Thomas v. Commissioner, SSA
MEMORANDUM ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE for 24 Report and Recommendations. ORDERED that "Plaintiff's Motion to Alter or Amend the Court's Order Dated March 22, 2017, Adopting the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation and Affirming the Commissioner's Decision" (Dkt. 22) is DENIED. Signed by Judge Richard A. Schell on 6/6/2017. (daj, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
COMMISSIONER, SOCIAL SECURITY
Case No. 4:13-CV743-RAS-KPJ
MEMORANDUM ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Came on for consideration the report of the United States Magistrate Judge in this action,
this matter having been heretofore referred to the United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636. On May 17, 2017, the report of the Magistrate Judge (Dkt. 24) was entered
containing proposed findings of fact and recommendations that Plaintiff’s Motion to Alter or
Amend the Court’s Order Dated March 22, 2017, Adopting the Magistrate Judge’s Report and
Recommendation and Affirming the Commissioner’s Decision (Dkt. 22) be DENIED.
On April 20, 2017, Plaintiff Ruby Thomas filed her objections to the report (see Dkt. 25).
The court has made a de novo review of the objections raised by Plaintiff, and is of the opinion
that the findings and conclusions of the Magistrate Judge are correct and the objections are without
merit as to the ultimate findings of the Magistrate Judge. The court hereby adopts the findings and
conclusions of the Magistrate Judge as the findings and conclusions of this court.
Plaintiff bases her motion on the recent Fifth Circuit decision in Kneeland v. Berryhill, 850
F.3d 749, (5th Cir. Mar. 8, 2017). However, Plaintiff’s objections (Dkt. 25) fail to contest the
Magistrate Judge’s ultimate finding—that Kneeland is distinguishable because there the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) “fail[ed] to address—or even mention” the opinion of one of
plaintiff’s treating physicians. Id. at 761. In the case before the court, the ALJ explicitly discussed
the opinions of Plaintiff’s treating physician, Dr. Stephens, and explained in detail his reasons for
rejecting those opinions. See Dkt. 14.
Although Plaintiff takes issue with the ALJ’s findings, the ALJ has the sole responsibility
for determining what weight to give the proffered medical evidence. Johnson v. Bowen, 864 F.2d
340, 343-44 (5th Cir. 1988); Muse v. Sullivan, 925 F.2d 785, 790 (5th Cir. 1991). The court may
not reweigh the evidence in the record, try the issues de novo, or substitute its judgment for that of
the ALJ, even if the evidence preponderates against the ALJ’s decision. Johnson, 864 F.2d at 343;
see also Luckey v. Astrue, 458 F. App’x 322, 326 (5th Cir. 2011). The record clearly demonstrates
that substantial evidence supports the ALJ’s decision. The court thus finds no merit to Plaintiff’s
Therefore, the court hereby adopts the findings and conclusions of the Magistrate Judge as
the findings and conclusions of this court.
It is therefore ORDERED that "Plaintiff’s Motion to Alter or Amend the Court’s Order
Dated March 22, 2017, Adopting the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation and
Affirming the Commissioner’s Decision" (Dkt. 22) is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
SIGNED this the 6th day of June, 2017.
RICHARD A. SCHELL
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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