Pachetti v. Colvin
ORDER ADOPTING 16 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION granting plaintiff's 8 Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and denying defendant's 13 Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, and remanding the case to the Acting Commissioner for further proceedings. SO ORDERED. Signed by Hon. Lawrence J. Vilardo on 12/29/2016. (CMD) -CLERK TO FOLLOW UP-
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
JOSEPH J. PACHETTI,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, ACTING
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
On March 19, 2015, the Court (Hon. Richard J. Arcara) referred this case to
United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy for all proceedings pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). Docket Item 9. On November 24, 2015, this case was
reassigned from Judge Arcara to the undersigned. Docket Item 15.
On March 18, 2015, the plaintiff moved for judgment on the pleadings. Docket
Item 8. On May 22, 2015, the defendant responded to the plaintiff’s motion and moved
for judgment on the pleadings. Docket Item 13. And on June 15, 2015, the plaintiff filed
his reply. Docket Item 14.
On August 31, 2016, Judge McCarthy issued a Report and Recommendation
finding that the plaintiff’s motion should “be granted to the extent that this case be
remanded to the Acting Commissioner for further proceedings consistent with this
Report and Recommendation” and that the defendant’s motion should be denied.
Docket Item 16 at 24. The parties did not object to the Report and Recommendation,
and the time to do so now has expired. See 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P.
A district court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or
recommendation of a magistrate judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3).
A district court must conduct a de novo review of those portions of a magistrate judge’s
recommendation to which objection is made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(b)(3). But neither 28 U.S.C. § 636 nor Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72 requires a
district court to review the recommendation of a magistrate judge to which no objections
are addressed. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149-50 (1985).
Although not required to do so in light of the above, this Court nevertheless has
reviewed Judge McCarthy’s Report and Recommendation as well as the parties’
submissions to him. Based on that review and the absence of any objections, the Court
accepts and adopts Judge McCarthy’s recommendation to grant the plaintiff’s motion for
judgment on the pleadings and to deny the defendant’s motion.
As Judge McCarthy noted, the ALJ not only incorrectly discounted the treating
psychiatrist’s opinion but also seemingly ignored the medical record, which “is replete
with objective evidence corroborating [the treating psychiatrist’s] opinion.” Docket Item
16 at 17-19, 21. Moreover, the ALJ did not provide a sufficient reason to discount that
opinion in favor of the opinions of two other doctors—one of whom never even saw the
plaintiff—that were both “inconsistent with the longitudinal record in this case” and
based on outdated and “incomplete information.” Id. at 20. Further, by failing either to
identify inconsistencies in the plaintiff’s statements or to provide other support for
discrediting the plaintiff’s testimony, the ALJ did not conduct a proper credibility
assessment of the plaintiff. See Docket Item 16 at 24.
For those reasons and the other reasons stated in Judge McCarthy’s Report and
Recommendation, the plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings (Docket Item 8) is
GRANTED, the defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings (Docket Item 13) is
DENIED, and the case is REMANDED to the Acting Commissioner for further
proceedings consistent with Judge McCarthy’s Report and Recommendation.
Dated: December 29, 2016
Buffalo, New York
s/Lawrence J. Vilardo
LAWRENCE J. VILARDO
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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