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Hubbard v. Social Security Administration

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 23, 2009

RICHARD HUBBARD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER RULING ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION (DOC. 25) ALJ MR. CHRISTOPHER LARSEN OF ORDER DIRECTING DEFENDANT TO RESPOND TO BOTH DOCUMENTS AND TO FILE DEFENDANT'S BRIEF WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF SERVICE OF THIS ORDER

ORDER DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO REFRAIN FROM FURTHER BRIEFING EXCEPT FOR A REPLY BRIEF THAT MAY BE FILED NO LATER THAN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF SERVICE OF DEFENDANT'S RESPONSIVE BRIEF ON PLAINTIFF INFORMATIONAL ORDER TO PLAINTIFF

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis and pro se with a civil action in this Court seeking review of a decision of the Commissioner denying Plaintiff's application for benefits. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), both parties have consented to the Magistrate's jurisdiction to conduct all proceedings, including ordering the entry of judgment.

On December 17, 2008, the Court discharged an order to show cause that had issued to Plaintiff and deemed Plaintiff's previously filed request for an extension of time to be Plaintiff's opening brief; the Court set forth deadlines for Defendant's filing of a responsive brief and the filing of any reply by Plaintiff.

Defendant then on January 29, 2009, moved for clarification and for an extension of time to file Defendant's responsive brief. Pursuant to the Court's direction, Defendant ultimately forwarded to the Court a copy of a document entitled "Warrant for Remand," which Plaintiff apparently had served on Defendant, in which Plaintiff continued to raise points concerning the merits of Plaintiff's case. It was this document which prompted Defendant's motion for clarification as to whether Defendant should respond to the first document deemed to be Plaintiff's brief, or to the "Warrant for Remand."

Because Plaintiff proceeds pro se, and further because there has been delay in the filing of an opening brief, the Court desires to facilitate Plaintiff's briefing of the case. However, the Court desires to give Defendant the customary opportunity to respond to an opening brief with certainty. The Court is concerned that after Plaintiff had failed to file a timely opening brief, and after the Court had deemed a document submitted in response to an order to show cause to be Plaintiff's opening brief, Plaintiff then continued to brief the merits, without the Court's permission or knowledge, by sending a document to Defendant.

In order to facilitate the ripening of this case for decision, the Court DEEMS Plaintiff's brief to be comprised of not only the earlier document deemed to be the brief, but also the "Warrant for Remand."

No later than thirty days after the date of service of this order, Defendant SHALL FILE a responsive brief to these documents, to be considered together as Plaintiff's opening brief.

If Plaintiff desires to file a reply brief in response to Defendant's responsive brief, the brief SHALL BE FILED no later than thirty days after the date of filing Defendant's brief. Plaintiff SHALL NOT SERVE AND FILE any additional briefing until after the service and filing of Defendant's brief.

Plaintiff IS INFORMED that no other briefing is permitted at this point; it is only after Defendant files its responsive brief that Plaintiff may file a reply brief. The deadlines for briefing and the periodic, responsive nature of the process is designed for the convenience of the parties and the Court and for the efficient disposition of the action.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20090223

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