Clay v. Social Security Administration Office

Filing 37

ORDER approving and adopting 36 Report and Recommendation in its entirety; denying Plaintiff's 32 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting Defendant's 33 Cross Motion for Summary Judgment. Clerk is directed to substitute Nancy A. Berryhill in place of Defendant Carolyn W. Colvin. The Clerk shall enter judgment and close this case. Signed by Judge Cynthia Bashant on 5/31/2017. (jah)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 GLENN EDWIN CLAY, Case No. 14-cv-02893-BAS-BLM Plaintiff, 12 13 ORDER: (1) APPROVING AND ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION IN ITS ENTIRETY (ECF No. 36); v. 14 15 NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, 16 (2) DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF No. 32); AND Defendant. 17 18 (3) GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF No. 33) 19 20 21 Plaintiff Glenn Edwin Clay commenced this action under the Social Security 22 Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), challenging the Social Security Administration’s denial of 23 his application for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits.1 The Court 24 referred this matter to United States Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major, who issued 25 26 27 28 1 On January 23, 2017, Nancy A. Berryhill became the Acting Commissioner of Social Security. She is therefore substituted as Defendant in this suit for former Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(d); 20 C.F.R. § 422.210(d) (stating that where an action for judicial review of a final decision by the Commissioner is instituted “the person holding the Office of the Commissioner shall, in his official capacity, be the proper defendant”). –1– 14cv2893 1 a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) on April 25, 2017, recommending that this 2 Court: (1) deny Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, and (2) grant Defendant’s 3 cross-motion for summary judgment. The time for filing objections to the R&R 4 expired on May 12, 2017. (R&R 31:5–7.) Both parties are represented by counsel, 5 but to date, neither party has filed any objections. 6 I. ANALYSIS 7 The court reviews de novo those portions of the R&R to which objections are 8 made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). It may “accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, 9 the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” Id. But “[t]he statute 10 makes it clear that the district judge must review the magistrate judge’s findings and 11 recommendations de novo if objection is made, but not otherwise.” United States v. 12 Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc); see also Schmidt v. 13 Johnstone, 263 F. Supp. 2d 1219, 1226 (D. Ariz. 2003) (concluding that where no 14 objections were filed, the district court had no obligation to review the magistrate 15 judge’s report). “Neither the Constitution nor the statute requires a district judge to 16 review, de novo, findings and recommendations that the parties themselves accept as 17 correct.” Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d at 1121. This rule of law is well-established within 18 the Ninth Circuit and this district. See Wang v. Masaitis, 416 F.3d 992, 1000 n.13 19 (9th Cir. 2005) (“Of course, de novo review of a R & R is only required when an 20 objection is made to the R & R.”); Nelson v. Giurbino, 395 F. Supp. 2d 946, 949 21 (S.D. Cal. 2005) (Lorenz, J.) (adopting R&R in its entirety without review because 22 neither party filed objections to the R&R despite the opportunity to do so); see also 23 Nichols v. Logan, 355 F. Supp. 2d 1155, 1157 (S.D. Cal. 2004) (Benitez, J.). 24 In the social-security context, the district court’s jurisdiction is limited to 25 determining whether the Social Security Administration’s denial of benefits is 26 supported by substantial evidence in the administrative record. See 42 U.S.C. § 27 405(g). A district court may overturn a decision to deny benefits only if it is not 28 supported by substantial evidence or if the decision is based on legal error. See –2– 14cv2893 1 Andrews v. Shalala, 53 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 1995); Magallenes v. Bowen, 881 2 F.2d 747, 750 (9th Cir. 1989). The Ninth Circuit defines substantial evidence as 3 “more than a mere scintilla but less than a preponderance; it is such relevant evidence 4 as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Andrews, 5 53 F.3d at 1039. Determinations of credibility, resolution of conflicts in medical 6 testimony, and all other ambiguities are to be resolved by the administrative law 7 judge (“ALJ”). See id.; Magallenes, 881 F.2d at 750. The decision of the ALJ will be 8 upheld if the evidence is “susceptible to more than one rational interpretation.” 9 Andrews, 53 F.3d at 1040. 10 In this case, the deadline for filing objections was on May 12, 2017. However, 11 no objections have been filed, and neither party has requested additional time to do 12 so. Consequently, the Court may adopt the R&R on that basis alone. See Reyna- 13 Tapia, 328 F.3d at 1121. Nonetheless, having conducted a de novo review of the 14 R&R, the Court concludes that Judge Major’s reasoning is sound and correct in 15 recommending that this Court deny Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and 16 grant Defendant’s cross-motion for summary judgment. Therefore, the Court 17 approves and ADOPTS IN ITS ENTIRETY the R&R. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). 18 II. CONCLUSION & ORDER 19 In light of the foregoing, the Court approves and ADOPTS IN ITS 20 ENTIRETY the R&R (ECF No. 36), DENIES Plaintiff’s motion for summary 21 judgment (ECF No. 32), and GRANTS Defendant’s cross-motion for summary 22 judgment (ECF No. 33). See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Further, the Clerk of the Court 23 is directed to SUBSTITUTE Nancy A. Berryhill in place of Defendant Carolyn W. 24 Colvin. The Clerk of the Court shall then enter judgment accordingly and close this 25 case. 26 IT IS SO ORDERED. 27 28 DATED: May 31, 2017 –3– 14cv2893

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