United States District Court, D. Idaho
J. Lodge United States District Judge
October 30, 2017, Chief United States Magistrate Judge Candy
W. Dale issued a Report and Recommendation
(“Report”), recommending that the Petition for
Review be granted and this matter be remanded. (Dkt. 19.) Any
party may challenge the Magistrate Judge's proposed
recommendation by filing written objections within fourteen
days after being served with a copy of the Report. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C). In this case, the parties did not file
written objections and the matter is ripe for this
Court's consideration. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72; Local Civ. R.
73.1. As explained more fully below, the Court has reviewed
the record and the Report and, finding no clear error, adopts
the Report in its entirety.
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), this Court “may
accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings
and recommendations made by the magistrate judge.”
Where the parties object to a report and recommendation, the
Court “shall make a de novo determination of those
portions of the report which objection is made.”
Id. Where, however, no objections are filed the
Court need not conduct a de novo review. To the
extent that no objections are made, arguments to the contrary
are waived. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72; 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1) (objections are waived it they are not filed within
fourteen days of service of the Report and Recommendation).
“When no timely objection is filed, the Court need only
satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of
the record in order to accept the recommendation.”
Advisory Committee Notes to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 (citing
Campbell v. United States Dist. Court, 501 F.2d 196,
206 (9th Cir. 1974)).
factual and procedural background of this case are correctly
stated in the Report and this Court adopts the same. (Dkt.
19.) On April 5, 2013, Petitioner filed a Title II
application for a period of disability and disability
insurance benefits and a Title XVI application for
supplemental security income. Petitioner's applications
were denied upon filing and reconsideration.
February 13, 2015, Petitioner and a vocational expert
testified before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Luke Brennan.
On March 30, 2015 ALJ Brennan issued a decision finding
Petitioner was not disabled.
18, 2016, the Appeals Council denied Petitioner's timely
requested review. Petitioner filed an appeal of the final
decision to this Court. The matter was assigned to United
States Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale, whom issued a Report
and Recommendation on October 30, 2017. (Dkt. 1.)
Report concluded that the ALJ erred in reconciling the
various medical opinions. The Report summarized that the ALJ
assigned partial weight to the opinions of Dr. Laitinen and
Jon Perry PA-C's, the Petitioner's treating medical
professionals at the Nampa Medical Center; assigned partial
weight to statements of Drs. Vestal and Song, the state
agency medical consultants; and assigned great weight to the
opinion of Dr. Casper, a consultative examiner. The Report
concluded the ALJ erred by providing little in the way of
specific, clear and convincing reasons in support of the
probative weight given to each of the medical opinions. (Dkt.
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court
distinguishes among the opinions of three types of
physicians: (1) those who treat the claimant (treating
physicians); (2) those who examine but do not treat the
claimant (examining physicians; and (3) those who neither
examine nor treat the claimant (nonexamining physicians).
Lester v. Chatter, 81 F.3d 821, 830 (9th Cir. 1995).
Generally, more weight is accorded to the opinion of a
treating source than to a nontreating physician. Winans
v. Bowen, 853 F.2d 643, 647 (9th Cir. 1987). If the
treating physician's opinion is not contradicted by
another doctor, it may be rejected only for “clear and
convincing” reasons. Baxter v. Sullivan, 923
F.2d 1391, 1396 (9th Cir. 1991). If the treating doctor's
opinion is contradicted by another doctor, the Commissioner
may not reject the treating physician's opinion without
providing “specific and legitimate reasons”
supported by substantial evidence in the record for so doing.
Murray v. Heckler, 722 F.2d 499, 502 (9th Cir.
1983). In turn, an examining physician's opinion is
entitled to greater weight than the opinion of a nonexamining
physician. Pitzer v. Sullivan, 908 F.2d 502, 506
(9th Cir. 1990); Gallant v. Heckler, 753 F.2d 1450
(9th Cir. 1984).
Court has conducted a review of the entire Report as well as
the record in this matter for clear error. The Court agrees
with the findings and conclusions of the Magistrate Judge.
the Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's conclusion
that the ALJ did not satisfy the “substantial
evidence” requirement in assigning “partial
weight” to Dr. Laitinen and Jon Perry PA-C's
opinions. The Magistrate Judge concluded that the ALJ did not
set out a thorough summary of conflicting clinical evidence,
but rather provided a one paragraph summary of the medical
evidence that directly contradicted the Nampa Medical
Center's records. Similarly, the Magistrate Judge
concluded that the ALJ erred in giving Jon Perry PA-C's
opinions only “partial weight” despite finding
that his RFC assessment was consistent with Dr.
Laitinen's RFC assessment.
Court also agrees with the Magistrate Judge's findings
and conclusions concerning Dr. Casper's opinion. The ALJ
assigned “great weight” to Dr. Casper's
opinion as it was “consistent with the record as a
whole.” However, the Magistrate Judge found that the
ALJ made this determination without providing specific or
legitimate reasons as to why his opinion was more persuasive
than the other medical providers, cited to no medical records
that would support his conclusion, and simply used
boilerplate language that fails to offer a substantive basis
for his conclusion. Additionally, the Magistrate Judge found
the ALJ significantly erred when, despite ...