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Robertson v. Berryhill

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division

March 15, 2018

RONALD C. ROBERTSON PLAINTIFF
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION DEFENDANT

          ORDER OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTION [14], ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE=S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [13], DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION [9] FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, AFFIRMING DECISION OF COMMISSIONER, AND DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT [1]

          HALIL SULEYMAN OZERDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Ronald C. Robertson's Objection [14] to United States Magistrate John C. Gargiulo's Report and Recommendation [13], and on Plaintiff's Motion [9] for Summary Judgment. After due consideration of the Report and Recommendation, the Motion and Objection, the submissions of the parties, the record as a whole, and relevant legal authority, the Court finds that Plaintiff's Objection [14] should be overruled, that the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation [13] should be adopted, that Plaintiff's Motion [9] for Summary Judgment should be denied, that the decision of the Commissioner should be affirmed, and that Plaintiff's Complaint [1] should be dismissed.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On August 11, 2016, Plaintiff Ronald C. Robertson (“Plaintiff”) filed the present Complaint [1] asserting the denial of his application for “Supplemental Security Income disability benefits” is not supported “by substantial evidence on the entire record and fails to apply the proper legal standard.”[1] Compl. [1] at 2. Plaintiff asserts that the denial of his claim for disability benefits should be reversed or remanded for further administrative proceedings and that he should be awarded the benefits to which he is entitled. Id. On December 7, 2016, Defendant Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (“Commissioner”) filed an Answer [7] specifically denying “that Plaintiff either has shown or can show that a reversal or remand is warranted under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), ” and submitted the Administrative Record [8].

         On January 6, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion [9] for Summary Judgment, to which the Commissioner filed a Memorandum in Opposition [11] on March 7, 2017. On March 31, 2017, Plaintiff filed his Rebuttal [12]. On January 3, 2018, United States Magistrate Judge John C. Gargiulo entered his Report and Recommendation [13], recommending that the decision of the Commissioner be affirmed. Plaintiff filed an Objection [14] to the Report and Recommendation on January 16, 2018. Plaintiff's Objection to the Report and Recommendation simply reiterates the same arguments previously asserted in his Complaint [1] and Motion [9] for Summary Judgment, alleging that the ALJ's decision was not supported by “substantial evidence, ” Obj. [14] at 1, and positing that the Report and Recommendation should be “rejected, ” id. at 6.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         Generally, when a plaintiff files objections to a Magistrate's Report and Recommendation, this Court is required to “make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see also Longmire v. Gust, 921 F.2d 620, 623 (5th Cir. 1991) (party filing written objections is “entitled to a de novo review by an Article III Judge as to those issues to which an objection is made”). “Such a review means that the Court will examine the record and make an independent assessment of the law.” Magee v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., No. 1:12cv188, 2013 WL 4014986, at *1 (S.D.Miss. Aug. 6, 2013).

The district court need not consider frivolous, conclusive, or general objections. Battle v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 834 F.2d 419, 421 (5th Cir. 1987). Moreover, where the objections are repetitive of the arguments already made to the Magistrate Judge, a de novo review is unwarranted. Koetting v. Thompson, 995 F.2d 37, 40 (5th Cir. 1993). Instead, the report and recommendation is reviewed by the district judge for clear error. Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315-16 (4th Cir. 2005); see also Camardo v. Gen. Motors Hourly Rate Emp.'s Pension Plan, 806 F.Supp. 380, 382 (W.D.N.Y. 1992) (“It is improper for an objecting party to . . . submit[ ] papers to a district court which are nothing more than a rehashing of the same arguments and positions taken in the original papers submitted to the Magistrate Judge. Clearly, parties are not to be afforded a second bite at the apple when they file objections to a R & R.”). A court is not required to make new findings of fact independent of those made by the Magistrate Judge. Warren v. Miles, 230 F.3d 688, 694-95 (5th Cir. 2000). Nor is a court required to reiterate the findings and conclusions of the Magistrate Judge. Koetting, 995 F.2d at 40.

Gooding v. Colvin, No. 1:15cv20, 2016 WL 660932, at * 2 (S.D.Miss. Feb. 18, 2016) (emphasis in original); see also Mosely v. Quarterman, No. 3:03cv1577, 2008 WL 656887, at *2-3 (N.D. Tex. March 6, 2008).

         In addition, to the extent a plaintiff does not object to portions of a magistrate judge's proposed findings of fact and recommendation, a court need not conduct a de novo review of them. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). In such cases, a court need only review the proposed findings of fact and recommendation to determine whether they are either clearly erroneous or contrary to law. United States v. Wilson, 864 F.2d 1219, 1221 (5th Cir. 1989).

         B. Plaintiff's Objections [14] to the Magistrate's Report and Recommendation [13]

         To the extent Plaintiff did not object to portions of the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation [13], the Court finds that those portions are neither clearly erroneous nor contrary to law. Wilson, 864 F.2d at 1221.

         To the extent Plaintiff does object to the Report and Recommendation, the Objection advances the same arguments contained in his Motion for Summary Judgment and addressed in the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation. The Objection proffers no new argument or additional legal authority to support Plaintiff's position that the ALJ's decision was contrary to law or that the Magistrate Judge's analysis and conclusions were incorrect. Having nevertheless conducted a de novo review of the ALJ's Decision, Admin. R. [8] at 413-428, Plaintiff's Objection [14], the Report and Recommendation [13], the record as a whole, and relevant legal authority, the Court finds that the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation [16] should be adopted as the opinion of this Court. Due to the repetitive nature of ...


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