McDonald v. Commissioner of Social Security

Filing 17

Opinion & Order signed by Judge James S. Gwin on 1/11/17. The Court adopts in whole Magistrate Judge Limbert's findings of fact and conclusions of law and incorporates them fully herein by reference. The Court vacates the Commissioner's denial of benefits and remands this case to the Administrative Law Judge for further proceedings. (Related Docs. 1 and 15 ) (D,MA)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO -----------------------------------------------------LAURENCE JOSEPH MCDONALD, Plaintiff, vs. CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Defendant. : : : : : : : : : : : : CASE NO. 1:16-CV-217 OPINION & ORDER [Resolving Doc. 1-1] -----------------------------------------------------JAMES S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE: On November 15, 2012, Plaintiff Laurence Joseph McDonald applied for Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income under the Social Security Act.1 After his application was denied, McDonald requested that an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) evaluate his application.2 On March 16, 2015, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff McDonald was not disabled within the meanings of the Social Security Act.3 The Appeals Council denied McDonald’s request for review.4 On January 29, 2016, Plaintiff McDonald filed this complaint for wrongful denial of disability benefits.5 Consistent with Local Rule 72.2, the Court referred the matter to Magistrate Judge George J. Limbert. On December 20, 2016, Magistrate Judge Limbert issued a Report and Recommendation, finding the ALJ’s determination was not supported by substantial evidence.6 1 Doc. 9 at 198-204. Id. at 156-57. 3 Id. at 14-24. 4 Id. at 1-6. 5 Doc. 1-1. Although Plaintiff’s suit was originally filed in the Southern District of Ohio, Magistrate Judge King transferred the case to this District on January 29, 2016. Doc. 2. 6 Doc. 15 at 26. 2 Case No. 1:16-CV-217 Gwin, J. Specifically, the ALJ failed to set forth “good reasons” for discounting the opinions of McDonald’s treating physicians.7 Magistrate Limbert recommended that this Court vacate the Commissioner’s denial of disability benefits and remand the case back to the ALJ for further proceedings.8 The Federal Magistrates Act requires a district court to conduct a de novo review only of those portions of a Report and Recommendation to which the parties have made an objection.9 On January 3, 2017, the Social Security Commissioner filed notice that the Social Security Commissioner would not object to Magistrate Judge Limbert’s report and recommendation.10 Absent objection, a district court may adopt the magistrate judge’s report without review.11 Moreover, having conducted its own review of the parties’ briefs in this case, the Court agrees with the conclusions of Magistrate Judge Limbert. Accordingly, the Court ADOPTS in whole Magistrate Judge Limbert’s findings of fact and conclusions of law and incorporates them fully herein by reference. The Court thus VACATES the Commissioner’s denial of benefits and REMANDS this case to the Administrative Law Judge for further proceedings. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: January 11, 2017 s/ James S. Gwin JAMES S. GWIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 7 Id. at 22-26. Id. at 27-28. 9 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). 10 Doc. 16. 11 Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985). 8 -2-

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