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Mauzy v. Colvin

United States District Court, N.D. New York

February 13, 2014

MONTE MAUZY, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commission of Social Security, Defendant.

HOWARD D. OLINSKY, ESQ., Olinsky Law Group, Syracuse, NY, MICHAEL J. TELFER, ESQ., Legal Aid Society of Northeast New York, Albany, NY, for the Plaintiff.

REBECCA H. ESTELLE, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, RICHARD S. HARTUNIAN, United States Attorney, Syracuse, NY,

Steven P. Conte, Regional Chief Counsel Social Security Administration Office of General Counsel, Region II, New York, NY, for the Defendant.

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

GARY L. SHARPE, Chief Magistrate Judge.

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Monte Mauzy challenges defendant Commissioner of Social Security's denial of Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), seeking review under 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3). (Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) In a Report and Recommendation (R&R) filed September 30, 2013, Magistrate Judge Earl S. Hines recommended that the Commissioner's decision be affirmed. (Dkt. No. 17.) Pending are Mauzy's objections to the R&R. (Dkt. No. 18.) For the reasons that follow, the court adopts the R&R in its entirety.

II. Background[1]

On October 16, 2009, Mauzy filed applications for DIB and SSI under the Social Security Act. (Tr.[2] at 71-72, 165-69, Dkt. No. 17 at 2.) After his applications were denied, Mauzy requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), which was held on August 2, 2011. (Tr. at 42-70, 91-101.) On September 16, 2011, the ALJ issued a decision denying the requested benefits, which became the Commissioner's final determination upon the Social Security Administration Appeals Council's denial of review. (Tr. at 1-5, 74-89.)

Mauzy commenced the present action by filing a complaint on May 25, 2012, seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's determination. (Compl.) After receiving the parties' briefs, Judge Hines issued an R&R recommending that the Commissioner's decision be affirmed. ( See generally Dkt. No. 17.)

III. Standard of Review

By statute and rule, district courts are authorized to refer social security appeals to magistrate judges for proposed findings and recommendations as to disposition. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A), (B); N.D.N.Y. L.R. 40.1, 72.3(d); General Order No. 18. Before entering final judgment, this court reviews report and recommendation orders in cases it has referred to a magistrate judge. If a party properly objects to a specific element of the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations, this court reviews those findings and recommendations de novo. See Almonte v. N.Y. State Div. of Parole, No. Civ. 904CV484GLS, 2006 WL 149049, at *3, *5 (N.D.N.Y. Jan. 18, 2006). In cases where no party has filed an objection, only vague or general objections are made, or a party resubmits the same papers and arguments already considered by the magistrate judge, this court reviews the findings and recommendations of the magistrate judge for clear error. See id. at *4-5.

IV. Discussion

Mauzy raises two specific objections to the R&R regarding development of the record and credibility, which the court will review de novo.[3] (Dkt. No. 18 at 1-4.) The ...


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