Chiaminto v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration

Filing 34

ORDER United States Magistrate Judge Macdonald's Report and Recommendation 30 is accepted and adopted in its entirety. Plaintiff's objections are rejected. Plaintiff's Opening Brief (Doc. 25 ) is DENIED and the Commissioner's decision is AFFIRMED. The Clerk shall enter judgment and close the file in this case. Signed by Judge James A Soto on 1/7/2022. (REM)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 Victoria Chiaminto, 9 No. CV-20-00215-TUC-JAS Plaintiff, 10 11 v. 12 Commissioner Administration, ORDER 13 of Social Security Defendant. 14 15 Pending before the Court is a Report and Recommendation issued by United States 16 Magistrate Judge Macdonald. The Report and Recommendation recommends denying 17 Plaintiff’s Opening Brief (Doc. 25) and affirming the Commissioner’s decision. Plaintiff 18 filed objections to the Report and Recommendation and Defendant responded.1 19 As a threshold matter, as to any new evidence, arguments, and issues that were not 20 timely and properly raised before United States Magistrate Macdonald, the Court exercises 21 its discretion to not consider those matters and considers them waived. United States v. 22 Howell, 231 F.3d 615, 621-623 (9th Cir. 2000) (“[A] district court has discretion, but is not 23 required, to consider evidence presented for the first time in a party's objection to a 24 magistrate judge's recommendation . . . [I]n making a decision on whether to consider 25 newly offered evidence, the district court must . . . exercise its discretion . . . [I]n providing 26 for a de novo determination rather than de novo hearing, Congress intended to permit 27 whatever reliance a district judge, in the exercise of sound judicial discretion, chose to 28 1 Unless otherwise noted by the Court, internal quotes and citations have been omitted when citing authority throughout this Order. 1 place on a magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations . . . The magistrate 2 judge system was designed to alleviate the workload of district courts . . . To require a 3 district court to consider evidence not previously presented to the magistrate judge would 4 effectively nullify the magistrate judge's consideration of the matter and would not help to 5 relieve the workload of the district court. Systemic efficiencies would be frustrated and the 6 magistrate judge's role reduced to that of a mere dress rehearser if a party were allowed to 7 feint and weave at the initial hearing, and save its knockout punch for the second round . . 8 . Equally important, requiring the district court to hear evidence not previously presented 9 to the magistrate judge might encourage sandbagging. [I]t would be fundamentally unfair 10 to permit a litigant to set its case in motion before the magistrate, wait to see which way 11 the wind was blowing, and—having received an unfavorable recommendation—shift gears 12 before the district judge.”); United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1122 (9th Cir. 13 2003) (“Finally, it merits re-emphasis that the underlying purpose of the Federal 14 Magistrates Act is to improve the effective administration of justice.”). 15 Assuming that there has been no waiver, the Court has conducted a de novo review 16 as to Plaintiff’s objections. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) (“Within fourteen days after 17 being served with [the Report and Recommendation], any party may serve and file written 18 objections to such proposed findings and recommendations as provided by rules of court. 19 A judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or 20 specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made. A judge of 21 the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or 22 recommendations made by the magistrate judge. The judge may also receive further 23 evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.”). 24 In addition to reviewing the Report and Recommendation and any objections and 25 responsive briefing thereto, the Court’s de novo review of the record includes review of the 26 record and authority before United States Magistrate Judge Macdonald which led to the 27 Report and Recommendation in this case. 28 Upon de novo review of the record and authority herein, the Court finds Plaintiff’s -2- 1 objections to be without merit, rejects those objections, and adopts United States 2 Magistrate Judge Macdonald’s Report and Recommendation. See, e.g., United States v. 3 Rodriguez, 888 F.2d 519, 522 (7th Cir. 1989) (“Rodriguez is entitled by statute to de novo 4 review of the subject. Under Raddatz [447 U.S. 667 (1980)] the court may provide this on 5 the record compiled by the magistrate. Rodriguez treats adoption of the magistrate's report 6 as a sign that he has not received his due. Yet we see no reason to infer abdication from 7 adoption. On occasion this court affirms a judgment on the basis of the district court's 8 opinion. Affirming by adoption does not imply that we have neglected our duties; it means, 9 rather, that after independent review we came to the same conclusions as the district judge 10 for the reasons that judge gave, rendering further explanation otiose. When the district 11 judge, after reviewing the record in the light of the objections to the report, reaches the 12 magistrate's conclusions for the magistrate's reasons, it makes sense to adopt the report, 13 sparing everyone another round of paper.”); Bratcher v. Bray-Doyle Independent School 14 Dist. No. 42 of Stephens County, Okl., 8 F.3d 722, 724 (10th Cir. 1993) (“De novo review 15 is statutorily and constitutionally required when written objections to a magistrate's report 16 are timely filed with the district court . . . The district court's duty in this regard is satisfied 17 only by considering the actual testimony [or other relevant evidence in the record], and not 18 by merely reviewing the magistrate's report and recommendations . . . On the other hand, 19 we presume the district court knew of these requirements, so the express references to de 20 novo review in its order must be taken to mean it properly considered the pertinent portions 21 of the record, absent some clear indication otherwise . . . Plaintiff contends . . . the district 22 court's [terse] order indicates the exercise of less than de novo review . . . [However,] 23 brevity does not warrant look[ing] behind a district court's express statement that it engaged 24 in a de novo review of the record.”); Murphy v. International Business Machines Corp., 23 25 F.3d 719, 722 (2nd Cir. 1994) (“We . . . reject Murphy's procedural challenges to the 26 granting of summary judgment . . . Murphy's contention that the district judge did not 27 properly consider her objections to the magistrate judge's report . . . lacks merit. The judge's 28 brief order mentioned that objections had been made and overruled. We do not construe -3- 1 the brevity of the order as an indication that the objections were not given due 2 consideration, especially in light of the correctness of that report and the evident lack of 3 merit in Murphy's objections.”); Gonzales-Perez v. Harper, 241 F.3d 633 (8th Cir. 2001) 4 (“When a party timely objects to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the 5 district court is required to make a de novo review of the record related to the objections, 6 which requires more than merely reviewing the report and recommendation . . . This court 7 presumes that the district court properly performs its review and will affirm the district 8 court's approval of the magistrate's recommendation absent evidence to the contrary . . . 9 The burden is on the challenger to make a prima facie case that de novo review was not 10 had.”); Brunig v. Clark, 560 F.3d 292, 295 (5th Cir. 2009) (“Brunig also claims that the 11 district court judge did not review the magistrate's report de novo . . . There is no evidence 12 that the district court did not conduct a de novo review. Without any evidence to the 13 contrary . . . we will not assume that the district court did not conduct the proper review.”).2 14 CONCLUSION 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows: 2 See also Pinkston v. Madry, 440 F.3d 879, 893-894 (7th Cir. 2006) (the district court's assurance, in a written order, that the court has complied with the de novo review requirements of the statute in reviewing the magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendation is sufficient, in all but the most extraordinary of cases, to resist assault on appeal; emphasizing that “[i]t is clear that Pinkston's argument in this regard is nothing more than a collateral attack on the magistrate's reasoning, masquerading as an assault on the district court's entirely acceptable decision to adopt the magistrate's opinion . . .”); Garcia v. City of Albuquerque, 232 F.3d 760 (10th Cir. 2000) (“The district court's order is terse . . . However, neither 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) nor Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b) requires the district court to make any specific findings; the district court must merely conduct a de novo review of the record . . . It is common practice among district judges . . . to [issue a terse order stating that it conducted a de novo review as to objections] . . . and adopt the magistrate judges' recommended dispositions when they find that magistrate judges have dealt with the issues fully and accurately and that they could add little of value to that analysis. We cannot interpret the district court's [terse] statement as establishing that it failed to perform the required de novo review . . . We hold that although the district court's decision is terse, this is insufficient to demonstrate that the court failed to review the magistrate's recommendation de novo.”); Goffman v. Gross, 59 F.3d 668, 671 (7th Cir. 1995) (“The district court is required to conduct a de novo determination of those portions of the magistrate judge's report and recommendations to which objections have been filed. But this de novo determination is not the same as a de novo hearing . . . [I]f following a review of the record the district court is satisfied with the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations it may in its discretion treat those findings and recommendations as its own.”). -4- 1 2 (1) United States Magistrate Judge Macdonald’s Report and Recommendation is accepted and adopted in its entirety. 3 (2) Plaintiff’s objections are rejected. 4 (3) Plaintiff’s Opening Brief (Doc. 25) is DENIED and the Commissioner’s decision is 5 AFFIRMED. The Clerk shall enter judgment and close the file in this case. 6 Dated this 7th day of January, 2022. 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -5-

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