Parks v. Colvin
ORDER ADOPTING 34 Memorandum and Recommendation; DENYING 22 Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; DENYING 23 Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; and GRANTING 24 Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. The defendant's final decision is affirmed, and this action is dismissed. This matter shall now be closed. Signed by US Chief District Judge James C. Dever, III, on 6/19/2014. Copy mailed to pro se plaintiff via US Mail. (Fisher, M.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security, )
On May 7, 2014, Magistrate Judge Swank issued a Memorandum and Recommendation
("M&R") [D.E. 34]. In that M&R, Judge Swank recommended that the court deny pro se plaintiff's
motions for judgment on the pleadings [D.E. 22, 23], grant defendant's motion for judgment on the
pleadings [D.E. 24 ], and affirm defendant's final decision. On June 11, 2014, and on June 13, 2014,
plaintiff filed objections to the M&R [D.E. 38, 40]. On June 16,2014, defendant responded [D.E.
"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 findings or recommendations
towhichobjectionismade." Diamond v. ColonialLife&Accidentins. Co., 416F.3d 310,315 (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.
Walls v. Barnhart, 296 F.3d 287, 290 (4th Cir. 2002); Hays v. Sullivan, 907 F.2d 1453,
1456 (4th Cir. 1990). Substantial evidence is evidence which a reasonable mind "might accept as
sufficient to support a conclusion." Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971) (quotation
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, ~. 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,
Smokeless Coal Co. v. Akers, 131 F.3d 438, 439-40 (4th Cir. 1997).
Plaintiff's objections describe her medical history, education, and recent work experience,
restate the arguments made to Judge Swank, and reference an accident that she had on May 20, 2014.
See [D.E. 38, 40]. However, both Judge Swank and the AU applied the proper legal standard.
Moreover, substantial evidence supports the ALJ's analysis. See [D.E. 34]. Accordingly, the court
adopts the M&R and overrules the objections.
In sum, plaintiff's objections [D.E. 38, 40] to the M&R are OVERRULED, plaintiffs
motions for judgment on the pleadings [D.E. 22, 23] are DENIED, defendant's motion for judgment
on the pleadings [D.E. 24] is GRANTED, defendant's final decision is AFFIRMED, and this action
is DISMISSED. The clerk shall close the case.
SO ORDERED. This 1!_ day of June 2014.
Chief United States District Judge
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