794 Fed.Appx. 803 (10th Cir. 2020), 19-1227, Martinez v. Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General

Docket Nº:19-1227
Citation:794 Fed.Appx. 803
Opinion Judge:Carolyn B. McHugh, Circuit Judge
Party Name:Deanna MARTINEZ, Petitioner-Appellant, v. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION OFFICE OF the INSPECTOR GENERAL, Respondent-Appellee.
Attorney:Deanna Martinez, Pro Se Michael Conrad Johnson, Office of the United States Attorney, District of Colorado, Denver, CO, for Respondent-Appellee
Judge Panel:Before LUCERO, McHUGH, and MORITZ, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:February 24, 2020
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Page 803

794 Fed.Appx. 803 (10th Cir. 2020)

Deanna MARTINEZ, Petitioner-Appellant,

v.

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION OFFICE OF the INSPECTOR GENERAL, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 19-1227

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

February 24, 2020

Editorial Note:

UNPUBLISHED OPINION (See Fed. Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1. See also U.S.Ct. of App. 10th Cir. Rule 32.1.)

(D.C. No. 1:19-MC-00004-MSK) (D. Colorado)

Deanna Martinez, Pro Se

Michael Conrad Johnson, Office of the United States Attorney, District of Colorado, Denver, CO, for Respondent-Appellee

Before LUCERO, McHUGH, and MORITZ, Circuit Judges.

ORDER AND JUDGMENT[*]

Carolyn B. McHugh, Circuit Judge

As part of an investigation into Deanna Martinez’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income benefits, the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General (SSA-OIG) served a subpoena on Ms. Martinez’s credit union. Ms. Martinez filed a motion to quash the subpoena, which the district court denied on February 12, 2019. Ms. Martinez did not appeal, but nearly three months later, she filed a motion for the appointment of counsel. The district court denied the motion, stating that because it had closed the case, "[t]here is no longer a case in this Court for which appointment of counsel would be appropriate." R. at 49. Ms. Martinez appeals from the denial of her motion to appoint counsel.

SSA-OIG argues that this court lacks jurisdiction over this appeal because it is moot. "Under Article III of the Constitution, federal courts may adjudicate only actual, ongoing cases or controversies." Lewis v. Cont’l Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477, 110 S.Ct. 1249, 108 L.Ed.2d 400 (1990). "This case-or-controversy requirement subsists through all stages of federal judicial proceedings, trial and appellate." Id. "When it becomes impossible for a court to grant effective relief, a live controversy ceases to exist, and the case becomes moot." Ind v. Colo. Dep’t of Corr., 801 F.3d 1209, 1213 (10th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted).

The district court resolved Ms. Martinez’s motion to quash the subpoena and closed the case in February 2019. Ms. Martinez did not appeal from that decision. Accordingly, as the district court recognized, by the time Ms. Martinez filed her motion for counsel, there was no longer any pending judicial case in which to appoint her counsel. Instead, any continuing...

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