United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Patricia T. Morris Magistrate Judge.
ORDER ACCEPTING AND ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
F. Cox United States District Judge.
Janice Bailey (“Plaintiff”) brought this action
seeking judicial review of Defendant Commissioner of Social
Security's (“Defendant”) determination that
she is not entitled to Disability Insurance Benefits under 42
U.S.C. § 405(g). (Doc. # 1).
proceedings in this action were referred to Magistrate Judge
Patricia T. Morris pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B).
(Doc. # 2). Sometime thereafter, Plaintiff and Defendant
filed cross-motions for summary judgment. (Doc. # 21; Doc. #
December 28, 2016, Magistrate Judge Morris issued a Report
and Recommendation (“R&R), wherein she recommended
that the Court DENY Plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment, GRANT Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
and AFFIRM the decision of the Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”). (Doc. # 27, R&R). Plaintiff filed a
timely objection to the December 28, 2016 R&R on January
11, 2017. (Doc. # 29, Pl.'s Obj.). Defendant timely
responded to Plaintiff's objection on January 25, 2017.
(Doc. # 31, Def.'s Resp.).
reasons outlined below, the Court finds Plaintiff's
objections to be without merit. The Court shall therefore
ACCEPT AND ADOPT the R&R,
GRANT Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment and DENY Plaintiff's Motion for
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), a party objecting
to the recommended disposition of a matter by a Magistrate
Judge must file objections to the R&R within fourteen
(14) days after being served with a copy of the R&R.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). Objections must “(A) specify the
part of the order, proposed findings, recommendations, or
report to which a person objects; and (B) state the basis for
the objection.” E.D. Mich. LR 72.1(d).
are not “a second opportunity to present the argument
already considered by the Magistrate Judge.”
Betancourt v. Ace Ins. Co. of Puerto Rico, 313
F.Supp.2d 32, 34 (D.P.R. 2004). Moreover, the district court
should not consider arguments that have not first been
presented to the magistrate judge. See Stonecrest
Partners, LLC v. Bank of Hampton Roads, 770 F.Supp.2d
778, 785 (E.D. N.C. 2011).
district judge must determine de novo any part of the
magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly
objected to. The district judge may accept, reject, or modify
the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or
return the matter to the magistrate judge with
instructions.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).
outset, the Court notes that Plaintiff's objections are
not properly labeled, making it difficult for the Court to
discern which provisions of the R&R Plaintiff objects to.
With this in mind, it appears that Plaintiff takes issue with
the Magistrate Judge's determination that the ALJ
properly assessed the severity of Plaintiff's mental
impairments and the Magistrate Judge's determination that
the ALJ properly accorded great weight to the opinion of the
agency's non-examining source, Dr. Tsai, even though
certain records were not before Dr. Tsai at the time that he
completed his review.
appears to advance the following objections to the R&R:
(1) the Magistrate Judge was under the mistaken impression
that Plaintiff did not argue that the Hillside reports were
from treating sources; (2) the Magistrate Judge erred in
claiming that the ALJ “plainly considered
[Plaintiff's] nonsevere mental impairments at each step
of the disability determination, including the RFC
assessment;” (3) the Magistrate Judge erred in
concluding that because the ALJ considered the Hillside
opinions in rendering his findings, Plaintiff cannot
demonstrate any error in according Dr. Tsai's opinion
great weight; and (4) the Magistrate Judge erred in claiming
that, by simply reciting the GAF scores in the record, the
ALJ provided sufficient indication that he gave due
consideration to the Hillside non-treating opinions. None of
Plaintiff's objections have merit.
Plaintiff unpersuasively argues that the Magistrate Judge was
mistaken when she asserted that Plaintiff did not argue that
the Hillside reports were from a treating source. Notably
absent from Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment was
any substantive discussion as to whether and why the
Hillside opinions were from treating sources. Instead,
Plaintiff merely asserted, in a conclusory fashion, that the
opinions were from ...