United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Hollander United States District Judge
Meyers is incarcerated at Red Onion State Prison in Virginia.
On January 12, 2018, he filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus
(ECF 1) and a Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. ECF 2.
Because Myers indicates that he has no assets and is unable
to pay the filing fee, I shall grant leave to proceed in
Petition seeks to compel the Commissioner of the Social
Security Administration (“SSA”) to recalculate
the “full back payment” allegedly owed to him. He
also seeks a hearing on his “appeal” from
determinations rendered by Acting Commissioner Nancy
Berryhill's and U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie
Gallagher, denying him the social security benefit payments
he alleges were owed to him from “January 1997 to
October 2011 to February 2012, ” before he was
incarcerated. ECF 1 at 2. In addition, Meyers asks that he be
awarded deductions for his room and board, and claims this
Court did not process and “receipt” his Federal
Tort Claim for $90, 000 in back payments owed to him.
Final Agency Decision
claims in this Petition are related to his earlier case,
Civil Action No. ELH-18-129, Meyers v. Berryhill (D.
Md.). In that case, Myers filed an action pursuant to
sections 205(g) and 1631(c)(3) of the Social Security Act, as
amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g); § 1383(c)(3),
for review of a final decision of the Commissioner, who had
denied his application for Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) payments. Meyers raised two questions for
review: 1) whether his right to due process was violated when
the ALJ failed to reopen his Title XVI application, filed on
January 3, 1997; and 2) whether the SSA erred in calculating
his SSI payments for the period between October 2011 and
February 2012. Civil Action No. ELH-18-129, Meyers v.
Berryhill (D. Md.), ECF 1, ECF 5, ECF 27 at 3.
September 11, 2018, Magistrate Judge Stephanie Gallagher
issued a Report and Recommendations (ECF 27), recommending
denial of Meyer's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF 19);
granting the SSA's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF 23);
and affirming the SSA's final decision. On September 19,
2018, Meyers filed an Objection to the Report and
Recommendations (ECF 28) and a Motion for Relief under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 60. ECF 29. And, on September 28, 2018, he filed
another response. ECF 30. That matter is pending.
Petition for Writ of Mandamus
district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any
action in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or
employee of the United States or any agency thereof to
perform a duty owed to the plaintiff.” 28 U.S.C.
§1361. Mandamus is a drastic remedy used only in
extraordinary circumstances. See Kerr v. United States
Dist. Court, 426 U.S. 394, 402, (1976); United
States v. Moussaoui, 333 F.3d 509, 516-17 (4th Cir.
2003). Mandamus relief may be obtained only when the
petitioner has a clear right to the relief sought and there
is no other available remedy. In re Braxton, 258
F.3d 250, 261 (4th Cir. 2001); In re First Fed. Sav.
& Loan Ass'n, 860 F.2d 135, 138 (4th Cir. 1988).
Only “exceptional circumstances” amounting to
“a judicial usurpation of power” or a
“clear abuse of discretion” will justify the
award of mandamus. Cheney v. U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia, 542 U.S. 367, 380 (2004). Of
import here, mandamus relief is not a substitute for appeal.
In re United Steelworkers, 595 F.2d 958, 960 (4th
Cir.1979). The party seeking mandamus relief has the heavy
burden of showing that he has no other adequate avenues of
relief and that his right to the relief sought is
“clear and indisputable.” Mallard v. United
States Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 309 (1989).
order for a writ of mandamus to issue against federal
officials a petitioner must show that he has the clear and
indisputable legal right to the relief sought; respondent has
a legal duty to do the particular act requested; the act
requested is an official act or duty; there are no other
adequate means to attain the relief he seeks; and the
issuance of the writ will effect right and justice in the
circumstances. See Kerr, 426 U.S. at 403. Failure to
satisfy these prerequisites defeats a district court's
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1361. See National
Association of Government Employees v. Federal Labor
Relations Authority, 830 F.Supp. 889, 898 (E.D.Va.1993).
cannot be used to compel the performance of discretionary
duties of federal government officers; mandamus will lie only
to compel ministerial acts where the obligation to act is
peremptory and plainly defined. The law must not only
authorize the demanded action, but require it; the duty must
be clear and indisputable. See Central South Carolina
Chapter, Soc. of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi v.
United States District Court for the District of South
Carolina, 551 F.2d 559, 562 (4th Cir.1977);
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes v. Reno, 56 F.3d 1476, 1480
(D.C.Cir.1995); First Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n. v.
Baker, 860 F.2d 135, 138 (4th Cir.1988).
Petition, Meyers does not establish that he has a clear right
to the relief he requests or that Respondents have a clear
duty to perform a ministerial action. Rather, Meyers is
attempting to circumvent the Commissioner's final
decision and Magistrate Judge Gallagher's Report and
Recommendations, to which he last objected on September 28,
2018. The time for defendants to reply in that case has not
indicated, mandamus is not a substitute for appeal. Notably,
Meyers has other means to secure the relief he is seeking, as
evidenced by his filing of an objection to the Report and
Recommendations in the underlying case.