I-4-3-20.Declarations — Other
Last Update: 1/13/17 (Transmittal I-4-63)
Analysts in the Court Case Preparation and Review Branch may be asked to prepare declarations in situations other than untimely filed complaints (Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-4-3-5), failure to exhaust administrative remedies (HALLEX I-4-3-10), and res judicata (HALLEX I-4-3-15). As explained in the following subsections, declarations may be required due to specific local court rules, or may be required in mandamus actions, contempt motions, and motions based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
B. Local Court Rules
In some jurisdictions, courts require a supporting declaration with motions to remand. When a declaration accompanies a motion for remand and:
The remand request is for technical reasons, the declaration must describe the nature of the problem and what efforts the agency made to solve it (e.g., search memoranda, a recording audit, etc.).
The remand request is for substantive reasons, the declaration must state the nature of the problem(s) and what action the Appeals Council (AC) intends to take if the court grants the motion for remand.
Generally, a statement of the action taken is sufficient. Courts generally do not require supporting documentation.
Some jurisdictions also require a supporting declaration with a request for an extension of time to file a response to a complaint.
C. Mandamus Actions
For information on mandamus actions, see generally HALLEX I-4-9-30. When the claimant files a mandamus action for a case pending at the hearing or AC level, the AC will discuss the issue and proposed remedial action with the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) before preparing a declaration. When a declaration is needed, the analyst will describe any relevant facts and include any supporting documents as exhibits.
D. Contempt Motions
For general information on contempt threats and motions, see HALLEX I-4-9-25. When OGC advises the AC that a claimant has filed a contempt motion and the case is pending at the hearing or AC level, the analyst may be asked to prepare a declaration. When a declaration is needed, the analyst will describe any relevant facts and include any supporting documents as exhibits.
E. Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Upon review of a new court case, the analyst may discover that the issues in the case are not subject to judicial review (e.g., reopening, selection of a representative payee, etc.). In these circumstances, the analyst will prepare a declaration setting forth the relevant procedural history of the case and attach all referenced documents as exhibits, including administrative law judge and AC actions. If the relevant documents are not available, the analyst will state this in the declaration and explain the basis for making assertions about the missing documents (e.g., “Because the initial denial notice is not part of the current record, we are using computer system records to establish the date this notice was issued as well as the basis for the denial.”).
As explained in HALLEX I-4-3-1, declarations will merely state the facts in the case and will not include argument regarding judicial jurisdiction.