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Moxley v. Colvin

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

May 23, 2014

MICHAEL ANTHONY MOXLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

THOMAS D. SCHROEDER, District Judge.

Plaintiff Michael Anthony Moxley brought this action pursuant to Sections 205(g) and 1631(c)(3) of the Social Security Act (the "Act"), as amended (42 U.S.C. ยงยง 405(g) and 1383(c)(3)), to obtain judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying his claim for Disability Insurance Benefits under Title II of the Act. (Doc. 1.) The parties have filed cross-motions for judgment (Docs. 7, 10), and the administrative record has been certified to the court for review. For the reasons set forth below, the Commissioner's motion will be granted, Moxley's motion will be denied, and this case will be dismissed.

I. BACKGROUND

Moxley filed his application for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") on August 10, 2009, alleging a disability onset date of October 18, 2004. (Tr. at 119-20.)[1] His application was denied initially (id. at 54) and upon reconsideration (id. at 55). Thereafter, Moxley requested a hearing de novo before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). (Id. at 74.) Moxley, along with his attorney and a vocational expert ("VE"), attended the subsequent hearing on August 29, 2011. (Id. at 26.) The ALJ ultimately determined that Moxley was not disabled within the meaning of the Act (id. at 20) and, on April 9, 2013, the Appeals Council denied Moxley's request for review of the decision, thereby making the ALJ's conclusion the Commissioner's final decision for purposes of judicial review (id. at 1-4). In rendering his disability determination, the ALJ made the following findings, later adopted by the Commissioner:

1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act on December 31, 2009.
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period from his alleged onset date of October 18, 2004 through his date last insured of December 31, 2009 (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq. ).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: seizure disorder; degenerative disk disease; hearing loss-right ear; left leg reflex sympathetic dystrophy; depression and anxiety (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
....
4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, and 404.1526).
....
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that, through the date last insured, the claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except with occasional climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling. The claimant should avoid concentrated noise and hazards. He needs to stand and stretch 1 to 2 minutes per hour. The claimant was capable of simple, routine, repetitive tasks in a low stress environment, defined as work that does not involve production pace or work deadlines, allows the claimant to work at [his] own pace, and have a predictable schedule.
....
6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was unable to perform any past relevant ...

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