Calhoun v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER granting 30 Motion to Amend 25 MOTION for Summary Judgment; granting 33 Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; adopting 41 Memorandum and Recommendation; denying 25 Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment; and, denying 28 Motion for Default Judgment. Defendant's final decision is AFFIRMED, and this action is DISMISSED. Signed by Chief Judge James C. Dever III on 8/26/2014. (Tripp, S.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security, )
On July 22, 2014, Magistrate Judge Gates issued a Memorandum and Recommendation
("M&R") [D.E. 41]. In that M&R, Judge Gates recommended that the court deny plaintiffs motion
for summary judgment [D.E. 25], deny plaintiffs motion for default judgment [D.E. 28], grant
plaintiffs motion to amend her summary judgment motion [D.E. 30], grant defendant's motion for
judgment on the pleadings [D.E. 33], and affirm defendant's final decision. On August 15, 2014,
plaintiff filed objections to the M&R [D.E. 44]. On August 19, 2014, defendant filed a response to
plaintiffs objections [D.E. 45]. On August 21,2014, plaintiff filed amendments to her objections
"The Federal Magistrates Act requires a district court to make a de novo determination of
those portions of the [magistrate judge's] report or specified proposed fmdings or recommendations
towhichobjectionismade." Diamond v. Colonial Life &Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d310, 315 (4th
Cir. 2005) (alteration in original) (emphasis and quotation omitted); see 28 U.S. C. § 636(b). Absent
a timely objection, "a district court need not conduct a de novo review, but instead must only satisfy
itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation."
Diamond, 416 F .3d at 315 (quotation omitted).
The court has reviewed the M&R, the record, and plaintiff's objections. As for those
portions of the M&R to which plaintiff made no objection, the court is satisfied that there is no clear
error on the face of the record.
The court has reviewed de novo the portions of the M&R to which plaintiff objected. The
scope of judicial review of a final decision regarding disability benefits under the Social Security
Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), is limited to determining whether substantial evidence supports the
Commissioner's factual findings and whether the Commissioner applied the correct legal standards.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g); see,~' Walls v. Barnhm:t, 296 F.3d 287,290 (4th Cir. 2002); Hays v. Sullivan,
907 F .2d 1453, 1456 (4th Cir. 1990). Substantial evidence is evidence that a reasonable mind "might
accept as sufficient to support a conclusion." Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971)
(quotation omitted). It "consists of more than a mere scintilla of evidence but may be less than a
preponderance." Smith v. Chater, 99 F.3d 635, 638 (4th Cir. 1996). This court may not reweigh
the evidence or substitute its judgment for that of the Commissioner. See, M.., Hays, 907 F .2d at
1456. Rather, in determining whether substantial evidence supports the Commissioner's decision,
the court's review is limited to whether the Commissioner analyzed the relevant evidence and
sufficiently explained her findings and rationale concerning the evidence. See, M.., Sterling
Smokeless Coal Co. v. Akers, 131 F.3d 438,439-40 (4th Cir. 1997).
Plaintiff claims that she does not have enough time to thoroughly object to the M&R, but
filed a typed, 31-page objection with exhibits [D .E. 44], and a typed, 15-page amendment [D .E. 46].
The court has reviewed the entire record and the arguments de novo.
essentially restate what she argued to Judge Gates. See id. The arguments merit no further
discussion beyond Judge Gates's cogent analysis in the M&R, and defendant's response to the
objections [D.E. 45]. The court adopts the M&R [D.E.41]. Thus, plaintiff's objections to the M&R
[D.E. 44, 46] are OVERRULED, plaintiff's motion for summary judgment [D.E. 25] is DENIED,
plaintiff's motion for default judgment [D.E. 28] is DENIED, plaintiff's motion to amend her
summary judgment motion [D.E. 30] is GRANTED, defendant's motion for judgment on the
pleadings [D.E. 33] is GRANTED, defendant's final decision is AFFIRMED, and this action is
DISMISSED. The clerk shall close the case.
SO ORDERED. This 2.~ day of August 2014.
riilm· . .n.. . . . . .
~S C. DEVER III
Chief United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?