I-4-1-58.Special Situations

Last Update: 12/1/14 (Transmittal I-4-35)

There are certain cases that require the court records assistant (CRA) to perform special processing. This section sets forth the guidelines for processing cases in these special situations. For processing expedited appeals cases, see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-4-1-42.

A. “B” or “C” Cases

Cases referred to as “B” or “C” are those in which there was a prior final hearing decision on the same or a directly related issue. The hearing office adds the letter “B” to the numbers of the second set of exhibits, and “C” to the third set, etc. In these cases, the CRA must:

  • Ensure the procedural material in the record consists of all relevant material from the current request for hearing through the final action of the Appeals Council (AC). See HALLEX I-4-1-52.

  • Make the transcript from a prior hearing part of the record if the current decision (or a prior decision that is an exhibit) substantively refers to testimony at a prior hearing.

  • Place exhibits in the administrative record in their order of admission following the current exhibit list. The index must include all procedural documents related to the current request for hearing.

  • Place the List of Exhibits for all of the materials from the current and prior hearings in front of all procedural documents, transcripts, and exhibits at the beginning of the certified administrative record.

NOTE:

The record is “full and accurate” when it contains all procedural documents related to the current request for hearing, the transcript of the current hearing, the transcript of any previous hearing, if necessary, and all exhibits that the administrative law judge and AC admitted.

B. Class Action Cases

When a class action involves only one named litigant, the CRA will construct the record in the same format for individual cases, except for the certification. When the case involves multiple named litigants, the CRA must prepare a separate transcript for each named litigant. In both instances, the CRA must use a certification that includes the names of each named litigant who is a party to the suit.

C. Supplemental Certified Administrative Records

1. Guidelines for a Supplemental Certified Administrative Records (CAR)

If a CAR is filed with the court, any subsequent certification is referred to as a supplemental CAR. A CRA must prepare a supplemental CAR in the following situations:

  • When the CRA prepared and released an incomplete CAR and the CRA later obtains the missing material. The material may consist of an exhibit(s), the translation of an exhibit, or the transcript of an oral hearing.

  • When a portion(s) of a CAR is illegible, the CRA supplements the CAR with copies that have been retyped, traced, or are more legible.

  • When a portion of testimony in the transcript of oral hearing was “inaudible” or was not transcribed, the court may direct the Commissioner to supplement the CAR with a new transcript of that portion of the hearing testimony after audit of the recording.

  • When a document was inadvertently omitted from the original CAR.

  • When some pages were omitted from the CAR because of an error in the printing process. Omissions noticed by the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) before the CAR is filed with the court may be corrected by photocopying the omitted pages and interfiling them in the original CAR.

  • When a case is a sentence six remand, but only at the request of OGC or the court.

NOTE 1:

The CRA will not prepare an index for a supplemental CAR consisting of one document; however, those comprised of more than one document must have an index.

NOTE 2:

The CRA will number a supplemental CAR by continuing the sequence started with the original CAR. For example, if the original CAR ended with page 201, the first page of the first document in the supplemental CAR will be page 202.

2. Example Language for a Supplemental CAR

The language in a supplemental CAR varies depending upon the situation. The following examples do not cover all situations the CRA may encounter in the preparation of supplemental CARs. If the supplemental certification deviates from one of these examples, the CRA must submit it to the branch chief for approval.

Supplemental CARs may consist of material that was not available when the original CAR was prepared. The language below is used if the supplemental CAR includes:

  • One exhibit or document:

    … hereby certify that the document annexed hereto is a true copy of Exhibit [number], a medical report from [source], dated [date], which was not available when the administrative record in the case of [claimant's name] was certified on [date].

  • More than one exhibit or document:

    … hereby certify that the documents annexed hereto are true copies of Exhibits [numbers], described on page [page number] herein, which were not available when the administrative record in the case of [claimant's name] was certified on [date].

  • Transcript of oral hearing:

    … hereby certify that the document annexed hereto is a true and accurate transcript of the oral hearing held on [date], which was not available when the administrative record in the case of [claimant's name] was certified on [date].

  • Translation of document:

    … hereby certify that the pages annexed hereto consist of a duplicate copy of Exhibit [number], and the translation thereof which was not available when the administrative record in the case of [claimant's name] was certified on [date].

Certifications of supplemental CARs may need to correct other deficiencies. The language below is used if the supplemental CAR needs a:

  • Corrected transcript of oral hearing:

    … hereby certify that the document annexed hereto is a true and corrected transcription of the testimony taken at the hearing held on [date], in the administrative record in the case of [claimant's name], certified on [date].

  • Best typed copies or more legible copies:

    … hereby certify that the documents annexed hereto are true and accurate copies of Exhibits [numbers], described on page [page number] herein, which were illegible in the administrative record in the case of [claimant's name], certified on [date].

  • Documents omitted from administrative record by CRA:

    … hereby certify that the document annexed hereto is a true and accurate copy of a letter from the claimant's attorney to the AC dated [date], which was inadvertently omitted from the administrative record in the case of [claimant's name], certified on [date].

  • Pages omitted in printing:

    … hereby certify that the documents annexed hereto are true and accurate copies of pages [page numbers] which were inadvertently omitted from the administrative record in the case of [claimant's name], certified on [date].

D. Special Certifications

Special certifications must be signed by the Court Case Preparation and Review Branch (CCPRB) chief and affixed with a seal. The CRA uses these certifications when the CCPRB receives a request for certified copies of documents that are usually not part of the record or when a request is made for documents involving a case in which a civil action has not yet been filed. Examples of documents formally certified are award letters, information from the Office of Earnings Operations, etc. Special certifications are used to authenticate documents (e.g., when the claimant's attorney requests certified copies of documents that are part of Social Security Administration files).

The CRA must assemble the requested documents and prepare the certification. The certification sheet on all copies (except the file box copy) will be a photocopy of the original that bears the seal. The CCPRB chief initials the file box copy of the certification. Copies of all documents being certified should be attached to the file box copy of the certification and to all other copies of the certification. The CRA must send an original and four copies to OGC with a covering transmittal on Form HA-505, Transmittal By Office of Disability, Adjudication, and Review.

E. Equal Access to Justice Act Cases

These are partially or fully favorable cases in which the civil action and litigation is over the amount of the representative's fee. See HALLEX I-4-1-43. There are rare instances when a CAR may be required in these cases because the claim can be taken to court following an award of benefits at any level. Consequently, construction of the transcript varies depending on the level of the appeals process at which the claimant was granted benefits. The CRA must consult with the branch chief for guidance on construction of the record. The CRA must release these cases in the same manner as any routine new court case.

F. Declaration Cases

In some instances, the court may not grant the Commissioner's motion for dismissal and will order that a transcript be submitted into the record. The CRA must prepare and distribute these cases in the same manner as any routine new court case.