I-4-1-56.Certification of the Administrative Record

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

A. General

The Court Case Preparation and Review Branch (CCPRB) chief must certify the administrative record prior to release for printing. The court records assistant (CRA) is responsible for determining and completing the appropriate certification of the record, as well as the copy requirements. After the CRA assembles, numbers, and properly indexes the record and enters the necessary information on the appropriate certification form, the CRA generates the completed certification for the branch chief's signature. Certifications are ready for release with the record after the branch chief signs the certification and impresses the original with the Official Seal.

B. Certification Guidelines

1. General

The certification heading bears the district, division (if appropriate), claimant, and civil action number as docketed and shown on the complaint. The defendant will always be the current Commissioner of Social Security. The standard certification should be used on all complete new court case records.

NOTE:

If the claimant's name is misspelled on the complaint, spell it correctly on the certification.

2. Substitute Parties

If a substitute party (one who could be entitled to benefits under 20 CFR 404.503, such as a widow, executor of the estate, or someone filing or acting on behalf of a claimant) files the court action, the certification heading must show the name of the plaintiff as the case was docketed in court. However, the index heading to the record shows the name of the claimant. If the substitute party was pursuing the claim while it was under the jurisdiction of the Social Security Administration, the substitute party also appears on the index heading.

3. Reconstructed Records

When the CRA prepares an administrative record from a reconstructed file, the CRA must modify the certification to read, “… full and accurate transcript of the reconstructed record of proceedings ….”

4. Incomplete Records

If a record is not complete, it is not a “full and accurate” record of the proceedings relating to the litigated claim. When the record is incomplete, the CRA must modify the certification and footnote any missing materials on the index to the record as well as in the record where the missing document or other material appeared. Such deficiencies may include:

  • missing exhibits pertaining to the current claim;

  • missing transcript of oral hearing;

  • missing translation; and

  • “inaudible portions” in the transcript of oral hearing that are significant in length or are the result of equipment malfunction.

The CRA must consult with the branch chief to determine whether the preparation of a transcript should be delayed to obtain a missing item. If the missing item is not pertinent to the litigated claim, the record is certified as “full and accurate.” However, the record is footnoted when the missing item is mentioned as follows “Not pertinent to title II (or title XVI).” The CRA will not place a footnote in the index.

5. Supplemental Records

The CRA must prepare a special certification for any supplemental record prepared to correct a deficiency in the original record. The samples provided in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law manual I-4-1-58 E do not cover all of the situations that the CRA may encounter in preparing certifications for supplemental records. If the CRA encounters any situation that deviates from the samples, the CRA must submit the case to the branch chief for approval.