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Pilon v. Berryhill

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division

February 21, 2018

Jayme Sweat Pilon, Plaintiff,
v.
Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, [1]Defendant.

          ORDER

         This matter is before the court upon review of the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (“Report”) (ECF No. 19), recommending that the decision of the Commissioner be affirmed.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The court concludes upon its own careful review of the record that the factual and procedural summation in the Report (ECF No. 19) is accurate, and the court adopts this summary as its own. Subsequently, the court will only recite herein, facts pertinent to the court's review of the Report (ECF No. 19). On December 7, 2017, Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett filed the Report (ECF No. 19) and on December 21, 2017, Plaintiff timely filed an Objection (ECF No. 20). On January 4, 2018, the Commissioner replied. (ECF No. 21.)

         II. JURISDICTION

         The court has jurisdiction over this case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) which gives the court jurisdiction over a review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Magistrate Judge's Report is made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(a) for the District of South Carolina. The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court, which has no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a final determination remains with this court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the Report to which specific objections are made. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2)-(3). “In the absence of a timely filed, specific objection, the magistrate judge's conclusions are reviewed only for clear error.” James v. Cohen, No. CV 1:17-01256-TMC, 2017 WL 4371548, at *1 (D.S.C. Oct. 3, 2017) (citing Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005)). Additionally, “[i]n the absence of objection, for which provision is made by the statute [28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C)], we do not believe [the court's acceptance of the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation] requires any explanation.” Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983).

         Failure to file specific written objections to the Report results in a party's waiver of the right to appeal from the judgment of the District Court based upon such recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see Wells v. Shriners Hosp., 109 F.3d 198, 200 (4th Cir. 1997) (“[t]he Supreme Court has authorized the waiver rule that we enforce. . . . ‘[A] court of appeals may adopt a rule conditioning appeal, when taken from a district court judgment that adopts a magistrate's recommendation, upon the filing of objections with the district court identifying those issues on which further review is desired.'”) (citing Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 155 (1985)).

         IV. ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff's Objection (ECF No. 20) was not specific to the Magistrate Judge's Report, as she reiterates the same argument that she made in her initial brief regarding the little weight given to the opinion of her treating physician, Dr. Teachman.[2] (ECF Nos. 10 at 8-9; 20 at 1-2.) Plaintiff did not specifically address any of the Report's finding, including the findings that she failed to demonstrate that the administrative law judge's (“ALJ”) decision to give Dr. Teachman's opinion little weight was not based on substantial evidence.[3] (ECF No. 19 at 5-9.) Plaintiff simply re-alleged that the ALJ substituted her own medical expertise for that of Dr. Teachman, by not giving Dr. Teachman's opinion substantial weight. (ECF No. 20 at 2.) Without specific objections to any part of the Report, the court does not need to review the Report de novo, but must only ensure that no clear error has been made. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2)-(3); James, 2017 WL 4371548, at *1.

         V. CONCLUSION

         After a thorough review of the Report and the record in this case, the court finds the Report provides an accurate summary of the facts and law. Therefore, the court OVERRULES Plaintiff's Objection (ECF No. 20) and ACCEPTS the Report (ECF No. 19) affirming the Commissioner's decision.

         IT ...


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