United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
SCOTT J. DEVILLIER, Plaintiff,
NANCY BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
F. BIVINS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Scott J. Devillier (hereinafter “Plaintiff”),
seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner
of Social Security denying his claim for a period of
disability, disability insurance benefits, and supplemental
security income under Titles II and XVI of the Social
Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401, et seq.,
and 1381, et seq. On April 11, 2018, the parties
consented to have the undersigned conduct any and all
proceedings in this case. (Doc. 21). Thus, the action was
referred to the undersigned to conduct all proceedings and
order the entry of judgment in accordance with 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73. Upon
careful consideration of the administrative record and the
memoranda of the parties, it is hereby
ORDERED that the decision of the
Commissioner be AFFIRMED.
Procedural History 
filed his applications for benefits in August 2013, alleging
disability beginning January 27, 2012, based on “broken
neck, surgical cage, protruding disc in back, PTSD,
depression, suicidal thoughts, emotional withdrawal from
family and friends, trouble socializing, anger problems, and
rotator cuff.” (Doc. 11 at 268, 321). Plaintiff's
application was denied and upon timely request, he was
granted an administrative hearing before Administrative Law
Judge Jeff Hughes (hereinafter “ALJ”) on July 24,
2015. (Id. at 112). Plaintiff attended the hearing,
waived his right to counsel, and provided testimony related
to his claims. (Id. at 117). A vocational expert
(“VE”) also appeared at the hearing and provided
testimony. (Id. at 157). On February 29, 2016, the
ALJ issued an unfavorable decision finding that Plaintiff is
not disabled. (Id. at 93). The Appeals Council
denied Plaintiff's request for review on June 2, 2017.
(Id. at 6). Therefore, the ALJ's decision dated
February 29, 2016, became the final decision of the
exhausted his administrative remedies, Plaintiff timely filed
the present civil action. (Doc. 1). Oral argument was
conducted on May 16, 2018. (Doc. 24). This case is now ripe
for judicial review and is properly before this Court
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3).
Issue on Appeal
the ALJ reversibly erred in failing to expressly consider
was born on January 2, 1976, and was thirty-nine years of age
at the time of his administrative hearing on July 24, 2015.
(Doc. 11 at 112, 316). Plaintiff graduated from high school
and received training as a welder. (Id. at 120).
last worked from 2013 to 2014 as a light maintenance worker
at a bar. (Id. at 122). Prior to that, he
worked as a welder. (Id. at 122, 144-46, 308, 323).
testified that he can no longer work because it hurts his
back, neck, and legs when he lifts heavy objects, and he
cannot sit for long periods of time. (Id. at
149-50). He takes medication for pain. (Id. at
128-29, 138, 149).
Standard of Review
reviewing claims brought under the Act, this Court's role
is a limited one. The Court's review is limited to
determining 1) whether the decision of the Secretary is
supported by substantial evidence and 2) whether the correct
legal standards were applied.Martin v. Sullivan, 894
F.2d 1520, 1529 (11th Cir. 1990). A court may not decide the
facts anew, reweigh the evidence, or substitute its judgment
for that of the Commissioner. Sewell v. Bowen, 792
F.2d 1065, 1067 (11th Cir. 1986). The Commissioner's
findings of fact must be affirmed if they are based upon
substantial evidence. Brown v. Sullivan, 921 F.2d
1233, 1235 (11th Cir. 1991); Bloodsworth v. Heckler,
703 F.2d 1233, 1239 (11th Cir. 1983) (holding substantial
evidence is defined as “more than a scintilla, but less
than a preponderance” and consists of “such
relevant evidence as a reasonable person would accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.”). In determining
whether substantial evidence exists, a court must view the
record as a whole, taking into account evidence favorable, as
well as unfavorable, to the Commissioner's decision.
Chester v. Bowen, 792 F.2d 129, 131 (11th Cir.
1986); Short v. Apfel, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10163,
*4 (S.D. Ala. June 14, 1999).
Statutory and ...