I-4-2-5.Case Priority and Initial Screening

Last Update: 6/26/23 (Transmittal I-4-93)

A. Determining Case Priority

Cases will be processed in the order that the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) notified the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) Court Case Preparation and Review Branch (CCPRB) staff about the case, unless OGC makes a request to expedite the case to meet a court deadline. See Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-4-1-12 A

B. Initial Screening

1. Preliminary Review

After determining the priority of a case, the court legal assistant performs a preliminary review of the files to identify any procedural or technical errors. The court legal assistant will also verify that all evidence of record relates to the claimant. Before removing material from the claims file(s), the court legal assistant should review the summons and complaint to ascertain the claim type and ensure the appropriate claim file(s) is available to complete the administrative record.

2. Procedural Review

The court legal assistant performs a procedural review to ensure that:

  • The Appeals Council (AC) responded to any evidence received within 60 days of its final action; and

  • The AC order lists all AC exhibits.

For more information on assembling the procedural portion of the administrative record, see HALLEX I-4-2-10.

3. Review of Hearing Transcript(s)

The court legal assistant reviews the hearing transcript(s) to verify that:

  • There are typed transcripts of all relevant hearings;

  • The claim type(s), claimant's name, and Social Security number(s) are accurate;

  • Page numbers are in the correct sequence;

  • All witnesses took an oath;

  • The transcriber and proofreader signed and certified the transcript; and

  • The number of inaudible portions is within the specified guidelines and there are no deficiencies (see HALLEX I-4-1-14 C and I-4-2-15 C).

For more information on the hearing transcript, see HALLEX I-4-1-14 and I-4-2-15.

4. Exhibits

The court legal assistant reviews the exhibits to ensure that:

  • All exhibits are present on the exhibit list (including AC exhibits);

  • Exhibits are legible and clearly marked;

  • Exhibits match the description on the exhibit list;

  • Exhibits match the page count on the exhibit list;

  • Exhibits relate to the relevant claimant; and

  • Documents in foreign languages are translated.

For more information on evidentiary materials in the certified administrative record, see HALLEX I-4-2-20.