Crowe v. Commissioner of SSA

Filing 14

ENTRY AND ORDER OVERRULING CROWES OBJECTIONS 13 TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGES REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS; ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGES REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 12 IN ITS ENTIRETY; AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONERS NON-DISABILITY FINDING; AND TERMINATING THIS CASE. Signed by Judge Thomas M Rose on 2/9/2010. (jwd1)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO WESTERN DIVISION CYNTHIA CROWE, Plaintiff, vs. MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant. ______________________________________________________________________________ ENTRY AND ORDER OVERRULING CROWE'S OBJECTIONS (Doc. #13) TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS; ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS (Doc. #12) IN ITS ENTIRETY; AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONER'S NON-DISABILITY FINDING; AND TERMINATING THIS CASE ______________________________________________________________________________ Plaintiff Cynthia Crowe ("Crowe") seeks judicial review of the Commissioner of Social Security's (the "Commissioner's") final decision that she was not disabled. She seeks judicial review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 405(g). On January 4, 2010, United States Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz filed a Report and Recommendations (doc. #12) recommending that the Commissioner's non-disability finding be affirmed. Crowe subsequently filed Objections (doc. #13) and the time has run and the Commissioner has not responded to Crows's Objections. Based upon the reasoning and citations of authority set forth in the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendations (doc. #12) and in Crowe's Objections (doc. #13), as well as upon a thorough de novo review of this Court's file, including the Administrative Transcript, and a 1 Case No. 3:08-cv-444 Judge Thomas M. Rose Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz thorough review of the applicable law, this Court adopts the aforesaid Report and Recommendations in its entirety and, in so doing, affirms the Commissioner's non-disability decision. Finally, Crowe's Objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendations are overruled. This Court's function is to determine whether the record as a whole contains substantial evidence to support the Administrative Law Judge's ("ALJ's") decision. Bowen v. Commissioner of Social Security, 478 F.3d 742, 745-46 (6th Cir. 2007). This Court must also determine whether the ALJ applied the correct legal criteria. Id. Regarding the substantial evidence requirement, the Commissioner's findings must be affirmed if they are supported by "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971)(citing Consolidated Edison Company v. NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229 (1938)); Landsaw v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 803 F.2d 211, 213 (6th Cir. 1986). Substantial evidence means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Richardson, supra, at 401; Ellis v. Schweicker, 739 F.2d 245, 248 (6th Cir. 1984). Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla, but only so much as would be required to prevent a directed verdict (now judgment as a matter of law) against the Commissioner if this case were being tried to a jury. Foster v. Bowen, 853 F.2d 483, 486 (6th Cir. 1988); NLRB v. Columbian Enameling and Stamping Company, 306 U.S. 292, 300 (1939). The second judicial inquiry - reviewing the ALJ's legal criteria - may result in reversal even if the record contains substantial evidence supporting the ALJ's factual findings. See Bowen, 478 F.3d at 746. A reversal based on the ALJ's legal criteria may occur, for example, 2 when the ALJ has failed to follow the Commissioner's "own regulations and where that error prejudices a claimant on the merits or deprives the claimant of a substantial right." Bowen, 478 F.3d at 746(citing in part Wilson v. Commissioner of Social Security, 378 F.3d 541, 546-47 (6th Cir. 2004)). In this case, the ALJ has applied the correct legal criteria and the record contains substantial evidence to support the decision. WHEREFORE, based upon the aforesaid, Crowe's Objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendations are OVERRULED, and this Court adopts the Report and Recommendations of the United States Magistrate Judge (Doc. #12) in its entirety. The Commissioner's decision that Crowe was not disabled and therefore not entitled to Social Security disability benefits is AFFIRMED. The captioned cause is hereby ordered terminated upon the docket records of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, at Dayton. DONE and ORDERED in Dayton, Ohio, this Ninth day of February, 2010. . s/Thomas M. Rose _____________________________________ JUDGE THOMAS M. ROSE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT Copies furnished to: Counsel of Record 3

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