United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS [Dkt. 22]
Vanessa L. Bryant United States District Judge
16, 2019, Plaintiff Adrien Johnson (“Johnson”)
filed this civil action pro se, bringing an action
under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to review a final decision of
the Commissioner of Social Security as to his claim. [Dkt.
1]. But his main claim appears to be that someone has
tampered with his taxes, and that the Social Security
Administration knew about it. Id. at 2, 9.
Defendant, Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security (the
“Commissioner”) has moved under Rule 12(b)(1) to
dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. [Dkt. 22]. For the reasons set forth below, the
Court GRANTS the motion to dismiss.
March 10, 2009, Johnson filed a claim for Title XVI
disability benefits, or Social Security Income (SSI). [Dkt.
22-2 (Decl. of Janay Pordraza and Exhibits) at ¶3 and
Ex. 1]. On April 15, 2009, his claim was denied.
Ibid. Mr. Johnson then filed a Request for
Reconsideration. Id. at Exs. 2-3. Upon
reconsideration, Johnson was found disabled. Id. at
Ex. 4. Ten years later, on March 14, 2019, the Social
Security Administration notified Johnson that his monthly SSI
payment would increase by $771.00. Id. at Ex. 5. The
Social Security Administration explained that Mr. Johnson has
60 days to appeal the change. Id, at Ex. 5, pp. 4-5.
The Commissioner has no record of receiving a letter from Mr.
16, 2019, Johnson filed this civil action pro se
under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking review of a final
decision of the Commissioner of Social Security as to his
claim. [Dkt. 1 at 1-2]. He does not allege that he is
appealing a final decision of the Commissioner. Id.
at 2. Rather, he states that he signed up for SSI on Church
Street in New Haven, Connecticut, and that someone tampered
with his taxes. Id. at 5.
Standard for a Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1)
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. . . .”
Gunn v. Minton, 568 U.S. 251, 256 (2013). Subject
matter jurisdiction is not waivable, and a lack of subject
matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time, by a party or
the court sua sponte. See Gonzalez v.
Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 141 (2012); see also Sebelius
v. Auburn Reg'l Med. Ctr., 568 U.S. 145, 153 (2013)
(“Objections to a tribunal's jurisdiction can be
raised at any time, even by a party that once conceded the
tribunal's subject-matter jurisdiction over the
controversy.”). If a court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction, it must dismiss the action. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3).
“district court must take all uncontroverted facts in
the complaint [ ] as true, and draw all reasonable inferences
in favor of the party asserting jurisdiction.”
Tandon v. Captain's Cove Marina of Bridgeport,
Inc., 752 F.3d 239, 243 (2d Cir. 2014). But,
“where jurisdictional facts are placed in dispute, the
court has the power and obligation to decide issues of fact
by reference to evidence outside the pleadings. . . .”
Ibid. “In that case, the party asserting
subject matter jurisdiction has the burden of proving by a
preponderance of the evidence that it exists.”
Law on Sovereign Immunity & Federal Administrative
a waiver, sovereign immunity shields the Federal Government
and its agencies from suit.” Federal Deposit
Insurance Corp. v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 475 (1994).
“[T]he terms of the [United States'] consent to be
sued in any court define that court's jurisdiction to
entertain the suit.” Ibid. (quoting United
States v. Sherwood, 312 U.S. 584, 586). Sections 205(g)
and (h) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)
and (h), set out the terms of United States' consent to
be sued in cases arising under Title II of the Social
Security Act. Section 405(g) provides:
Any individual, after any final decision of the Commissioner
of Social Security made after a hearing to which he was a
party, irrespective of the amount in controversy, may obtain
a review of such decision by a civil action commenced within
sixty days after the mailing to him of notice of such
decision or within such further time as the Commissioner of
Social Security may allow.
42 U.S.C. § 405. Section 405(h) provides:
No findings of fact or decision of the Commissioner of Social
Security shall be reviewed by any person, tribunal, or
governmental agency except as herein provided. No action
against the United States, the Commissioner of Social
Security, or any officer or employee thereof shall be brought
under section ...