Norris v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER adopting 34 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 1 Complaint filed by Ginny Lynn Norris. The Clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment in favor of Plaintiff Ginny Lynn Norris and against Defendant Commissioner of Social Security, and to close the file. Signed by Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. on 2/9/2018. (ctp)(JLC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
GINNY LYNN NORRIS,
Case No. 6:16-cv-2040-Orl-37JRK
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
In this social security appeal, Plaintiff challenges the Commission of Social
Security’s (“the Commissioner”) decision to deny her disability benefits. (Doc. 1.) On
February 5, 2018, U.S. Magistrate Judge James R. Klindt issued a comprehensive Report
and Recommendation (“R&R”) recounting the complicated history of Plaintiff’s journey
to obtain benefits, which includes multiple benefits applications and review by two
different Administrative Law Judges (“ALJ”). (Doc. 34.)
In the instant appeal, Plaintiff argues that remand is required because the second
ALJ failed to comply with the Appeals Council’s explicit instruction to consolidate
several of her applications and render a single decision based on all of them
(“Consolidation Directive”). (See Doc. 19, pp. 16–17.) Ultimately, Magistrate Judge
Klindt agrees with Plaintiff that “contrary to the [Consolidation Directive] . . . , the second
ALJ inexplicably did not consolidate the later-filed applications, and her Decision was
not issued based on all then-pending claims.” 1 (Doc. 34, p. 17.) So he recommends that
the Court reverse the Commissioner’s final decision and remand for further
administrative proceedings. (Id.) On January 7, 2018, the parties filed a joint response,
indicating that they did not object to the R&R. (Doc. 35.)
Absent objections, the Court has examined the R&R only for clear error. See Wiand
No. 8:12-cv-557-T-27EAJ, 2016 WL 355490, at
(M.D. Fla. Jan. 28, 2016); see also Marcort v. Prem, Inc., 208 F. App’x 781, 784
(11th Cir. 2006). Finding no clear error, the Court concludes that the R&R is due to be
adopted in its entirety. The Court, therefore, finds that the Commissioner’s decision is
due to be reversed and the action remanded.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:
U.S. Magistrate Judge James R. Klindt’s Report and Recommendation
(Doc. 34) is ADOPTED, CONFIRMED, and made a part of this Order.
The Commissioner’s decision is REVERSED and REMANDED with the
Consolidate the 2009 and 2013 claim files, create a single paper
record, and issue a new decision on the consolidated claims, as
previously instructed by the Appeals Council in its Consolidation
Plaintiff advanced two other assignments of error in the instant appeal,
Judge Klindt found it unnecessary to address them in light of his finding that the second
ALJ did not follow the Consolidation Directive. (Doc. 34, p. 17.)
Take such other action as may be necessary to resolve these claims
properly and as soon as practicable.
The Clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment in favor of Plaintiff Ginny Lynn
Norris and against Defendant Commissioner of Social Security, and to close
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers in Orlando, Florida, on February 9, 2018.
Counsel of Record
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