United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Beaufort Division
matter is before the court for review of the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation (“Report”)
filed on April 22, 2019. (ECF No. 17.) The Report addresses
Plaintiff Rebecca Davis' (“Plaintiff”) claim
for disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) and
recommends that the court reverse the decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security Administration (“the
Commissioner”) and remand the matter for further
administrative proceedings. (Id. at 1, 11.) For the
reasons stated herein, the court ACCEPTS the
Magistrate Judge's Report (ECF No. 17), incorporating it
herein, REVERSES the decision of the
Commissioner, and REMANDS the action for
additional administrative proceedings.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Report sets forth the relevant facts and legal standards
which this court incorporates herein without a full
recitation. (ECF No. 17.) As brief background, the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) determined that
Plaintiff was not disabled for purposes of the Social
Security Act (“the Act”) on April 18, 2017, and
denied Plaintiff's claim for DIB. (ECF No. 10-3 at 15.)
Although the ALJ found that Plaintiff possesses the severe
impairment of undifferentiated inflammatory polyarthritis,
the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff “does not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that meets or
medically equals the severity of one of the listed
impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 . . .
.” (Id. at 7-9.) In addition, the ALJ
concluded that Plaintiff:
has the residual functional capacity [(“RFC”)] to
perform light work as defined in 20 [C.F.R.] [§]
404.1567(b) except the claimant is limited to lifting 20
pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; carrying 20
pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; and may not sit
for six hours, stand for more than six hours, or walk for
more than 6 hours, and may push/pull 20 pounds occasionally
and 10 pounds frequently.
(Id. at 10-11.) The ALJ further found that Plaintiff
was “capable of performing past relevant work, ”
which was not precluded by her RFC. (Id. at 14) When
making the determination about Plaintiff's past relevant
work, the ALJ relied upon testimony from the vocational
expert (“VE”) and used the Dictionary of
Occupational Titles (“DOT”). (Id. at
14-15.) Based upon the foregoing, the ALJ found that
Plaintiff was not disabled under the Act and its applicable
regulations. (Id. at 15.)
requested the Appeals Council (“the Council”) to
review the ALJ's decision and was denied that request on
March 15, 2018. (ECF No. 10-2 at 2.) Thus, the ALJ's
decision became the final decision of the Commissioner.
(Id.) See also Meyer v. Astrue, 662 F.3d
700, 704 (4th Cir. 2011) (stating that an ALJ's decision
was the final decision of the Commissioner when the Council
denied a request for review); Higginbotham v.
Barnhart, 405 F.3d 332, 336 (5th Cir. 2005) (holding
that the Commissioner's “final decision”
includes when the Council denies a request for review).
Plaintiff filed the instant action on March April 27, 2018.
(ECF No. 1.)
Report, the Magistrate Judge reasoned that the ALJ “did
not reasonably resolve the apparent conflict between the
VE's testimony and the DOT.” (ECF No. 17 at 10.)
Specifically, the Magistrate Judge was “unable to find
that the ALJ's determination that Plaintiff could perform
the job of packer as it is generally performed is supported
by substantial evidence.” (Id. at 6.) In
addition, the Magistrate Judge found that the ALJ did not
consider whether Plaintiff “performed a composite
job” and “remand is necessary to resolve this
issue.” (Id. at 8.) For those reasons, taken
together, the Report recommended that the court reverse the
decision of the Commissioner and remand the case for further
administrative proceedings. (Id. at 11.)
parties were apprised of their opportunity to file specific
objections to the Report on April 22, 2019. (Id. at
12.) Objections to the Report were due by May 6, 2019.
(Id.) On May 3, 2019, the Commissioner notified the
court that she would not object to the Magistrate Judge's
Report. (ECF No. 18 at 1.) Plaintiff has not filed any
objection to the Report.
Magistrate Judge's Report is made in accordance with 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule 73.02 for the
District of South Carolina. The Magistrate Judge only makes a
recommendation to this court, and the recommendation has no
presumptive weight. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S.
261, 270-71 (1976). The responsibility to make a final
determination remains with the court. Id. at 271. As
such, the court is charged with making de novo
determinations of those portions of the Report and
Recommendation to which specific objections are made.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). See also
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). In the absence of specific
objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report, the court is
not required to give any explanation for adopting the Report.
See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir.
1983). Rather, “in the absence of a timely filed
objection, a district court need not conduct a de novo
review, but instead must only satisfy itself that there is no
clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the
recommendation.” Diamond v. Colonial Life &
Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee's note).
Thus, the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in
part, the Magistrate Judge's recommendation or recommit
the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
absence of specific objections to the Magistrate Judge's
Report, the court is not required to give any explanation for
adopting the Report. See Camby, 718 F.2d at 199.
Furthermore, a 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 court based upon such
recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The court
concludes that the Magistrate Judge's Report accurately
summarizes the law and correctly applies it to the instant
case. (ECF No. 17.) Because no specific objections were filed
by either party and the court discerns no clear error within
the Report, the court adopts the Report herein.
Diamond, 416 F.3d at 315; Camby, 718 F.2d
thorough review of the Report and the record in this case,
the court ACCEPTS the Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 17) and incorporates it
herein. Therefore, the decision of the Commissioner of Social
Security Administration is REVERSED, and
this case is REMANDE ...