United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS AND ADOPTING REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION; AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND GRANTING DEFENDANT'S CROSS MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Larry Alan Burns Chief United States District Judge
an administrative law judge (the “ALJ”) denied
his application for social security disability benefits,
Plaintiff Corey Barker brought this appeal. The matter was
referred to Magistrate Judge Karen Crawford for a report and
recommendation. The parties filed motions for summary
judgment, and Judge Crawford issued her report and
recommendation (the “R&R”) on June 28, 2019.
Barker filed written objections, and the Defendant filed a
reply. Barker was represented by counsel both before the ALJ
and in this Court.
district court has jurisdiction to review a Magistrate
Judge's report and recommendation on dispositive matters.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). “The
district judge must determine de novo any part of the
magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly
objected to.” Id. Section 636(b)(1) similarly
requires that a district judge “make a de novo
determination of those portions of the report or specified
proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is
made.” “A judge of the court may accept, reject,
or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or
recommendations made by the magistrate judge.”
section does not require some lesser review by the district
court when no objections are filed. Thomas v. Arn,
474 U.S. 140, 149-50 (1985). The “statute makes it
clear that the district judge must review the magistrate
judge's findings and recommendations de novo if
objection is made, but not otherwise.” United
States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir.
2003) (en banc) (emphasis in original).
Court has reviewed the entire R&R, which is substantial.
The R&R correctly sets forth the legal standards for
reviewing an administrative law judge's decision. The
Court does not repeat those here, except as necessary for
discussion. The R&R also includes a lengthy discussion of
the record, most of which neither party objects to. It
ultimately recommends denying Barker's motion for summary
judgment and granting Defendant's cross-motion, and
affirming the ALJ's decision. Barker filed limited but
specific objections, arguing that the Court should reject the
entire R&R and remand the matter for further
the R&R appears to be non-objectionable, and neither
party objected to most of its findings and discussion. To the
extent neither party has objected to the R&R, the Court
accepts it as correct, and ADOPTS it.
See § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). The
following very limited factual background is taken from that
portion of the R&R.
was born in 1959 and has worked in the furniture, home
improvement, and construction industries, and as a
short-order cook. He said he had not worked since his
disability onset date of March 23, 2014, and filed his
application for disability insurance benefits on July 21,
2014. He claimed that his ability to work was limited by his
back pain and anxiety. His claim was denied at the initial
and reconsideration stages, and he requested a hearing before
an administrative law judge.
the onset date, however, Barker collected unemployment
benefits as late as the first quarter of 2015. As part of the
process of applying for unemployment benefits, he was
required to certify that he was able to work and looking for
employment. Barker also worked part-time for a florist after
the claimed disability onset date, but stopped on September
27, 2016. He reported to the ALJ that he was still looking
relevant medical discussion begins with Barker's visit to
Dr. Ede in August and September of 2013, for a psychiatric
evaluation. At that time, he did not appear to be in physical
distress. Dr. Ede diagnosed him with panic disorder, and
first discussed medical visit after the claimed onset date
was to Dr. William Bailey, for lower back pain. Dr. Bailey
noted that Barker appeared to be in pain and walking with
difficulty. Dr. Bailey diagnosed him with a lumbar sprain and
strain, and prescribed treatment.
saw a psychiatrist, Dr. Shahla Ramin, on September 30, 2014,
who relied only on Barker's self-report and his own
observations during the visit. Dr. Ramin's impression was
that Barker was suffering from adjustment disorder with
depressed mood, as well as psychological and environmental
problems. He found no real limits on Barker's mental or
social abilities, and noted that he was able to complete both
simple and detailed tasks, and the activities of daily
saw Dr. Moyad, an orthopedic surgeon, on October 1, 2014 for
an evaluation of his back problems. After an examination, Dr.
Moyad diagnosed Barker with (1) lumbar spondylosis and L4-5
Spondylosis with Stenosis; (2) mild left leg radiculopathy;
(3) right thoracic back rhomboid chronic strain; and (4) left
shoulder sub-acromial impingement/Bursitis. He also completed
a functional assessment. In his opinion, Barker in an 8-hour
workday with normal breaks could be expected to sit for up
six hours and stand or walk for up to six hours. He opined
that Barker could lift and carry 20 pounds occasionally and
10 pounds ...