United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [DKT. NO.
20] AND REMANDING CASE TO COMMISSIONER
M. KEELEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
19, 2017, the plaintiff, Joshua Shane Mathias
(“Mathias”), filed a complaint against the
defendant, the Deputy Commissioner of Social Security
(“the Commissioner”) (Dkt. No. 1). Mathias sought
review of the Commissioner's final decision denying his
application for a period of disability and Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) due to multiple
sclerosis, a spinal disorder, obstructive sleep apnea, a
cognitive disorder, depression, and anxiety. Id. at
1-2. According to Mathias, the Commissioner's decision
was “neither supported by substantial evidence nor
based upon a correct application of the law.”
Id. at 2. The Commissioner answered the complaint
and filed the administrative record on July 24, 2017 (Dkt.
Nos. 6, 7).
to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and the local rules, the matter was
referred to the Honorable Michael J. Aloi, United States
Magistrate Judge, for initial review.
Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) dated July
3, 2018, Magistrate Judge Aloi recommended that the Court
grant in part Mathias's motion for summary judgment,
grant in part the Commissioner's motion for summary
judgment, vacate the Commissioner's decision, and remand
the case for further proceedings (Dkt. No. 20). Upon careful
consideration of the record as a whole, Magistrate Judge Aloi
was unable to determine whether substantial evidence
supported the denial of benefits by the Adminstrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”). Id. at 40.
specifically, Magistrate Judge Aloi recommended remand
because information Mathias submitted to the Appeals Council,
that is the opinions of two treating physicians, was not part
of the record before the ALJ. That information was
contradictory to the ALJ's decision, which found that
“no treating or examining physician or psychologist has
identified medical signs or findings that meet or medically
equal” the severity of any impairment listed in 20
C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. Id. at
41-42. Magistrate Judge Aloi concluded that, as in Meyer
v. Astrue, 662 F.3d 700 (4th Cir. 2011), no fact finder
has made any findings as to the treating physicians'
opinions or attempted to reconcile that evidence with the
conflicting and supporting evidence in the record and,
therefore, recommended that the case be remanded for further
fact finding. Id. at 42-43 (citing Meyer,
662 F.3d at 707).
R&R also informed the parties of their right to file
“written objections identifying the portions of the
Report and Recommendations to which objections are made, and
the basis for such objections.” It further warned that
failure to do so would result in waiver of the right to
appeal. Id. at 43. Despite receipt of the R&R
through the Court's electronic filing system, neither
party filed timely objections to the recommendations.
Court will review de novo any portions of the
magistrate judge's Report and Recommendation to which a
specific objection is made...and the Court may adopt, without
explanation, any of the magistrate judge's
recommendations to which the prisoner does not object.”
Dellacirprete v. Gutierrez, 479 F.Supp.2d 600,
603-04 (N.D. W.Va. 2007) (citing Camby v. Davis, 718
F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983)). Failure to file specific
objections waives appellate review of both factual and legal
questions. See United States v. Schronce, 727 F.2d
91, 94 & n.4 (4th Cir. 1984); see also Moore v.
United States, 950 F.2d 656, 659 (10th Cir. 1991).
received no objections to the R&R, the Court has no duty
to conduct a de novo review of Magistrate Judge
Aloi's findings. Furthermore, following a review of the
R&R and the record for clear error, the Court:
1) ADOPTS the R&R (Dkt. No. 20);
2) GRANTS in PART Mathias's Motion for
Summary Judgment to the extent it requests remand for further
proceedings and DENIES as MOOT his additional arguments (Dkt.
No. 10); 3) DENIES as MOOT Mathias's Motion for
Permission to Include Evidence Omitted (Dkt. No. 9);
4) GRANTS in PART the Commissioner's
Motion for Summary Judgment to the extent it requests remand
for further consideration rather than a reversal for benefits
(Dkt. No. 17);
5) VACATES the decision of the Commissioner
under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); and
6) REMANDS this case to the Commissioner for
further proceedings consistent with this decision and the
directives contained in the R&R.
Court further DIRECTS that this case be