United States District Court, N.D. New York
April 13, 2015
ANNE NICHOLSON, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
PETER W. ANTONOWICZ, ESQ., OFFICE OF PETER W. ANTONOWICZ, Rome, New York, Attorneys for Plaintiff.
STEPHEN P. CONTE, ESQ., DANIEL R. JANES, SAUSA SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION OFFICE OF REGIONAL GENERAL COUNSEL - REGION II, New York, New York, Attorneys for Defendant.
FREDERICK J. SCULLIN, Jr., District Judge.
Plaintiff commenced this action, seeking a review of the Commissioner's final decision denying her application for disability insurance benefits. See Dkt. No. 1. Defendant filed her answer on January 24, 2014, and the administrative record on January 27, 2014. See Dkt. Nos. 9, 10. Plaintiff filed her brief on April 23, 2014, see Dkt. No. 14; and Defendant filed her brief on July 9, 2014, see Dkt. No. 17. On March 2, 2015, Magistrate Judge Dancks issued her Report and Recommendations, in which she recommended that the Court affirm the Commissioner's decision, grant Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismiss the complaint. See Dkt. No. 18 at 20. Plaintiff filed objections to those recommendations, see Dkt. No. 19, to which Defendant responded, see Dkt. No. 20.
When a party makes specific objections to portions of a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the court conducts a de novo review of those recommendations. See Trombley v. Oneill, No. 8:11-CV-0569, 2011 WL 5881781, *2 (N.D.N.Y. Nov. 23, 2011) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C)). Where a party makes only conclusory or general objections, however, the court reviews the report and recommendation for "clear error" only. See Salmini v. Astrue, No. 3:06-CV-458, 2009 WL 1794741, *1 (N.D.N.Y. June 23, 2009) (quotation omitted). After conducting the appropriate review, a district court may decide to accept, reject or modify those recommendations. See Linare v. Mahunik, No. 9:05-CV-625, 2009 WL 3165660, *10 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 29, 2009) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C)).
Although some of Plaintiff's objections are general in nature and Plaintiff misconstrues some aspects of the ALJ's decision as well as Magistrate Judge Dancks' conclusions, the Court has, nonetheless, conducted a de novo review of the record in light of Plaintiff's objections. Having completed that review, the Court concludes that, for the same reasons as those that Magistrate Judge Dancks set forth in her comprehensive analysis of the ALJ's decision and Plaintiff's objections thereto, the ALJ did not apply the wrong legal standards when assessing the opinion of the treating physician and provided adequate reasons for affording the treating physician's opinion the weight she did. In addition, the Court finds that there is sufficient evidence in the record to support the ALJ's assessment of Plaintiff's credibility. Accordingly, the Court hereby
ORDERS that Magistrate Judge Dancks' March 2, 2015 Report and Recommendation is ACCEPTED in its entirety for the reasons stated therein; and the Court further
ORDERS that Defendant's decision is AFFIRMED; and the Court further
ORDERS that Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings is GRANTED; and the Court further
ORDERS that Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the pleadings is DENIED; and the Court further
ORDERS that the Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment in favor of Defendant and close this case.
IT IS SO ORDERED.