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Rosa v. Bowen

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
677 F. Supp. 782 (1988)


Mirta Rosa (plaintiff) was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and uncontrolled diabetes mellitus. Rosa filed for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (defendant) denied her application. The Appeals Council of the Department of Health and Human Services granted the plaintiff a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ heard the case in less than one hour. The transcript showed the ALJ’s primary concern was expediency. The ALJ denied all of the plaintiff’s procedural requests in an impatient and irritated manner. The ALJ also harassed the plaintiff’s attorney to finish his presentation. At certain points, the ALJ ordered the attorney to finish within certain time limits. The ALJ also improperly measured the seriousness of the plaintiff’s condition based on his own mother’s illnesses. In an attempt to conclude the hearing, the ALJ offered to make a finding of disability in exchange for the plaintiff choosing a later disability onset date. After the hearing, the ALJ recommended the Appeals Council deny the plaintiff disability benefits. The Appeals Council adopted the ALJ’s conclusion. The plaintiff appealed, arguing the ALJ denied her due process and her statutory right to a hearing.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Sarokin, J.)

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