United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court upon Plaintiff Darlene
Diente-Deary's (“Plaintiff”) Motion for
Summary Judgment, ECF No.  (“Plaintiff's
Motion”), and Defendant Andrew Saul, Commissioner of
the Social Security Administration's
(“Defendant”) Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF
No.  (“Defendant's Motion”). In this
case, Plaintiff seek judicial review of a final decision of
the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration that
denied Plaintiff's application for disability insurance
benefits and supplemental security income under the Social
Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401, et seq.
See ECF No. . This case was referred to the
Honorable Bruce E. Reinhart, United States Magistrate Judge,
consistent with Administrative Order 2018-15, for a ruling on
all pre-trial, non-dispositive matters and report and
recommendations on any dispositive matters, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636 and Local Magistrate Judge Rule 1. ECF No.
. On July 12, 2019, Judge Reinhart issued a Report and
Recommendations recommending that Plaintiff's Motion be
denied and that Defendant's Motion be granted, and that
the decision of the Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) be affirmed. ECF No. 
(“R&R”); see 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(C) (“Within fourteen days after being served
with a copy [of a report and recommendations], any party may
serve and file written objections . . . as provided by rules
of court.”). Plaintiff timely filed her objections to
the R&R, ECF No.  (“Objections”), and
Defendant filed a response, ECF No. . The Court has
reviewed both Motions, the record and the applicable law, has
conducted a de novo review of Judge Reinhart's
R&R in light of the Objections, and is otherwise fully
advised. See Williams v. McNeil, 557 F.3d 1287, 1291
(11th Cir. 2009) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1));
Macort v. Prem, Inc., 208 Fed.Appx. 781, 784 (11th
Cir. 2006) (“Where a proper, specific objection to the
magistrate judge's report is made, it is clear that the
district court must conduct a de novo review of that
Court adopts Judge Reinhart's description of the
procedural and administrative history and record below,
R&R at 2, 4-11, and incorporates it by reference herein.
does not object to Judge Reinhart's recitation of the
standard for judicial review of a final decision by the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, which, in
any event, is correct. As stated in the R&R, judicial review
of the ALJ's decision is limited to whether
“‘it is supported by substantial evidence and
based on proper legal standards.'” Crawford v.
Comm'r, 363 F.3d 1155, 1158 (11th Cir. 2004)
(quoting Lewis v. Callahan, 125 F.3d 1436, 1439
(11th Cir. 1997)). “‘Substantial evidence is more
than a scintilla and is such relevant evidence as a
reasonable person would accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.'” Id. (quoting Lewis,
125 F.3d at 1439); accord Hale v. Bowen, 831 F.2d
1007, 1011 (11th Cir. 1987) (substantial evidence is
“more than a mere scintilla, but less than a
preponderance”) (internal quotation and citation
omitted). A court, however, “‘may not decide the
facts anew, reweigh the evidence, or substitute [its]
judgment for that of the [ALJ].'” Winschel v.
Comm'r, 631 F.3d 1176, 1178 (11th Cir. 2011)
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted); accord
Packer v. Comm'r, Soc. Sec. Admin., 542 Fed.Appx.
890, 891 (11th Cir. 2013) (“[W]e may not reweigh the
evidence or substitute our judgment for that of the
ALJ.”) (citing Dyer v. Barnhart, 395 F.3d
1206, 1210 (11th Cir. 2005)). “A clearly articulated
credibility finding with substantial supporting evidence in
the record will not be disturbed by a reviewing court.”
Foote v. Chater, 67 F.3d 1553, 1562 (11th Cir.
1995). Even if evidence preponderates against the ALJ's
decision, a court must affirm “if the decision is
supported by substantial evidence.” Bloodsworth v.
Heckler, 703 F.2d 1233, 1239 (11th Cir. 1983) (citing 42
U.S.C. § 405(g)).
R&R, at 11-14, properly states the legal and regulatory
standards an ALJ must employ in making a determination as to
eligibility for disability insurance benefits.
argues that the Court should reverse the Commissioner's
determination that she is not disabled because: (1) the ALJ
committed error in weighing Dr. Noelle T. Stewart's
medical opinions; and (2) the Appeals Council erred in
denying Plaintiff's request for review despite the
presentation of new evidence. Plaintiff further objects and
asserts that the R&R relies on post hoc
rationalization to uphold the ALJ's decision. However,
Plaintiff's objections in contending that the Court
should decline to adopt the R&R are in fact the same as
the arguments previously made in her Motion. “It is
improper for an objecting party to . . . submit [ ] papers to
a district court which are nothing more than a rehashing of
the same arguments and positions taken in the original papers
submitted to the Magistrate Judge. Clearly, parties are not
to be afforded a ‘second bite at the apple' when
they file objections to a R & R.” Marlite, Inc.
v. Eckenrod, 2012 WL 3614212, at *2 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 21,
2012) (quoting Camardo v. Gen. Motors Hourly-Rate Emps.
Pension Plan, 806 F.Supp. 380, 382 (W.D.N.Y.1992)). In
the R&R, Judge Reinhart considered at length
Judge Reinhart properly found that substantial evidence in
the record supports the ALJ's stated reasons for
according little weight to Dr. Stewart's opinions. In
addition, contrary to Plaintiff's contention, Judge
Reinhart correctly determined that the Appeals Council did
not err in denying review despite the submission of ARNP Mary
Groesbeck's Mental Impairment Questionnaire. First, when
new evidence is presented and the Appeals Council
nevertheless denies review, the Court “essentially
considers the claimant's evidence anew to determine
whether ‘that new evidence renders the denial of
benefits erroneous.'” Burgin v. Comm'r of
Soc. Sec., 420 Fed.Appx. 901, 903 (11th Cir. 2011)
(quoting Ingram v. Comm'r, 496 F.3d 1253, 1262
(11th Cir. 2007)). As such, the Appeals Council “is not
required to provide a thorough explanation when denying
review.” Id. Therefore, the reasons in the
R&R given by Judge Reinhart for agreeing with the Appeals
Council's denial of review were proper.
careful review, the Court finds Magistrate Judge
Reinhart's R&R to be expertly reasoned and correct.
The Court further agrees that substantial evidence supports
the ALJ's findings.
it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:
1. Plaintiff's Objections, ECF No. ,
are OVERRULED, and Magistrate Judge
Reinhart's R&R, ECF No. ...