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Sherrills v. Berryhill

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

October 26, 2017

DARIES YUKON SHERRILLS, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          DAN AARON POLSTER JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JONATHAN D. GREENBERG MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff pro se, Daries Y. Sherrills (“Plaintiff”), challenges the final decision of Defendant, Nancy A. Berryhill, [1] Acting Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”), denying his application for child's insurance benefits. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). This case is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to an automatic referral under Local Rule 72.2(b) for preparation of a Report and Recommendation. For the reasons set forth below, it is recommended that the Commissioner's final decision be AFFIRMED.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In April 2014, Plaintiff filed an application for child's insurance benefits, alleging a disability onset date of January 1, 1975. (Transcript (“Tr.”) 58, 161-162). The application was denied initially and upon reconsideration, and Plaintiff timely requested a hearing before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”). (Tr. 118-120, 123-125, 126-127).

         In November 2015, an ALJ held a hearing, during which Plaintiff, represented by counsel, and a vocational expert (“VE”), testified. (Tr. 68-102). In February 2016, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff was not entitled to child's insurance benefits as he was not disabled prior to April 9, 1979 (the date he turned 22 years old). (Tr. 58-61). In November 2016, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. (Tr. 1-5).

         On January 5, 2017, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this Court challenging the Commissioner's final decision.[2] (Doc. No. 1). The parties have completed merits briefing in this case. (Doc. Nos. 18, 21, 22). In addition, Plaintiff has filed three motions. First, on July 6, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion “for leave to enclude [sic] letter to U.S. Attorney seeking full scale investigation.” (Doc. No. 23). On August 3, 2017, Plaintiff filed an “Informal Request for Full Scale Investigation in the Interest of Justice.” (Doc. No. 24). And, on October 12, 2017, Plaintiff filed an “Informal request for Full Scale Investigation and informal discovery by Justin Herdman United States Atrtorney General [sic] for Northern district of Ohio Region.” (Doc. No. 25).

         II. EVIDENCE

         A. Personal and Vocational Evidence

         Plaintiff was born on April 9, 1957. He turned 18 years old on April 9, 1975 and 22 years old on April 9, 1979. (Tr. 104). Plaintiff has no past relevant work. (Tr. 98).

         B. Medical Evidence

         Although the administrative record in this matter is quite lengthy (over 4000 pages), Plaintiff's brief focuses on a relatively small number of medical records, which are described as follows. On May 12, 1979, Plaintiff presented with complaints of difficult urination, lower back pain, abdominal pain, shooting pain in the legs, dizziness, episodes of nausea, cold sweats, and vomiting.[3] (Tr. 449). Symptoms reportedly began when Plaintiff went to prison for the first time three years earlier. (Tr. 449). On June 1, 1979, Plaintiff was seen by a gastroenterology specialist, who noted that Plaintiff's abdominal and rectal exams were benign. (Tr. 452). The doctor assessed Plaintiff with anxiety and muscle strain. (Tr. 452). An x-ray of the lumbosacral spine dated May 24, 1979 shows no abnormality in the vertebral bodies, neural arches, or disc spaces. (Tr. 2185). An x-ray of the lumbosacral and dorsal spines from about a decade later was also normal. (Tr. 38). That radiological report indicates that Plaintiff reported experiencing mid-low back pain after injuring his back in 1975. (Tr. 38). A treatment note from August 24, 1981 reveals complaints of pain in the tail bone and back and numbness in the legs. (Tr. 2203).

         Plaintiff also directs the Court's attention to a number of more recent documents from the years 2013, 2014, and 2015.[4] In particular, Plaintiff highlights a treatment note from August 1, 2013, in which he reported multiple work-related lower back injuries since 1975. (Tr. 1979). Another treatment note from July 2014 reveals that

He suffered a car accident when he was 17 and has had low back pain and sciatic discomfort ever since. According to the patient, his pain this evening is identical to his normal character and quality with radiation down the back of the legs bilaterally and some numbness in his big toe on his right foot. The patient states that he was placed in traction and physical therapy last week and he says that he has had progressive pain since then. The patient was in the area when his brother dropped him off this evening because the pain was becoming unbearable. ...

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