United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S
OBJECTIONS, ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION, GRANTING
DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR REMAND, AND GRANTING IN PART AND
DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
MARIANNE O. BATTANI United States District Judge
the Court are Plaintiff Tyra Latrese Gates' objections to
the Magistrate Judge's Report & Recommendation
(“R&R”). (Doc. 29). Magistrate Judge R.
Steven Whalen considered Plaintiff's motion for summary
judgment and Defendant's motion to remand, and on
November 1, 2016, entered an R&R. (Doc. 28). In the
R&R, Magistrate Judge Whalen recommended that the Court
grant the Commissioner's motion to remand, and grant in
part and deny in part Plaintiff's motion for summary
judgment. For the reasons that follow, the Court OVERRULES
Plaintiff's objections, ADOPTS the R&R, GRANTS the
Commissioner's Motion to Remand (Doc. 24), and GRANTS IN
PART AND DENIES IN PART Plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment, (Doc. 17). Specifically it is DENIED insofar as
Plaintiff requests a remand for an award of benefits, and
GRANTED to the extent that it seeks a remand for further
STATEMENT OF FACTS
parties have not objected to the R&R's summary of the
facts and procedural history, the Court adopts that portion
of the R&R. (See Doc. 28, pp. 2-3).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Objections to a Magistrate Judge's R&R
district court must conduct a de novo review of the
portions of a magistrate judge's report and
recommendation to which a party objects. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1). The district “court may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations
made by the magistrate” judge. Id. The
requirement of de novo review “is a statutory
recognition that Article III of the United States
Constitution mandates that the judicial power of the United
States be vested in judges with life tenure.”
United States v. Shami, 754 F.2d 670, 672 (6th Cir.
1985). Accordingly, Congress enacted 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1) to “insure[ ] that the district judge would
be the final arbiter” of a matter referred to a
magistrate. Flournoy v. Marshall, 842 F.2d 875, 878
(6th Cir. 1987).
Sixth Circuit has made clear that “[o]verly general
objections do not satisfy the objection requirement.”
Spencer v. Bouchard, 449 F.3d 721, 725 (6th Cir.
2006). Only specific objections are entitled to de
novo review; vague and conclusory objections amount to a
complete failure to object as they are not sufficient to
pinpoint those portions of the R&R that are legitimately
in contention. Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637
(6th Cir.1986) (per curiam). “The objections must be
clear enough to enable the district court to discern those
issues that are dispositive and contentious.”
Miller v. Currie, 50 F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995).
"‘[O]bjections disput[ing] the correctness of the
magistrate's recommendation but fail[ing] to specify the
findings . . . believed [to be] in error' are too
general.” Spencer, 449 F.3d at 725 (quoting
Miller, 50 F.3d at 380).
Standard of Review Applicable to Social Security
Court has jurisdiction to review the Commissioner's final
administrative decision pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Judicial review is limited to determining whether the
Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial
evidence and was made pursuant to proper legal standards.
Rogers v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 486 F.3d 234, 241
(6th Cir. 2007). Substantial evidence is "more than a
scintilla of evidence but less than a preponderance; it is
such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion." Id.
(internal quotation marks omitted). If the Commissioner's
decision is supported by substantial evidence, "it must
be affirmed even if the reviewing court would decide the
matter differently and even if substantial evidence also
supports the opposite conclusion." Cutlip v.
Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 25 F.3d 284, 286
(6th Cir. 1994) (internal citations omitted).
reviewing the Commissioner's factual findings for
substantial evidence, the Court is limited to an examination
of the record and must consider that record as a whole.
Wyatt v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 974
F.2d 680, 683 (6th Cir. 1992). There is no requirement,
however, that either the Commissioner or this Court discuss
every piece of evidence in the administrative record.
Kornecky v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 167 F.App'x
496, 508 (6th Cir. 2006). Further, this Court does "not
try the case de novo, resolve conflicts in evidence, or
decide questions of credibility." Bass v.
McMahon, 499 F.3d 506, 509 (6th Cir. 2007).
brings two objections to the Magistrate Judge's R&R.
First, that the Magistrate Judge erred in finding that he is
barred from making a factual finding as to Plaintiff meeting
all of the requirements for disability under Defendant's
Listing 12.05. (Doc. 29). Second, that the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation violated the Sixth Circuit's
requirement that the Court direct ...