United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Anderson/Greenwood Division
Timothy M. Cain, United States District Judge.
Dorothy Mae Thompson (“Thompson”) brought this
action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial review
of a decision of the Commissioner of Social Security
(“Commissioner”),  denying her claim for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”). In accordance with 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(a),
D.S.C., this matter was referred to a magistrate judge for
pretrial handling. Before the court is the magistrate
judge's Report and Recommendation (“Report”),
recommending that the court dismiss Thompson's action as
premature. (ECF No. 10). In the Report, the magistrate judge
sets forth the relevant facts and legal standards, which are
incorporated herein by reference. Thompson was advised of her
right to file specific objections to the Report. Id.
at 6. Thompson filed objections to the Report, (ECF No. 19),
and this matter is now ripe for review.
magistrate judge's recommendation has no presumptive
weight, and the responsibility for making a final
determination remains with the United States District Court.
Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270 (1976).
Nevertheless, “[t]he district court is only required to
review de novo those portions of the report to which specific
objections have been made, and need not conduct de novo
review ‘when a party makes general and conclusory
objections that do not direct the court to a specific error
in the magistrate judge's proposed findings and
recommendations.'” Farmer v. McBride, 177
Fed. App'x 327, 330-31 (4th Cir. April 26, 2006) (quoting
Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir.
1982)). The court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or
in part, the recommendation made by the magistrate judge or
recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1). However, “[i]n the absence of specific
objections to the Report and Recommendation, this Court is
not required to give any explanation for adopting the
recommendation.” White v. Stacher, C/A No.
6-05-1737-GRA-WMC, 2005 WL 8163324, at *1 (D.S.C. Aug. 29,
2005) (citing Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199-200
(4th Cir. 1983)).
filed her Complaint initiating this action on September 5,
2019. (ECF No. 1). In her Complaint, Thompson asks this court
to review the Commissioner's denial of her application
for DIB. Id. at 3. In support, Thompson sets forth
the following allegations:
I returned to work on the basis of the denial determination,
did not appeal, which has caused me permanent injury. I had
no idea that arthritis was a progressive disabling disease
with out [sic] treatment[.] . . .
The fact that I was not granted not even medical insurance as
requested to further investigate my injuries leads me to
believe the Commission [k]new the scope of my disabi[li]ty[.]
Id. at 3, 4 (emphasis added). As the magistrate
judge's Report notes, Thompson provides no additional
information related to nor asserts any other allegations in
support of her claim. See generally id.; (ECF No. 10 at 2).
a plaintiff can seek judicial review in federal court,
however, she must exhaust her administrative remedies and
receive a final decision from the Commissioner.
Weinberger v. Salfi, 422 U.S. 749, 763-65 (1975).
Thompson expressly acknowledges in her Complaint that she
never appealed the Commissioner's decision denying her
DIB. (ECF No. 1 at 3). Accordingly, the magistrate judge
found that Thompson “failed to exhaust her
administrative remedies before the Administration” and,
therefore, “the decision about which [Thompson]
complains is an initial determination, not a final
decision.” (ECF No. 10 at 3, 4). Thus, the magistrate
judge recommends the matter be dismissed as premature.
Thompson filed objections to the Report, none of her
objections specifically challenge any of the findings or
conclusions in the Report. See (ECF No. 19). In fact, she
supports the magistrate judge's findings and
recommendation by again acknowledging that she should have
appealed the denial of DIB and failed to do so. Id.
at 1. Thus, because Thompson has not exhausted her
administrative remedies, this action is premature and this
court does not have jurisdiction to address her claim.
Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 US. 319, 327 (1976)
(“The only avenue for judicial review is 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), which requires exhaustion of the
administrative remedies provided under the Act as a
after a careful and thorough review of the Report and
filings, the court overrules Thompson's objections (ECF
No. 19), and adopts the Report in its entirety (ECF No. 10),
which is incorporated herein by reference. Accordingly, this
case is DISMISSED without prejudice.
OF RIGHT TO APPEAL
parties are hereby notified of the right to appeal this order
pursuant to Rules 3 and 4 of the ...