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McAllister v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

March 31, 2017

MELISSA M. MCALLISTER, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          Hon. Patricia T. Morris, Judge

          OPINION AND ORDER SUSTAINING IN PART AND OVERRULING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (DKT. 18) AND MODIFYING IN PART AND ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (DKT. 17)

          TERRENCE G. BERG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Melissa McAllister's objections (Dkt. 18) to Magistrate Judge Patricia T. Morris's September 29, 2016 report and recommendation (Dkt. 17), recommending that the Court deny Petitioner's motion to remand (Dkt. 14), grant Defendant's motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 15), and affirm this case. Dkt. 17, Pg. ID 852.

         I. BACKGROUND

         With the exception of two scrivener's errors discussed below, the Court finds that Magistrate Judge Morris's findings of fact are accurate and adopts them for purposes of this order.

         II. ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff raises four different objections to the report and recommendation. The first and second objections contain multiple grounds. Before making a “de novo determination of those portions of the report . . . to which objection is made, ” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the Court will address objections that Plaintiff improperly raised.

         a. Objections Plaintiff improperly raised

         Plaintiff objects to the report and recommendation's finding that the ALJ provided good reasons for not according great weight to Dr. Nowland's Residual Functional Capacity Assessment (“RFC Assessment”), Dkt. 9-10, Pg. ID 690-93, and provides four reasons for support. Two of those reasons are improperly raised. First, Plaintiff argues that the ALJ failed to adequately identify the purported inconsistencies between the RFC Assessment and the other evidence of record. Dkt. 18, Pg. ID 897. Second, Plaintiff argues that the ALJ found that Plaintiff was suffering from many severe impairments and that the statements in Dr. Nowland's RFC Assessment were consistent with that finding, so the ALJ should have given weight to the information in the RFC Assessment. Dkt. 18, Pg. ID 898. Plaintiff advanced both arguments in her motion to remand. Dkt. 14, Pg. IDs 786, 786-787.

         Plaintiff also objects to the adequacy of the ALJ's analysis of Plaintiff's credibility on the ground that Plaintiff did not exaggerate her physical limitations and even admitted that some of her conditions improved. Dkt. 18, Pg. ID 900. Plaintiff asserted the same argument in her motion to remand. Dkt. 14, Pg. IDs 792-793.

         And Plaintiff objects to the hypothetical RFC created by the ALJ who oversaw the administrative proceedings on the ground that it does not account for all of Plaintiff's impairments. Dkt. 18, Pg. IDs 900-901. Plaintiff asserted the same argument in her motion to remand. Dkt. 14, Pg. ID 790.

         All of these objections raise arguments that were advanced in Plaintiff's initial motion. To engage in an extended discussion of the merits of these objections would be to “undermine the purpose of the Federal Magistrate's Act, 28 U.S.C. § 636, which serves to reduce duplicative work and conserve judicial resources.” Nork v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 2015 WL 3620482 at *1 (E.D. Mich. 2015). Nonetheless, the Court has considered these objections, and finds that they are not well taken; Magistrate Judge Morris articulated valid reasons for rejecting these arguments, and Plaintiff provides no good basis for disturbing the recommendation.

         The Court now turns to those objections that are properly raised.

         b. Objections ...


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