I-4-6-10.Clerical Procedures for Incoming Remand Orders — Court Case Preparation and Review Branch
Last Update: 08/22/16 (Transmittal I-4-56)
When a Court Case Preparation and Review Branch (CCPRB) receives an order, support staff will read the entire order to verify that it is a remand order, as opposed to a reversal or an affirmation. The support staff will also verify that it is signed by a judge or, if signed by a magistrate judge, that it is a valid final order (i.e., the file will show that both parties have agreed in writing to allow the magistrate judge to conduct the proceedings).
Reports and recommendations signed only by magistrate judges which have not been expressly approved by the court are not valid remand orders. No action should be taken on these until an order signed by a judge is received.
After verification (through contact with the Office of the General Counsel (OCG) when necessary), the support staff will take the actions below to process the remand order.
A. Date Stamp the Remand Order
The date on which the order is initially received in the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) will be used as the receipt date for entry into the Appeals Review Processing System (ARPS).
B. Review Order for Time Limit or Processing Delay
Staff will determine if the court imposed a time limit or if the remand has been delayed (see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law manual I-4-6-5 B and I-4-6-45) and flag the case accordingly. These cases always require expedited handling at all stages of processing. In addition, a delayed case is one which is being processed more than 125 days after the date when the Court remand order was issued. Cases remanded to an administrative law judge (ALJ) for a second time based on the same Court remand order also are included in the delayed case category.
C. Associate the Remand Order with the Files
Generally, if the Commissioner requested remand as a result of the request for voluntary remand procedures, the paper claim(s) file will be in the CCPRB, filed among the other cases awaiting court remand orders. If remand was requested for the purpose of locating or reconstructing the paper claim(s) file, the CCPRB will have a temporary file containing a copy of the remand request. After association of the remand order, all available information, including a copy of the ALJ's decision and exhibit list, should be referred immediately to an Operations Supervisor for further instructions on searching for the paper claim(s) file or assignment to an analyst.
In all other cases, the support staff will obtain appropriate queries to determine the current location of the paper claim(s) file. If the file is in the Office of Disability Operations (Baltimore, MD), the support staff should send a request by FAX to the Office of Disability and International Operations asking that the file be sent directly to the CCPRB. If the file is in another program service center or a Social Security Field Office, the support staff will request the file by telephone. If the paper claim(s) file cannot be readily located in a time-limited or delayed remand order case, the CCPRB support staff will telephone the appropriate OGC office to request that OGC send a copy of the certified administrative record to the CCPRB.
D. Prepare Copies
The support staff will include a copy of the remand order and any other court-generated documents in the claim(s) file.
E. Code Receipt
The support staff will code receipt of the remand into the Appeals Review Processing System (ARPS) using the earliest date the remand order was received anywhere in OAO. If the court has imposed a time limit for OAO to take action on the remand, the support staff will also enter the time limit information into ARPS.
F. Check Case for Completeness
The support staff will review the remand order to determine if there are additional documents, such as magistrate judge reports or new evidence submitted to the court, which must be obtained. In the case of circuit court remands, both the circuit and district court remand orders must be in the file. If the support staff determines that the case is not ready to be worked because some document(s) is not in file, the missing document must be requested from the OGC office that handled the case. If the remand is time-limited, or if the only missing material is additional evidence referenced in the court's order, the support staff must not delay the case to request the missing evidence.
G. Assign the Case to an Analyst
As soon as a remanded case is ready to work, the support staff will assign it to an analyst in accordance with instructions established by the CCPRB Chief.