Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 16,400+ case briefs...

Martinez v. Secretary of Health and Human Services

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
815 F.2d 1318 (1987)


Mr. Martinez (plaintiff) received disability benefits under the Social Security Act until a continuing disability investigation led to the termination of his benefits. An administrative law judge upheld the termination of benefits, and Martinez sought review of the decision. The appeals council denied his request for review, and Martinez brought the case to federal court. Martinez argued that the termination of his benefits required evidence that the his medical condition improved, while the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) (defendant) took the position that the medical improvement test was inapplicable. Subsequently, in an unrelated case, a federal appeals court held that social security disability benefits cannot be discontinued without a finding that the claimant’s position has improved, and that failure to apply the correct legal standard is sufficient to warrant reversal of a termination case. Based on this decision, the district court sua sponte reversed Martinez’s termination and directed the Secretary to reinstate his benefits. As the prevailing party, Martinez sought attorney’s fees and costs under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). The Secretary argued that it was substantially justified in its litigation position against Martinez because the court of appeals had not adopted the medical improvement standard at the time of the termination decision or the initiation of the federal litigation. The district court denied Martinez’s request for attorney’s fees under the EAJA. Martinez appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

Dissent (McKay, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 374,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,400 briefs, keyed to 223 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial