United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
AND ORDER (1) OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS; (2)
ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION; (3) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT; AND (4) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
H. CLELAND, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Mohamed Ahmed Mokebel-Aljahmi appeals from Defendant
Commissioner of Social Security's denial of his
application for disability income benefits. Magistrate Judge
Mona k. Majzoub issued a Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) (Dkt. # 15) advising the court to
deny Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Dkt. # 12)
and grant Defendant's motion for summary judgment (Dkt. #
13). Plaintiff timely filed Objections to the R&R (Dkt. #
16), to which Defendant responded (Dkt. # 18). After
reviewing the R&R and the parties' briefs, the court
concludes that a hearing is unnecessary. See E.D.
Mich. LR 7.1(f)(2). For the reasons stated below and in the
well-reasoned R&R, the court will overrule
Plaintiff's objections and adopt the R&R.
Timely Objections and De Novo Review
filing of timely objections to an R&R requires the court
to “make a de novo determination of those
portions of the report or specified findings or
recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1); see also United States v. Raddatz,
447 U.S. 667, 673-74 (1980); United States v.
Walters, 638 F.2d 947, 949 (6th Cir. 1981). This de
novo review requires the court to re-examine all of the
relevant evidence previously reviewed by the magistrate judge
in order to determine whether the recommendation should be
accepted, rejected, or modified in whole or in part. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
filing of objections provides the district court with the
opportunity to consider the specific contentions of the
parties and to correct any errors immediately, ”
Walters, 638 F.2d at 950, enabling the court
“to focus attention on those issues-factual and
legal-that are at the heart of the parties' dispute,
” Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 147 (1985). As
a result, “‘[o]nly those specific objections to
the magistrate's report made to the district court will
be preserved for appellate review; making some objections but
failing to raise others will not preserve all the objections
a party may have.'” McClanahan v. Comm'r of
Soc. Sec., 474 F.3d 830, 837 (6th Cir. 2006) (quoting
Smith v. Detroit Fed'n of Teachers Local 231,
829 F.2d 1370, 1373 (6th Cir. 1987)).
Substantial Evidence Standard
social security case, the court “must affirm the
Commissioner's decision if it ‘is supported by
substantial evidence and was made pursuant to proper legal
standards.'” Rabbers v. Comm'r Soc. Sec.
Admin., 582 F.3d 647, 651 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Rogers v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 486 F.3d 234, 241
(6th Cir. 2007)); see also 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
When, as here, the Appeals Council declines review of a
plaintiff's claim, “the decision of the ALJ becomes
the final decision of the [Commissioner].” Casey v.
Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 987 F.2d 1230,
1233 (6th Cir. 1993).
court's review of the record for substantial evidence is
quite deferential to the ALJ. “Substantial evidence is
more than a scintilla of evidence but less than a
preponderance and is such relevant evidence as a reasonable
mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion,
” Pittsburgh & Conneaut Dock Co. v. Dir.,
Office of Workers' Comp. Programs, 473 F.3d 253, 259
(6th Cir. 2007), “even if that evidence could support a
decision the other way, ” Casey, 987 F.2d at
1233. Moreover, the court bases its review on the entire
administrative record, not just what the ALJ cited.
Heston v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 245 F.3d 528, 535
(6th Cir. 2001). “Even if supported by substantial
evidence, however, a decision of the Commissioner will not be
upheld where the [Social Security Administration] fails to
follow its own regulations and where that error prejudices a
claimant on the merits or deprives the claimant of a
substantial right.” Bowen v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 478 F.3d 742, 746 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing
Wilson v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 378 F.3d 541,
546-47 (6th Cir. 2004)).
first objection merely reiterates parts of the argument
section from his Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. # 13, Pg.
ID 1215-1218), attempting to rebrand them as objections to
the R&R. (Dkt. #16, Pg. ID 1288, 1292-1296.)
Plaintiff's few additions to his earlier arguments appear
to be nothing other than general objections to the Magistrate
Judge's recommendations. Disagreement with the Magistrate
Judge's recommendations without any argument as to the
specific errors in the Magistrate Judge's analysis is the
equivalent of failing to file an objection. See Wallace
v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., No. 15-11839, 2016 WL
4409062, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 19, 2016).
the arguments Plaintiff advances in his general objections
were sufficiently considered and rejected by the Magistrate
Judge who concluded that the ALJ's findings were based on
substantial evidence in the record. For example, Plaintiff
complains that this court should reject the R&R because
the ALJ did not incorporate a reaching limitation beyond the
overhead limitation. Quoting from Plaintiff's brief,
Judge Majzoub expressly considered this argument and rejected
it in the R&R. (Dkt. #15, Pg. ID 1272.) Judge Majzoub
concluded that the ALJ properly relied on Dr. Mahmood
Rahim's opinion that Plaintiff had “normal movement
of all extremities” as well as Dr. Dinesh Tanna's
opinion that Plaintiff was only limited in his
ability to reach overhead. Plaintiff raises no specific
objections to Magistrate Judge Majzoub's analysis in the
R&R on this point, but merely repeats his brief in
opposition to the ALJ's findings. The court will not
entertain the rehashing of previous arguments, ...