United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER.
E. JOHNSTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
civil action, Plaintiff Kenneth Eugene Carter seeks judicial
review of the nonpayment of his retroactive Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”) benefits. Pending is
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 17.)
standing order entered January 5, 2016, this action was
referred to United States Magistrate Judge Omar J. Aboulhosn
for entry of proposed findings and a recommendation for
disposition (“PF&R”). Magistrate Judge
Aboulhosn issued his PF&R on January 6, 2017,
recommending the Court grant Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss and dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint for failure to
exhaust administrative remedies. Plaintiff filed timely
objections on January 23, 2017.
is a West Virginia inmate incarcerated at Mount Olive
Correctional Complex in Mount Olive, West Virginia. He has
been incarcerated since at least May 2012 when he was
convicted by jury verdict of first-degree murder. See
State v. Carter, 750 S.E.2d 650, 652 ( W.Va. 2013) (per
obtained SSI benefits while the criminal proceedings were
ongoing. On April 2, 2012, an administrative law judge
(“ALJ”) issued a favorable decision finding
Plaintiff disabled beginning on July 26, 2009. (Compl., ECF
No. 2 at 4.) On April 25, 2012, the Social Security
Administration (“SSA”) mailed a Notice of Award
letter to Plaintiff, informing him that he was owed
retroactive benefits in the amount of $10, 784.16.
(Id. at 5.) Though Plaintiff appears to have been on
pretrial detention at the time, the SSA neglected to inform
him that he would not be eligible to receive any retroactive
award of benefits while incarcerated. See 42 U.S.C.
filed this action on July 23, 2015 to seek payment of his
retroactive SSI benefits. After being served on August 12,
2016, Defendant moved to dismiss on November 2, 2016.
Defendant alleged that Plaintiff had failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies and was thus precluded from seeking
judicial review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Meanwhile, also on August 12, 2016, Plaintiff served a
“Petitioner for Execution Judgment Payment Owed”
on the SSA, again seeking his retroactive benefits award. On
September 19, 2016, the SSA responded with an official notice
that the agency could not issue the award while Plaintiff
remains in prison. Plaintiff was also informed that he had 60
days-until November 23, 2016-to request reconsideration
requested a reconsideration on November 10, 2016. (Pl.
Response to Mot. to Dismiss Ex. Obj. Ex. 3, ECF No. 20-1.)
The SSA affirmed its September decision and advised Plaintiff
that he had 60 days to request a hearing before an
administrative law judge. Plaintiff submitted a request for a
hearing on December 19, 2016. (Pl. Obj. Ex. A, ECF No. 23-1.)
stated, the Magistrate Judge entered his PF&R on January
6, 2017. The Magistrate Judge found that this Court is
precluded from judicial review of this matter until the SSA
issues a final decision. Plaintiff objects to this proposal
and to the recommended dismissal of his case.
district judge must determine de novo any part of the
magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly
objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). The Court is not
required to review, under a de novo or any other
standard, the factual or legal conclusions of the magistrate
judge as to those portions of the findings or recommendation
to which no objections are addressed. Thomas v. Arn,
474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985). Failure to file timely objections
constitutes a waiver of de novo review. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1); see also Snyder v. Ridenour, 889
F.2d 1363, 1366 (4th Cir. 1989); United States v.
Schronce, 727 F.2d 91, 94 (4th Cir. 1984). In addition,
this Court need not conduct a de novo review when a
party “makes general and conclusory objections that do
not direct the Court to a specific error in the
Magistrate's proposed findings and
recommendations.” Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d
44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982).
objections are difficult to understand. He appears to argue
that the SSA ignored him until he filed the instant civil
action. (Pl.'s Obj. at 2.) He also contends that the
continued withholding of his retroactive SSI benefits
constitutes a violation of Plaintiff's constitutional
rights. The Court has no evidence of any appeals Plaintiff
made to the SSA prior to filing this action. Further, as
explained below, the Court lacks jurisdiction to review
Plaintiff's challenge to the SSA's decision.
405(g) governs federal judicial review of claims arising
under the Social Security Act. Under that provision, an
individual may seek judicial review of the final decision of
the Commissioner of Social Security within sixty days of
notice of the decision. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). “No
findings of fact or decision of the Commission of Social
Security shall be reviewed by any person, tribunal, or
governmental agency” except as provided by § 405.