Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Geer v. Berryhill

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 19, 2019

JAMIA M. GEER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Gloria M. Navarro, Chief Judge United States District Judge.

         Pending before the Court is the Motion to Remand, (ECF No. 29), filed by Plaintiff Jamia M. Geer (“Plaintiff”)[1] and the Cross-Motion to Affirm, (ECF No. 33), filed by Defendant Nancy A. Berryhill[2] (“Defendant” or “the Commissioner”). These motions were referred to the Honorable Nancy J. Koppe, United States Magistrate Judge, for a report of findings and recommendations pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(B) and (C). In the Report and Recommendation (“R&R”), (ECF No. 41), Judge Koppe recommended that Plaintiff's Motion to Remand be denied. Plaintiff filed an Objection, (ECF No. 46), and the Commissioner did not file a response.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff brings this action against Defendant in her capacity as the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, pursuant to the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). (Compl., ECF No. 3). Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration denying her claims for social security disability benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-403. (Id. ¶ 9).

         Plaintiff applied for both disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income on July 6, 2010, which were denied initially, upon reconsideration, and after a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). (R&R 5:12-27, ECF No. 41). Plaintiff timely requested Appeals Council review of the ALJ's decision, which was granted on April 15, 2013, and remanded to the ALJ for further proceedings. (Id.). On April 24, 2014, after conducting a second hearing, the ALJ denied Plaintiff's claim. (Id.). This decision became final after the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for a second review. (Id.). On March 31, 2016, Plaintiff filed her Complaint in this Court.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Objections to a Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendations

          A party may file specific written objections to the findings and recommendations of a United States Magistrate Judge made pursuant to Local Rule IB 1-4. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); D. Nev. Local R. IB 3-2. Upon the filing of such objections, the Court must make a de novo determination of those portions of the Recommendation to which objections are made. Id. The Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the Magistrate Judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); D. Nev. Local R. IB 3-2(b).

         B. Judicial Review of the Commissioner's Disability Determinations

         42 U.S.C. § 405(g) provides for judicial review of the Commissioner's disability determinations and authorizes district courts to enter “a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security, with or without remanding the cause for a rehearing.” In undertaking that review, an ALJ's “disability determination should be upheld unless it contains legal error or is not supported by substantial evidence.” Garrison v. Colvin, 759 F.3d 995, 1009 (9th Cir. 2014) (citation omitted). “Substantial evidence means more than a mere scintilla, but less than a preponderance; it is such relevant evidence as a reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Id. (quoting Lingenfelter v. Astrue, 504 F.3d 1028, 1035 (9th Cir. 2007)).

         Under the substantial evidence test, a court must uphold the Commissioner's findings if they are supported by inferences reasonably drawn from the record. Batson v. Comm'r, Soc. Sec. Admin., 359 F.3d 1190, 1193 (9th Cir. 2003). When the evidence supports more than one rational interpretation, the Court must defer to the Commissioner's interpretation. Burch v. Barnhart, 400 F.3d 676, 679 (9th Cir. 2005). Consequently, the issue before this Court is not whether the Commissioner could reasonably have reached a different conclusion, but whether substantial evidence supports the final decision.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiff's Credibility

         Plaintiff argues, inter alia, that the Court should reject the R&R and remand the case because the ALJ failed to articulate legally sufficient reasons for discounting Plaintiff's testimony. (See Obj. 6:3-10:28, ECF No. 46). In assessing the credibility of a claimant's testimony regarding subjective pain or the intensity of symptoms, the ALJ engages in a two-step analysis. Vasquez v. Astrue, 572 F.3d 586, 591 (9th Cir. 2009). First, the ALJ must determine whether there is “objective medical evidence of an underlying impairment which could reasonably be expected to produce the pain or other symptoms alleged.” Id. (quoting Lingenfelter v. Astrue, 504 F.3d 1028, 1036 (9th Cir. 2007)). If the claimant has presented such evidence, and there is no evidence of malingering, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.