Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
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.

Schuyler v. Berryhill

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

January 31, 2019

SEAN PHILIP SCHUYLER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO AMEND AND ALTER THE JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. PRO. 59(E)

          LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On September 21, 2018, this Court issued the Order Granting Plaintiff's Appeal and Reversing the Administrative Law Judge's October 15, 2015 Decision (“9/21/18 Order”). [Dkt. no. 21.[1] On October 19, 2018, Defendant Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security (“the Commissioner”), filed her Motion to Amend and Alter the Judgment Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 59(e) (“Motion for Reconsideration”). [Dkt. no. 23.] Plaintiff Sean Philip Schuyler (“Plaintiff”) filed his memorandum in opposition on November 22, 2018, and the Commissioner filed her reply on December 4, 2018. [Dkt. nos. 27, 28.] The Court has considered the Motion for Reconsideration as a non-hearing matter pursuant to Rule LR7.2(e) of the Local Rules of Practice of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii (“Local Rules”). The Commissioner's Motion for Reconsideration is hereby denied for the reasons set forth below.

         BACKGROUND

         The relevant factual and procedural background of this case is set forth in the 9/21/18 Order, which ruled on Plaintiff's appeal from Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Hatfield's (“ALJ”) October 15, 2015 Decision (“Decision” and “Appeal”). The ALJ ultimately ruled that Plaintiff was not disabled, for purposes of the Social Security Act, since February 26, 2013. [Administrative Record (“AR”) at 12-36 (Decision).] This Court granted the Appeal and reversed the Decision, ruling that the ALJ committed legal error by rejecting Plaintiff's testimony regarding the severity of his symptoms and by rejecting the lay witness testimony regarding Plaintiff's need for one day off per week to manage his symptoms. These errors were not harmless and, in light of these errors, the ALJ's ultimate ruling that Plaintiff was not disabled was not supported by substantial evidence. 9/21/18 Order, 2018 WL 4558466, at *13. This Court remanded the case to the ALJ to make a determination that Plaintiff was disabled during the period in question and to make an award of benefits. Id. at *14. Final judgment was entered on September 21, 2018. [Dkt. no. 22.]

         In the Motion for Reconsideration, the Commissioner argues this Court should amend the judgment and affirm the ALJ's Decision because the 9/21/18 Order is based on the following manifest errors: 1) misstatements of the findings that William Marks, Ph.D., made regarding Plaintiff's limitations; 2) failure to give the deference that the substantial evidence standard of review requires be given to an ALJ's rulings; and 3) failure to follow the ordinary remand rule.

         STANDARD

         The Commissioner filed the Motion for Reconsideration pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e), and it was timely filed within twenty-eight days after the entry of judgment.

Amending a judgment after entry is “an extraordinary remedy which should be used sparingly.” McDowell v. Calderon, 197 F.3d 1253, 1255 n.1 (9th Cir. 1999) (en banc) (per curiam). A Rule 59(e) motion may be granted if:
(1) such motion is necessary to correct manifest errors of law or fact upon which the judgment rests; (2) such motion is necessary to present newly discovered or previously unavailable evidence;
(3) such motion is necessary to prevent manifest injustice; or (4) the amendment is justified by an intervening change in controlling law.
Allstate Ins. Co. v. Herron, 634 F.3d 1101, 1111 (9th Cir. 2011). In unusual circumstances, a court may also consider other grounds for amending or altering a judgment under Rule 59(e). Id. (allowing amendment for clerical errors). . . .

Grandinetti v. Sells, CIV. NO. 16-00517 DKW/RLP, 2016 WL 6634868, at *1 (D. Hawai`i Nov. 8, 2016). Rule 59(e) motions “may not be used to relitigate old matters, or to raise arguments or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment.” Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 554 U.S. 471, 486 n.5 (2008) (citation and quotation marks omitted).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Dr. ...


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.