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Lenoir v. Colvin

United States District Court, C.D. California, Eastern Division

February 27, 2015

TIJUANA LENOIR, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DOUGLAS F. McCORMICK, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Tijuana Lenoir appeals from the final decision of the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") denying her applications for Disability Insurance and Supplement Security Income benefits. The Court finds that the ALJ's decision was supported by substantial evidence. Therefore, the ALJ's decision is affirmed and this matter is dismissed with prejudice.

I.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed her benefits applications on July 24, 2008, alleging disability beginning October 31, 2007. Administrative Record ("AR") 29. On March 10, 2010, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision. AR 29-36.

On July 6, 2012, Plaintiff filed this action for judicial review. Dkt. 1. On February 7, 2014, the Court dismissed the action without prejudice due to Plaintiff's failure to prosecute after Plaintiff repeatedly failed to file her memorandum in support her complaint. See Dkt. 37.

On March 13, 2014, Plaintiff filed a series of documents, including a motion to revoke the judgment and a document entitled "Reply to Defendant's Answer and Memorandum of Points and Authorities." Dkt. 39, 40 ("Memorandum"). On March 21, 2014, the Court granted Plaintiff's motion to revoke the judgment and vacated its judgment of dismissal. Dkt. 45. The Court also deemed Plaintiff's "Reply" to be Plaintiff's Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff's Complaint. Id. at 2.

The Court then ordered Defendant to file a Memorandum in Support of Defendant's Answer within thirty days, which Defendant filed on April 19, 2014. Dkt. 47 ("Answer"). On October 23, 2014, Plaintiff filed a reply to Defendant's answer. Dkt. 60 ("Reply").

II.

ISSUE PRESENTED

The parties dispute whether the ALJ's final decision was supported by substantial evidence and free of reversible error. See Memorandum at 2-6; Answer at 2-7.[1]

III.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), a district court may review the Commissioner's decision to deny benefits. The ALJ's findings and decision should be upheld if they are free from legal error and are supported by substantial evidence based on the record as a whole. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971); Parra v. Astrue, 481 F.3d 742, 746 (9th Cir. 2007). Substantial evidence means such relevant evidence as a reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Richardson, 402 U.S. at 401; Lingenfelter v. Astrue, 504 F.3d 1028, 1035 (9th Cir. 2007). It is more than a scintilla, but less than a preponderance. Lingenfelter, 504 F.3d at 1035 (citing Robbins v. Soc. Sec. Admin., 466 F.3d 880, 882 (9th Cir. 2006)). To determine whether substantial evidence supports a finding, the reviewing court "must review the administrative record as a whole, weighing both the evidence that supports and the evidence that detracts from the ...


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