United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ANWAR KHAN, JR. Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY Defendant.
Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen
ORDER: (1) ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION (Doc. # 29); (2) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Doc. # 28); AND
(3) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Doc. # 25)
Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge
Khan, Jr. (“Khan”) brings this action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. 405(g). He appeals the denial of Social Security
disability benefits by the Commissioner of Social Security
(the “Commissioner”). The Appeals Council denied
Khan's Request for Review of the decision issued by the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) on March 1,
2016. That ALJ decision stands as the Commissioner's
final decision. The parties filed cross-motions for summary
judgment. The Court referred those motions to Magistrate
Judge R. Steven Whalen.
Judge Whalen issued a Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) recommending that the Court grant the
Commissioner's Motion and deny Khan's. Magistrate
Judge Whalen concluded that the ALJ did not err by giving
little weight to Dr. Binkley's (Khan's psychiatrist)
opinions and adopting a non-examining assessment over the
treater's assessment. He also concluded there was no
basis for remand because the ALJ rejected the opinions of
therapist Baer; and physician assistant Nugent. Finally,
Magistrate Judge Whalen concluded that the ALJ did not
violate Khan's due process rights, and that her
determination of Khan's ability to work was well within
the “zone of choice” accorded to ALJs.
filed Objections. He specifically objects to Magistrate Judge
Whalen's: (1) acceptance of the ALJ's disregard of
reports showing a cervical spine impairment; (2) acceptance
of the ALJ's rejection of Dr. Binkley's opinions; (3)
failure to address Khan's argument that the ALJ erred in
considering the opinions of a non-examining doctor (Dr.
Douglass); and (4) finding that the ALJ did not violate
Khan's due process rights.
Standard of Review
person may seek judicial review of any final decision of the
Commissioner; however, the findings of the Commissioner as to
any fact, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be
conclusive. 42 U.S.C. § 405.
evidence is more than a scintilla of evidence but less than a
preponderance … .” Brainard v. Sec'y of
Health & Human Servs., 889 F.2d 679, 681 (6th Cir.
1989) (citing Consol. Edison Co. v. NLRB, 305 U.S.
197, 229 (1938)). It exists when a reasonable mind could
accept the evidence as adequate to support the challenged
conclusion, even if that evidence could also support the
opposite conclusion. Casey v. Sec'y of Health and
Human Servs., 987 F.2d 1230, 1233 (6th Cir. 1993). And,
if the Commissioner's decision is supported by
substantial evidence, it must stand, regardless of whether
the Court would resolve the disputed facts differently.
Bogle v. Sullivan, 998 F.2d 342, 347 (6th Cir.
proper objections are made, the Court conducts a de
novo review of a Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation on a dispositive motion. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1); F. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). A court may accept,
reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or
recommendations made by the magistrate judge. Id. A
district court need not conduct de novo review where
the objections are “[f]rivolous, conclusive or
general.” Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637
(6th Cir.1986) (citation omitted); see also Rice v.
Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 169 F. App'x 452, 453-54
(6th Cir. 2006) (“issues adverted to in a perfunctory
manner, unaccompanied by some effort at developed
argumentation, are deemed waived.”) (quoting
McPherson v. Kelsey, 125 F.3d 989, 995-96 (6th
Cir.1997)). After completing a de novo review, there
is no requirement that the district court articulate all of
the reasons it rejects a party's objections. Tuggle
v. Seabold, 806 F.2d 87, 93 (6th Cir. 1986);
Dickey-Williams v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 975
F.Supp.2d 792, 798 (E.D. Mich. 2013).
de novo review of the cross motions for summary
judgment, the R&R, Khan's objections, the
Commissioner's response, and the remainder of the record,
the Court agrees with Magistrate Judge Whalen's
conclusions. Magistrate Judge Whalen accurately laid out the
facts and relevant portions of the administrative record; he
engaged in a thorough analysis of the issues and the law, and
provided reasoned explanations for his conclusions. In
reaching his conclusions, Magistrate Judge Whalen considered
the entire record and applied the appropriate standard for
review of an ALJ's decision, which was supported by
applicable law and substantial evidence in the record.
Court ADOPTS Magistrate Judge Whalen's
Report and Recommendation: Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment is GRANTED; Plaintiff's Motion
for Summary Judgment is DENIED. The ...