UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS URBANA DIVISION
May 10, 2012
JAMES S. HALVORSEN, PLAINTIFF,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, SUED AS MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael P. McCUSKEY U.S. District Judge
Thursday, 10 May, 2012 01:43:10 PM
Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD
On March 14, 2012, United States Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal issued a Report and Recommendation (#22) in this case. On March 30, 2012, this court entered an Order (#23) and accepted the Report and Recommendation. This court therefore denied Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (#16) and granted Defendant's Motion for an Order Which Affirms the Commissioner's Decision (#20). Judgment (#24) was entered in favor of Defendant and the case was terminated.
On April 2, 2012, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment (#25) and a Memorandum of Law in Support (#26). Plaintiff argued that this court had erroneously adopted Judge Bernthal's Report and Recommendation before the time limit for Plaintiff to submit objections had expired. Plaintiff attached his Objections to Report and Recommendation to his Memorandum. On April 20, 2012, this court entered an Order (#27) and granted the Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment. This court vacated its previous Order (#23) and the judgment in favor of Defendant (#24) and reopened the case. This court directed the clerk to file the Objections attached to Plaintiff's Memorandum and allowed Defendant until May 4, 2012, to file a Response to Plaintiff's Objections (#28). This court stated that it was particularly interested in a response to Plaintiff's argument regarding the unofficial transcript of the May 18, 2005 administrative hearing at which medical expert Dr. Newman testified.
On May 4, 2012, Defendant filed a Response to Plaintiff's Objections to Report and Recommendation (#29). Defendant attached a certified transcript of the May 18, 2005 administrative hearing. Defendant stated that it had been recently found. The transcript was accompanied by a Supplemental Certification signed by Robert Weigel on April 25, 2012, which stated that the transcript was inadvertently omitted from the administrative record in this case.
This court has carefully reviewed Judge Bernthal's Report and Recommendation, Plaintiff's Objections and Defendant's Response. This court has also carefully reviewed the certified transcript of the May 18, 2005 hearing. Following this court's careful de novo review, this court agrees with and accepts the Report and Recommendation (#22). This court concludes that the official transcript of the May 18, 2005 hearing does not in any way contradict Judge Bernthal's reasoning, which was based on an unofficial transcript. This court concludes that the official transcript does not substantially aid Plaintiff's arguments and does not call into question Judge Bernthal's conclusion that Dr. Newman's opinion was clear from the unofficial transcript. This court concludes that Judge Bernthal's reasoning was thorough and well-supported and that Defendant has persuasively responded to all of Plaintiff's Objections.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
(1) The Report and Recommendation (#22) is accepted by this court.
(2) Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (#16) is DENIED.
(3) Defendant's Motion for an Order Which Affirms to Commissioner's Decision (#20) is GRANTED.
(4) This case is terminated.
Michael P. McCuskey
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