Harrison v. Colvin
ORDER denying 14 Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; granting 16 Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; adopting 21 Memorandum and Recommendations. Signed by Chief Judge James C. Dever III on 2/3/2017. (Briggeman, N.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
:MICHAEL C. HARRISON,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security, )
On January 3, 2017, Magistrate Judge Gates issued a Memorandum and Recommendation
("M&R") [D.E. 21]. In that M&R, Judge Gates recommended that this court deny plaintiff's motion
for judgment on the pleadings [D.E. 14], grant defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings
[D.E. 16], and affirm defendant's fmal decision. On January 6, 2017, plaintiff filed objections to
the M&R [D.E. 22]. On January 18,2017, defendant responded [D.E. 23].
"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. Colonial Life &Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310,315 (4th
Cir. 2005) (emphasis, alteration, 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 itselfthat
there is l!O 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 fmal 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 ~d whether the Commissioner applied the correct legal standards.
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
adequate 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 re-weigh
the evidence or substitute its judgment for that of the Commissioner.
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 restate the arguments made to Judge Gates concerning plaintiff's RFC.
Compare [D.E. 15] 6-10, with [D.E. 22] 4-6. However, both Judge Gates and the ALJ applied the
proper legal standards. Moreover, substantial evidence supports the ALJ's analysis. See M&R at
15-18. Accordingly, the court adopts the M&R and overrules the objections.
In sum, plaintiff's objections to the M&R [D.E. 22] are OVERRULED, plaintiff's motion
for judgment on the pleadings [D.E. 14] is DENIED, defendant's motion for judgment on the
pleadings [D.E. 16] is GRANTED, defendant's fmal decision is
DISMISSED. The clerk shall close the case.
and this action is
SO ORDERED. This L
day of February 2017.
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?