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Al-Saidie v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

July 13, 2017

SALEH HAMOUD AL-SAIDIE, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          STEPHANIE DAWKINS DAVIS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         OPINION AND ORDER: (1) REJECTING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS (ECF NO. 16); (2) ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE (ECF NO. 15); (3) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF NO. 11); (4) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF NO. 12); AND (5) AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY

          PAUL D. BORMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE .

         On February 24, 2017, Magistrate Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis issued a Report and Recommendation on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. (ECF No. 15, Report and Recommendation.) In the Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate Judge recommended that this Court deny Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, grant Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, and affirm the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”).

         Now before the Court are Plaintiffs Objections to the Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 16, Pl.'s Objs.) Defendant filed a timely Response. (ECF No. 17, Def.'s Resp.) Having conducted a de novo review of the parts of the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation to which objections have been filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the Court will reject Plaintiffs Objections and adopt the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The findings of the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) and the pertinent portions of the Administrative Record are accurately and adequately set forth in the Report and Recommendation. There are no material inconsistencies with these accounts and the Court incorporates those factual recitations here. (Report and Recommendation at 2-3; ECF Nos. 7-7-1, Transcript of Social Security Proceedings at 22-30 (hereinafter “Tr. at __”).) The following summary contains only the facts essential to this Court's evaluation of Defendant's objections.

         Plaintiff applied for a period of disability, disability insurance benefits, and supplemental security income on January 30, 2013, alleging disability beginning December 1, 2009. (Tr. at 22.) After his claims were denied on April 9, 2013, Plaintiff requested a hearing, and he appeared with counsel before ALJ John Dodson on June 13, 2014. (Id.) The ALJ issued a decision on September 17, 2014, finding that Plaintiff was not disabled. (Tr. at 22-30.)

         In that decision (tr. at 22-30), the ALJ employed the five-step evaluation process required by 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4), and made the following determinations: Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged disability onset date (Step 1); Plaintiff has the specific severe impairments of degenerative disc disease, carpal tunnel syndrome, and depression (Step 2); and Plaintiff does not have an impairment that meets or medically equals an impairment set forth in the Commissioner's Listing of Impairments, 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 1, et seq. (Step 3). As to Step 4, the ALJ found that Plaintiff has the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work with certain limitations:

simple, routine and repetitive tasks that involve no production like standards, no more than occasional, superficial contact with the public, and no more than occasional contact with coworkers and supervisors; no climbing of ropes, ladders or scaffolds; occasional balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching and crawling; occasional reaching in all directions with the right upper extremity; avoid exposure to vibrations; and no more than occasional twisting bilaterally.

(Tr. at 26.) The ALJ then found that there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff can perform (Step 5), which was the basis for the ALJ's ultimate conclusion that Plaintiff is not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. (Tr. at 29-30.)

         The Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration denied Plaintiff's request for review of the ALJ's decision on January 16, 2016 (tr. at 1-4.), rendering the ALJ's determination the final decision of the Commissioner.

         Plaintiff filed this action on February 9, 2016 (ECF No. 1), and the case was referred to the Magistrate Judge the next day (ECF No. 3). The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment in June and July of 2016. (ECF Nos. 11, 12.) The Magistrate Judge issued the Report and Recommendation on February 24, 2017.

         In the Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the Court affirm the findings of the Commissioner, deny Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, and grant Defendant's motion for summary judgment. (Report and Recommendation at 2.) In reaching these conclusions, the ...


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