the Commissioner's motion is
filed applications for disability insurance benefits and
supplemental security income on January 30, 2015. His
applications were denied initially and on reconsideration.
Claimant then requested a hearing with an Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”), which was held on October 2, 2017.
On January 24, 2018, the ALJ issued a written opinion denying
Claimant's applications for benefits. (“Declaration
of Christianne Voegele, Chief of Court Case Preparation and
Review Branch I, Office of Appellate Operations, Social
Security Administration, ” hereinafter “Voegele
Decl.” (Dkt. 6-1 at Ex. 1.).) Claimant filed a timely
request for review with the Appeals Council.
December 19, 2018, the Appeals Council denied Claimant's
request, making the ALJ's decision the final decision of
the Commissioner. (Dkt. 6-1 at 24-29.) On that same date, the
Appeals Council sent the notice of its decision by mail to
Claimant, with a copy to his attorney. (Dkt. 6-1 at 24-29.)
The notice provides:
Time to File a Civil Action
• You have 60 days to file a civil action (ask for court
• The 60 days start the day after you receive this
letter. We assume you received this letter 5 days after the
date on it unless you show us that you did not receive it
within the 5-day period.
• If you cannot file for court review within 60 days,
you may ask the Appeals Council to extend your time to file.
You must have a good reason for waiting more than 60 days to
ask for court review. You must make the request in writing
and give your reason(s) in the request.
(Dkt. 6-1 at 25.) Claimant filed his complaint for judicial
review on March 1, 2019. (Dkt. 1.)
Commissioner filed his motion to dismiss with Ms.
Voegele's supporting declaration on April 30, 2019,
arguing that Claimant filed the complaint after the 60-day
deadline expired. (Dkt. 6.) Claimant filed his response to
the Commissioner's motion on June 11, 2019. (Dkt. 10.) On
June 26, 2019, the Court entered a minute order informing the
parties that it would construe the motion as one for summary
judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d) and provided Claimant
with until July 10, 2019 to submit any evidentiary material
he desired to present to oppose the Commissioner's
motion. (Dkt. 12.) Claimant did not submit any evidentiary
material in opposition to the Commissioner's motion and
this matter is now ripe for ruling.
the Social Security Act, a party seeking judicial review of a
final unfavorable decision of the Commissioner may do so in
the way of “a civil action commenced within sixty days
after the mailing to him of notice of such decision or within
such further time as the Commissioner of Social Security may
allow.” 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); see also 20
C.F.R. § 422.210 (“Any civil action [for judicial
review] must be instituted within 60 days after the Appeals
Council's notice of denial of request for
review…is received by the individual, institution, or
agency, except that this time may be extended by the Appeals
Council upon a showing of good cause.”). The sixty-day
time limit is not jurisdictional, but constitutes a period of
limitations that must be strictly construed. Pantaleo v.
Sebelius, No. 10 C 50091, 2011 WL 2292962, at *1
(N.D.Ill. June 9, 2011) (citing Bowen v. New York
City, 476 U.S. 467, 479 (1986)). The ...