United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S
MOTION TO DISMISS
Gail Dein, United States Magistrate Judge
Edward Francis McParland (“McParland”) seeks
judicial review of denial of his claims for disability
insurance benefits (“DIB”) and supplemental
security income (“SSI”) under Titles II and XVI
of the Social Security Act (“ACT”). (Docket No.
Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) Defendant Carolyn W.
Colvin, Commissioner of Social Security
(“Commissioner”), moves to dismiss the Complaint
on statute of limitations grounds. For the reasons stated
herein, the Commissioner's Motion to Dismiss (Docket No.
17) is DENIED.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
ruling on a motion to dismiss brought under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6), the court must accept as true all well-pleaded
facts, and give the plaintiff the benefit of all reasonable
inferences. See Cooperman v. Individual, Inc., 171
F.3d 43, 46 (1st Cir. 1999). “Ordinarily, a court may
not consider any documents that are outside of the complaint,
or not expressly incorporated therein, unless the motion is
converted into one for summary judgment.” Alt.
Energy, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 267
F.3d 30, 33 (1st Cir. 2001). “There is, however, a
narrow exception ‘for documents the authenticity of
which are not disputed by the parties; for official public
records; for documents central to plaintiffs' claim; or
for documents sufficiently referred to in the
complaint.'” Id. (quoting Watterson v.
Page, 987 F.2d 1, 3 (1st Cir. 1993)). Applying these
standards to the instant case, the facts relevant to the
issue before this Court - the timeliness of the Complaint -
are as follows.
April 25, 2013, an administrative law judge
(“ALJ”) denied McParland's claims for
disability insurance benefits and supplemental security
income. (Docket No. 1-1 at 2). McParland then requested a
review of this decision by the Appeal's Council.
(Id.). On June 20, 2014, the Appeals Council mailed
a Notice of Appeals Council Action (“Notice”) to
McParland denying his request for further review.
(Id.). The Notice stated under the bolded heading
“Time To File A Civil Action, ” that:
You have 60 days to file a civil action (ask for court
The 60 days start the day after you receive this letter. We
assume you received this letter 5 days after the date on it
unless you show us that you did not receive it within the
If you cannot file for court review within 60 days, you may
ask the Appeals Council to extend your time to file. You must
have good reason for waiting more than 60 days to ask for
court review. You must make the request in writing and give
your reason(s) in the request.
(Docket No. 18-4 at 3) (formatting omitted).
Notice then goes on to state that “[w]e will send you a
letter telling you whether your request for more time has
been granted.” (Id.). The Appeals Council also
mailed a copy of this notice to McParland's counsel,
Bradford D. Myler, Esq. (Id. at 4). McParland
retained new counsel on August 18, 2014. (Docket No. 1-2 at 5
(appointment of representative attached to Complaint)). There
is no dispute between the parties that 65 days from the
Notice date fell on Sunday, August 24, 2014, and that the due
date for filing of the Complaint was Monday, August 25, 2014.
(Docket No. 18 at 2; Docket No. 20 at 2).
August 22, 2014, three days before the August 25, 2014
deadline, McParland's new counsel faxed to the Appeals
Council his request for a 30-day extension. (Docket No. 18-5
at 1). The reason given was that “additional time was
required in order to complete the forms necessary to file a
civil action.” (Id.). McParland filed his
Complaint in this Court on September 18, 2014, while his
request for an extension was still pending. (Docket No. 1 at
1, ¶ 4). The Complaint alleges that this action was
commenced within the appropriate time period. (Id.,
October 31, 2014, the Appeals Council denied his request for
an extension of time explaining that McParland had not
provided good cause for extending the time. (Docket No. 18-6
at 1). The Respondent has moved to dismiss the Complaint on
the grounds that it was not timely filed.
facts will be provided below where appropriate.