United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
RONALD M. MIMS, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
Elizabeth A. Stafford Magistrate Judge.
OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS, ADOPTING THE REPORT
AND RECOMMENDATION, DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT, GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT, AND AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE
L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge.
January 6, 2016, Plaintiff Ronald Mims filed a complaint
seeking judicial review of the Social Security
Commissioner's denial of disability benefits. ECF No. 1.
During the administrative proceedings, the Administrative Law
Judge (ALJ) concluded that Mims was not disabled. The Appeals
Council denied review, making the ALJ's denial of
benefits the Commissioner's final decision. This case was
referred to Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Stafford. ECF No.
2. After the parties filed cross motions for summary
judgment, Judge Stafford issued a report and recommendation.
ECF No. 17. She recommends that the Commissioner's motion
for summary judgment be granted, Mim's motion for summary
judgment be denied, and the Commissioner's denial of
benefits affirmed. Mims has timely objected to Judge
Stafford's report and recommendation. ECF No. 20.
to a de novo review of the record, Mim's objections will
be overruled and the report and recommendation will be
adopted. Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion for summary
judgment will be denied, Defendant's motion for summary
judgment will be granted, the determination of the
Commissioner of Social Security is AFFIRMED
and that Plaintiff's claims will be dismissed with
party has objected to Judge Stafford's summary of the
relevant background of the case. For that reason, the summary
is adopted in full. For clarity, a brief reiteration will be
provided here. Mims has worked in the past as a heavy
equipment mechanic, but alleges that, as of January 18, 2010,
he became disabled due to a combination of back pain, neck
pain, arm pain, nerve damage, muscle atrophy, anxiety,
diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and severe
depression. Mims submitted his application for disability
benefits on September 6, 2013, at the age of 42.
reviewing a case under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the Court
must affirm the Commissioner's conclusions “absent
a determination that the Commissioner has failed to apply the
correct legal standards or has made findings of fact
unsupported by substantial evidence in the record.”
Walters v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 127 F.3d 525,
528 (6th Cir. 1997) (citations omitted). Substantial evidence
is “such evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.” Id.
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72, a party may object to
and seek review of a Magistrate Judge's report and
recommendation. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). Objections must be
stated with specificity. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S.
140, 151 (1985) (citation omitted). If objections are made,
“[t]he district judge must determine de novo any part
of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been
properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). De novo
review requires at least a review of the evidence before the
Magistrate Judge; the Court may not act solely on the basis
of a Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation.
See Hill v. Duriron Co., 656 F.2d 1208, 1215 (6th
Cir. 1981). After reviewing the evidence, the Court is free
to accept, reject, or modify the findings or recommendations
of the Magistrate Judge. See Lardie v. Birkett, 221
F.Supp.2d 806, 807 (E.D. Mich. 2002).
those objections that are specific are entitled to a de novo
review under the statute. Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d
636, 637 (6th Cir. 1986). “The parties have the duty to
pinpoint those portions of the magistrate's report that
the district court must specially consider.”
Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
A general objection, or one that merely restates the
arguments previously presented, does not sufficiently
identify alleged errors on the part of the magistrate judge.
See VanDiver v. Martin, 304 F.Supp.2d 934, 937
(E.D.Mich.2004). An “objection” that does nothing
more than disagree with a magistrate judge's
determination, “without explaining the source of the
error, ” is not considered a valid objection.
Howard v. Sec'y of Health and Human Servs., 932
F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991). Without specific objections,
“[t]he functions of the district court are effectively
duplicated as both the magistrate and the district court
perform identical tasks. This duplication of time and effort
wastes judicial resources rather than saving them, and runs
contrary to the purposes of the Magistrate's Act.”
raises three objections to Judge Stafford's report and
recommendation. Specifically, he argues that Judge Stafford
erroneously concluded that the ALJ's residual functional
capacity (RFC) decision was supported by substantial
evidence, erroneously found that the ALJ did not abuse her
discretion by holding that the record was sufficient to
assess Mims's RFC, and improperly concluded that the ...