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Evans v. Commissioner of Social Security

March 29, 2010

KENNETH EUGENE EVANS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Avern Cohn United States District Judge

HON. AVERN COHN

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION, GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

I. Introduction

This is a Social Security case. Plaintiff Kenneth Eugene Evans (Evans) appeals from the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (Commissioner) denying his application for Social Security disability benefits. Evans claims that he has been disabled since July 1, 1999 due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), depression, hepatitis C, and arthritis.

The parties filed cross motions for summary judgment. Evans is proceeding pro se. The motions were referred to a Magistrate Judge (MJ) for a report and recommendation (MJRR). The MJ recommends that Evans' motion for summary judgment be denied and that the Commissioner's motion for summary judgment be granted. Evans filed timely objections to the MJRR.

Ordinarily the Court would schedule this matter for hearing. Upon review of the parties' papers, however, the Court finds that oral argument is not necessary. See E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(e)(2). For the reasons that follow, the Court will adopt the MJRR. For the reasons that follow, the Court adopts the MJRR. The Commissioner's motion will be granted. Evans' motion will be denied. The case will be dismissed.

II. Background

A.

The MJRR accurately sets forth the facts, which are not repeated here. Evans filed a disability claim on January 27, 2004, alleging a July 1, 1999 onset of disability. Evans says that he is disabled because of COPD, depression, hepatitis C, and arthritis. Evans also complains of anxiety, heel spurs, and a possible head injury suffered during high school.

Evans' claims were initially denied on October 25, 2004. Evans appealed the decision and, on January 9, 2007, appeared before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ issued a decision denying benefits on January 26, 2007. Review was denied by the Appeals Council on June 23 2008.

B.

Evans then brought action for judicial review, arguing that (1) the Commissioner erroneously sought summary judgment, (2) he will be deprived of his substantive rights unless discovery is permitted, (3) he is entitled to discovery under the Freedom of Information Act, (4) the Appeals Council failed in its evaluation process by not evaluating his total medical or mental capacity, (5) an MRI of his head injuries is essential to resolving his claim, and (6) his medical conditions are accumulative with age and his residual functional capacity "lacks immediate use of non-skilled continued employment necessary to improve personal living conditions."

The MJ found that Evans' assertions were without merit on their face and were not appropriate requests in the context of a Social Security disability appeal. Nevertheless, the MJ went on to review the ALJ's decision ...


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