United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Elizabeth A. Stafford U.S. Magistrate Judge
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ,
GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ,
DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ,
OVERRULING DEFENDANT'S OBJECTION 
J. Tarnow Senior United States District Judge.
August 4, 2017, Magistrate Judge Stafford issued a Report and
Recommendation (R&R) , recommending that Plaintiff's
Motion for Summary Judgment  be granted and, accordingly,
that Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment  be
denied. Defendant filed an objection  on August 10, 2017,
and Plaintiiff filed a response  on August 22, 2017. For
the reasons stated below, the R&R  is
ADOPTED and is entered as the findings and
conclusions of the Court, and Defendant's objection 
is OVERRULED. Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment  is GRANTED and
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment  is
Magistrate Judge summarized the administrative record of
Plaintiff's disability application as follows:
Born December 29, 1967, Champion was 45 years old when she
submitted her application for disability benefits in
September 2013. [ECF No. 11-2, Tr. 38; ECF No. 11-5, Tr.
143]. She received her GED and nursing assistant training
from the American Red Cross. [ECF No. 11-2, Tr. 39-40].
Champion's past relevant work was classified as a
receptionist and sorter/gauger. [ECF No. 11-2, Tr. 60].
Champion alleges a disability onset date of September 1,
2011. [ECF No. 11-2, Tr. 35; ECF No. 7-3, Tr. 75]. Her last
insured was December 31, 2014. [ECF No. 7-2, Tr. 14].
After a hearing on May 6, 2015, during which Champion and a
vocational expert (VE) testified, the ALJ found that Champion
was not disabled. [ECF No. 11-2, Tr. 17-27, 32-81]. The
Appeals Council denied review, making the ALJ's decision
the final decision of the Commissioner. [Id., Tr.
1-3]. Champion timely filed for judicial review. [ECF No. 1].
…Applying [the five-step disability analysis] the ALJ
concluded that Champion was not disabled. At the first step,
she found that Champion had not engaged in substantial
gainful activity during the relevant period. [ECF No.11-2,
Tr. 19]. At the second step, she found that Champion had the
severe impairments of “history of traumatic brain
injury with left temporal fracture, hearing loss on the right
side, multi-level disc bulges of the lumbar spine status post
anterior lumbar interbody fusion and instrumentation
resulting in chronic pain and post laminectomy
syndrome.” [Id.]. Next, the ALJ concluded that
none of her impairments, either alone or in combination, met
or medically equaled the severity of a listed impairment.
[Id., Tr. 18].
the third and fourth steps, the ALJ found that Champion had
the RFC to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1567(a), except that:
[S]he could only occasionally climb stairs, crouch, crawl,
kneel, stoop or bend; should avoid workplace hazards, such as
moving machinery, unprotected heights and, as such, should
not climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolding; is limited to work
that is low stress which does not require any complex
decisions but, rather, involves only simple decisions; and,
needs a job which allows for the opportunity to alternate
between sitting and standing while engaging in the work, as
[ECF No. 11-2, Tr. 22]. At step four, the ALJ found that
Champion was capable of performing her past relevant work as
a reception and sorter/gauger. [Id., Tr. 26]. This
rendered a finding that Champion was not disabled during the
relevant period. [Id., Tr. 27].
Court reviews objections to an R&R on a dispositive motion
de novo. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c). Judicial
review of a decision by an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) is limited to determining whether the
factual findings are supported by substantial evidence and
whether the ALJ employed the proper legal standards.
Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971). The
ALJ's factual findings “are conclusive if supported
by substantial evidence.” Maziarz v. Sec'y of
Health & Human Servs., 837 F.2d 240, 243 (6th Cir.
1987). “Substantial evidence is defined as 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). The substantial evidence standard “does not
permit a selective reading of the record, ...