United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
AND ORDER ACCEPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (DOC. 13),
OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS (DOC. 15), DENYING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. 11),
GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC.
12), AND SUSTAINING DEFENDANT'S LIMITED OBJECTION (DOC.
CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the court on the parties' cross motions
for summary judgment as to Plaintiff Tyesha Williams's
claim, on behalf of her son, R.M.A.C., for judicial review of
a final decision of Defendant Commissioner that Plaintiff was
not disabled under 42 § U.S.C. 1382c(a)(3)(C). The
matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Patricia T. Morris
who issued a report and recommendation on April 21, 2017,
recommending that Plaintiff's motion be denied and that
the Commissioner's motion be granted. Plaintiff filed
timely objections to the magistrate judge's report and
recommendation, which this court has duly considered.
Defendant filed a limited objection to the magistrate
judge's report and recommendation, which this court has
also considered. For the reasons stated below,
Plaintiff's objections are overruled, Defendant's
limited objection is sustained, Defendant's motion for
summary judgment is granted, Plaintiff's motion for
summary judgment is denied, and the court shall accept the
magistrate judge's report and recommendation.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
facts and procedural history of this case are set forth in
the magistrate judge's report and recommendation. Upon
review of the record, the court accepts the recitation of the
facts set forth there as the factual findings of this court.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
review of benefits decisions made by the Commissioner of
Social Security after a hearing is authorized by 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g). When reviewing a magistrate judge's report
and recommendation upon objection from any party, the court
“shall make a de novo determination of those portions
of the report or specified proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C). The court “may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations
made by the magistrate.” Id.
district court may affirm, modify, or reverse the
Commissioner's decision, with or without remand.
See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Findings of fact by the
Commissioner are conclusive if supported by substantial
evidence. Id. The court must affirm the decision
unless it determines that the Commissioner “has failed
to apply the correct legal standards or has made findings of
fact unsupported by substantial evidence.” Warner
v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 375 F.3d 387, 390 (6th Cir.
2004). The court may not evaluate the credibility of
witnesses or try the case de novo. Ulman v. Comm'r of
Soc. Sec., 693 F.3d 709, 713 (6th Cir. 2012).
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.” Rogers v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 486 F.3d 234, 241 (6th Cir. 2007) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted); see also Cutlip v.
Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 25 F.3d 284, 286
(6th Cir. 1994) (internal citations omitted) (explaining that
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”); Mullen v. Bowen, 800 F.2d 535,
545 (6th Cir.1986) (en banc) (noting that the substantial
evidence standard “presupposes... a zone of choice
within which the decisionmakers can go either way, without
interference by the courts”) (internal quotation marks
and citation omitted). A court may not reverse the
Commissioner's decision merely because it disagrees or
because substantial evidence can also be found in the record
to support the opposite conclusion. McClanahan v.
Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 474 F.3d 830, 833 (6th Cir.
Plaintiff's Objection No. 1
alleges that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and
Magistrate Judge Morris violated agency regulations, thus
establishing a lack of substantial evidence. (Doc. 15 at 1).
Plaintiff quotes a court decision; however, Plaintiff does
not provide evidence to support that the opinions of the ALJ
or Magistrate Judge Morris violated agency regulations.
Id. at 1-2. Plaintiff further contends that
“[s]ubstantial evidence on this record supports only
one result[, ]” that R.M.A.C.'s impairments
functionally equal a listing. Id. at 2. Yet,
Plaintiff does not attempt to prove that “substantial
evidence on this record supports only one result.”
Magistrate Judge Morris noted, as long as the
Commissioner's decision applied the correct legal
standard and is supported by substantial evidence in the
record, it must be upheld. (Doc. 13 at 3). A decision by the
Commissioner is not reversible simply because there exists in
the record substantial evidence to support a different
conclusion. See McClanahan, 474 F.3d at 833.
Plaintiff appears to argue that the ALJ and Magistrate Judge
Morris did not give proper consideration to the
questionnaires completed by the teachers and Plaintiff's
mother. (Doc. 15 at 2). The ALJ and Magistrate Judge Morris
considered all evidence, but found the specific medical
findings of Drs. ...