United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
STEPHANIE D. DAVIS J.
OPINION AND ORDER OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S
OBJECTIONS TO REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (DKT. 25) AND
ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (DKT. 24)
TERRENCE G. BERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a Social Security appeal brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
405(g). At issue is whether the Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) erred as a matter of law in finding that
Plaintiff was not eligible to receive Social Security
benefits and whether that finding is supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole.
the Court is Magistrate Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis's
August 24, 2017 Report and Recommendation (hereinafter
“R&R”) (Dkt. 24). Magistrate Judge Davis
concluded that the ALJ's denial of Social Security
disability benefits was correct and therefore recommends that
the Court deny Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment
(Dkt. 16), grant Defendant's motion for summary judgment
(Dkt. 21), and affirm the findings of the Commissioner. Dkt.
24, Pg. ID 979. Plaintiff Sherry Harden filed Objections to
the Magistrate's R&R (Dkt. 25).
relevant facts in this case were summarized in Magistrate
Judge Davis's R&R, Dkt. 24, Pg. IDs 956-65, and those
facts are adopted for purposes of this order. Plaintiff
raises four objections to the R&R, Dkt. 25, to which the
Commissioner has responded. Dkt. 26. For the reasons stated
below, Plaintiff's objections are
OVERRULED, Judge Davis's R&R is
AFFIRMED, Plaintiff's motion for summary
judgment is DENIED, defendant's motion
for summary judgment is GRANTED, and the
findings of the Commissioner are AFFIRMED.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
party may object to and seek review of an R&R, but must
act within fourteen days of service of the R&R.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b)(2). Failure to file specific objections constitutes a
waiver of any further right of appeal. Thomas v.
Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985). Filing objections which raise
some issues but fail to raise others with specificity will
not preserve all objections a party has to an R&R.
Willis v. Secretary of HHS, 931 F.2d 390, 401 (6th
Cir. 1991). The district court must 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 district court judge
may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.
noted in Judge Davis's R&R, “[i]n enacting the
social security system, Congress created a two-tiered system
in which the administrative agency handles claims, and the
judiciary merely reviews the agency determination for
exceeding statutory authority or for being arbitrary and
capricious.” Dkt. 24, Pg. ID 965 (citing Sullivan
v. Zebley, 493 U.S. 521 (1990)). Accordingly, this Court
has original jurisdiction to review the Commissioner's
final administrative decision pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
405(g). In so reviewing, this Court “must affirm the
Commissioner's conclusions absent a determination that
the Commissioner has failed to apply the correct legal
standard or has made findings of fact unsupported by
substantial evidence in the record.” Longworth v.
Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 402 F.3d 591, 595 (6th Cir.
2005). Substantial evidence is “such relevant evidence
as a reasonable mind might accept to support the ALJ's
conclusion.” Bass v. McMahon, 499 F.3d 506,
509 (6th Cir. 2007) (quotation marks omitted) (quoting
Foster v. Halter, 279 F.3d 348, 353 (6th Cir.
2001)). This substantial evidence standard is less exacting
than the preponderance of evidence standard. See
Bass, 499 F.3d at 509 (citing Bell v. Comm'r of
Soc. Sec., 105 F.3d 244, 246 (6th Cir. 1996)). The
reviewing court may not reverse the Commissioner's
decision merely because it disagrees or because “there
exists in the record substantial evidence to support a
different conclusion.” McClanahan v. Comm'r of
Soc. Sec., 474 F.3d 830, 833 (6th Cir. 2006).
raises four objections to Magistrate Judge Davis's
recommendation that the Court deny Plaintiff's motion for
summary judgment, grant Defendant's motion for summary
judgment, and affirm the findings of the Commissioner. Dkt.
24, Pg. ID 979.
1. The R&R erred in recommending a finding that the ALJ
properly evaluated Plaintiff's foot condition and the
effects of her foot surgery;
2. The R&R erred in recommending a finding that the ALJ
provided good reasons supported by substantial evidence for
rejecting Plaintiff's credibility;
3. The R&R erred in recommending a finding that Dr.
Czesnowski's opinion concerning Plaintiff's
limitations was not a “medical opinion” and that
the ALJ properly evaluated it;
4. The R&R erred in recommending a finding that the ALJ
had no duty to inquire about apparent conflicts between the
Vocational Expert (“VE”) testimony and the