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July 11, 1997


The opinion of the court was delivered by: SIMANDLE


 SIMANDLE, District Judge:

 This matter comes before this court pursuant to section 205(g) of the Social Security Act ("Act"), as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), to review the final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration ("Commissioner"), denying plaintiff's claim for Disability Insurance benefits under Title II and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") benefits under Title XVI of the Act. The main issue to be decided is whether the Commissioner's decision that the plaintiff is "not disabled" within the meaning of the Act is supported by substantial evidence. For the reasons stated below, this court reverses the Commissioner's decision and awards benefits to plaintiff.

 I. Background

 A. Procedural History

 This appeal concerns events that transpired after this court's initial opinions in this case, following the appeal in Williams I. See Williams v. State, 320 Ark. 211, 895 S.W.2d 913 (1995), reh'g granted, 320 Ark. 230A, 901 S.W.2d 831 (1995). We repeat the essential facts that led to Williams I for purposes of convenience. On October 23, 1992, appellant Jeffery Lee Williams attended a presidential campaign rally for then Governor Bill Clinton on the University of Arkansas campus at Fayetteville. During the Clinton rally, Williams and a number of supporters of then President George Bush demonstrated in favor of their candidate for president. University of Arkansas Police Officer Michael Daub observed Williams jumping up and down and pushing people who stood near him. According to Officer Daub, a fight was about to ensue. Officer Daub asked Williams to stop being disruptive and leave, but Williams refused. Officer Daub called for backup officers, and other police officers arrived, including University of Arkansas Police Officers Gary Crane and John Reid. Officer Reid observed Williams screaming to Officer Daub about his rights. Both officers saw Williams push other people. The officers advised Williams that he was under arrest, and Williams immediately sat down. Williams was then placed in a headlock, and Officer Crane applied a pain-compliance technique to force Williams to accompany them to the patrol {*99} car. Williams stated that he did not know he was under arrest until he was placed in the headlock. He was arrested for the misdemeanor offenses of disorderly conduct (Ark. Code Ann. § 5-71-207 (Repl. 1993)), and refusal to submit to arrest (Ark. Code Ann. § 5-54-103(b) (Repl. 1993)). The municipal court found him guilty of refusal to submit to arrest. Williams appealed to circuit court, and that court also found him guilty of the offense.

 On July 23, 1992, plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). (R. 74-75.) This hearing commenced on October 16, 1992, in Camden, New Jersey, before the Honorable Alan M. Neff, and plaintiff was represented by counsel. (R. 195-215.) In a written opinion dated March 24, 1993, ALJ Neff determined that Mr. Schonewolf was "not disabled" within the meaning of the Act and was therefore not entitled to benefits. (R. 136-143.)

 Plaintiff filed a timely request for review by the Appeals Council, and by order dated November 17, 1993, the Appeals Council remanded the case for further proceedings. (R. 144-46, 150-151.) Specifically, the Appeals Council directed the ALJ to (1) give further consideration to Mr. Schonewolf's residual functional capacity during the entire period of time at issue and provide rationale, with references to evidence of record, in support of the assessed limitations; (2) evaluate plaintiff's complaints of pain and provide rationale in accordance with the disability regulations pertaining to the evaluation of symptoms; and (3) obtain evidence from a vocational expert to clarify the effect of the assessed limitations on plaintiff's ability to work. (R. 151.) As will be discussed shortly, the ALJ failed to abide by these directions of the Appeals Council in any meaningful way.

 We later granted rehearing, however, and a supplemental opinion was handed down. See Williams v. State, 320 Ark. 230A, 901 S.W.2d 831 (1995). In the supplemental opinion, we made reference to Williams's argument that he was denied the opportunity to present evidence that no probable cause existed for his arrest, which was the first hurdle he had to jump in order to make his constitutional claims. We admitted that we had mistakenly failed to address this argument and continued as follows:

 Through counsel, Mr. Schonewolf requested that the Appeals Council again review the ALJ's decision. (R. 10-11.) This time, the Appeals Council denied the plaintiff's request for review by order dated March 15, 1996. (R. 3,4.) Thus, the ALJ's September 12, 1995, opinion became the final decision of the Commissioner.

 {*100} Williams v. State, 320 Ark. at 230, 901 S.W.2d at 832. We concluded by granting Williams's request for remand "for a full development of the facts" and added that if the constitutional issues argued by Williams are viable after development of the facts, the trial court may address them.

 B. Personal and Medical History

 Mr. Schonewolf has held several manual labor jobs, including fork lift operator and metal slitter. (R. 17.) On July 5, 1991, he was working as a carpet installer when he alleges to have fallen flat on his back while carrying a roll of carpet weighing approximately 200 pounds, which fell on top of him. (R. 108.) While he completed that day's work, the following day he could not get out of bed due to pain in his lower back and left leg, and he has not returned to work since then. (Id.)

 Mr. Schonewolf complains that he is dependent on his mother, with whom he resides, for his basic necessities--shopping, cooking, cleaning, driving--and that he lives in constant pain, unable to sit, stand or walk for more that thirty minutes at a time. (R. 91, 93.) Mr. Schonewolf also claims that he cannot stand for eight hours in a day because the back pain that he experiences afterward causes him to remain in bed for three to four days. (R. 203.) Further, Mr. Schonewolf claims that he does not think that he can alternate between sitting and standing for eight hours each day because his medication makes him drowsy. (R. 203.)

 Ten days after his fall, Mr. Schonewolf visited Dr. Ronald Zweibaum, a chiropractor, who examined plaintiff, characterizing him as a "28-year-old moderately obese male, 6'3", 265 lbs." (R. 111.) Dr. Zweibaum referred Mr. Schonewolf to several physicians for examination and treatment. Ultimately, plaintiff was examined by six other doctors, including Dr. E.R. Nunez, Dr. Elizabeth M. Post, Dr. Martin Swiecicki, Dr. Armando Montiel and Dr. Karen Scardigli. A complete summary of the medical findings follows.

 1. EMG and Nerve Conduction Study

 On April 14, 1991, under Dr. Nunez's supervision, an EMG and nerve conduction study were obtained, showing acute partial enervation in the L3-S1 myotome, leading to the impression of an abnormal study and presence of acute L5 radiculopathy. (R. 99-101.) Dr. Felt concurred with the EMG findings (R. 104), as did Dr. Post (R. 108-109), Dr. Zweibaum (R. 106, 111-113), Dr. Nunez (R. 99, 130), Dr. Swiecicki (R. 132-133), and Dr. Scardigli (R. 162-163).

 2. MRI Study

 An MRI conducted on July 31, 1991, showed mild congenital spinal stenosis which was exacerbated by a central to left herniated disc at L4-5. (R. 102.) Dr. Felt concurred with these MRI findings (R. 104), as did Dr. Post (R. 108-109), Dr. Zweibaum (R. 106, 111-113), Dr. Nunez (R. 97-98), Dr. Swiecicki (R. 132-133), and Dr. Scardigli (R. 162-163), as discussed next.

 3. Dr. Ronald Zweibaum, D.C.

 Contrary to Williams's assertion, there is no confusion or ambiguity in the supplemental opinion granting rehearing. It is clear from our opinion that all that was necessary to resolve the issue on remand was a hearing to determine whether probable cause existed to arrest Williams initially. We stated that if probable cause did exist, "Williams' constitutional arguments are arguably preempted even if those arguments had been timely preserved." Williams v. State, 320 Ark. at 230-B, 901 S.W.2d at 832. We did state that the remand to the trial court was for a "full development of the facts," but that statement was made in the context of a probable-cause hearing. Williams attempts to bolster his argument for a new trial by taking that statement out of context, but we decline to read the statement in isolation. We are also mindful of the fact that Williams never raised the issue of confusion or ambiguity regarding the remand, after we issued our supplemental opinion. He could easily have done so by a petition for rehearing.

 4. Dr. E.R. Nunez, M.D.

 Mr. Schonewolf was referred to Dr. Nunez, a board-certified physiatrist, by Dr. Zweibaum. Dr. Nunez first examined Mr. Schonewolf on August 7, 1991, and subsequently on August 14, 1991, and September 18, 1991. (R. 97, 99, 130.) On August 7, 1991, Dr. Nunez found that the plaintiff was suffering from acute "sprain and strain of the myoligamentous supporting structures of the lumbosacral spines"; "low back pain with radicular symptoms of the left lower extremity"; "diffuse congenital spinal stenosis, presence of the central to left herniated disc of L4-5 increasing the spinal stenosis"; "myositis of the left periscapular musculatures"; and obesity. (R. 98.) Dr. Nunez recommended ongoing chiropractic treatment, and he commented that since plaintiff's job as a carpet installer requires heavy physical activity, plaintiff "may need ongoing work hardening and back strengthening exercises." (Id.)

 After the September 18, 1991, examination, Dr. Nunez reported to Dr. Zweibaum that plaintiff "still showed pain and tenderness in the periscapular area as noted previously. There is also tenderness noted again over the lumbosacral spine and the related paraspinal muscles." (R. 130.) Dr. Nunez recommended that plaintiff continue chiropractic care, exercise regularly, and lose weight. (Id.) Dr. Nunez opined that Mr. Schonewolf would be unable to return to his job as a carpet installer and that his long-term prospects of recovery were undetermined as of the date of his latest examination. (R. 128, 129.)

 5. Dr. M. Felt, M.D.

 The next physician to examine Mr. Schonewolf was a neurologist, Dr. Felt, who examined plaintiff on September 4, 1991. (R. 104.) Dr. Felt found the plaintiff to be mentally alert and coherent, but suffering from a "post-traumatic cervical sprain"; a "post-traumatic reflex cephalalgia secondary to the cervical sprain"; a herniated disc in the lumbar region with signs and symptoms that suggested an L5 radiculopathy; tenderness to palpation of the left shoulder; weakness in the arms, hands and fingers; and spasms and tenderness in the lumbar region. (R. 105.) Dr. Felt also found that plaintiff had normal deep tendon reflexes and no sensory deficit. (Id.) Based on these findings, Dr. Felt recommended that Mr. Schonewolf consult an orthopedic or neurological surgeon. (Id.)

 6. Dr. Elisabeth M. Post, M.D.

 Mr. Schonewolf consulted a neurological surgeon, Dr. Post, on October 31, 1991, and again on December 23, 1991. (R. 108, 110.) Upon the initial examination, Dr. Post concluded that plaintiff suffered from a "degenerated disc at the L4-5 level with small herniation on the left." (Id.) She recommended a "strict course of bed rest, along with Robaxin and Darvocet." (R. 109.) Dr. Post also concluded that Mr. Schonewolf "may need surgery." (Id.) After the plaintiff's return visit on December 23, 1991, Dr. Post concluded that the bed rest "did not help" and that the plaintiff should lose forty to fifty pounds before an operation is considered.

 7. Dr. Martin Swiecicki, M.D.

 Dr. Zweibaum next referred Mr. Schonewolf to Dr. Swiecicki, a neurologist, who examined plaintiff on March 30, 1992. (R. 132.) Dr. Swiecicki found plaintiff to be suffering from L5 radiculopathy as well as a lumbar disc herniation at L4-5. (R. 133.) He noted that Mr. Schonewolf alleges that he is not able to exercise and that his weight increased from 220 pounds to 285 pounds after he injured his back on July 5, 1991. (Id.) He further noted evidence of weakness of the left foot. (Id.) Dr. Swiecicki concurred with Dr. Post that plaintiff is a candidate for surgical intervention, but that plaintiff must lose weight before surgery is considered. (Id.)

 8. Dr. Armando Montiel, M.D.

 Dr. Montiel examined Mr. Schonewolf on April 13, 1992, and concluded that Mr. Schonewolf's full range of motions was intact; that plaintiff was suffering from no limitations or restrictions; and that there was "no evidence of radiculopathy or any focal neurological deficits." (R. 116.) Dr. Montiel found that "palpation of the thoratic spine and paraspinal musculature revealed no evidence of pain or tenderness"; that the lumbar paraspinal musculature was "unremarkable"; that "backward extension, abduction, as well as adduction symmetrically were appreciated to be normal"; and that with the plaintiff standing, "flexion, extension and lateral flexion of the lumbar region were noted to be normal." (R. 115.) Although Dr. Montiel mentioned the EMG testing, he noted that the results were "unavailable," so he did not consider them. (R. 115.) Likewise, Dr. Montiel makes no mention of the MRI test results. (Id.)

 9. Dr. Karen Scardigli, M.D.

 Finally, Mr. Schonewolf was examined by Dr. Scardigli, a neurologist, on June 21, 1995, in a consultation "set up by the ALJ after the Appeals Council remand." (Pl. Br. at 23.) Dr. Scardigli observed that plaintiff was in "obvious distress with any particular moving as far as standing up or lying on the table." (R. 162.) Plaintiff weighed 348 pounds, had blood pressure of 140/92, and a pulse of 108. (Id.) Dr. Scardigli reviewed plaintiff's EMG report, which demonstrated "acute L5 radiculopathy" in her opinion. (R. 162.) Similarly, she reviewed his MRI which indicated an L4-5 herniated disc "located centrally and to the left." (R. 163.) Further, Dr. Scardigli found that plaintiff was suffering from a herniated disc at L4-5; that his cervical spine examination was unremarkable; that his lumbosacral spine examination revealed limited range of motion; that his mental status was normal; that "motor examinations revealed normal tone"; and that "deep tendon reflexes were and symmetrical throughout." (R. 163.)

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