Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

JNN v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

February 14, 2018

JNN, a minor child by Cora E. Williams, Parent and Next Friend, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          Mag. Judge R. Steven Whalen

          ORDER OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS, ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION, DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, AND AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE COMMISSIONER

          THOMAS L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge

         On August 27, 2013, Plaintiff JNN, a minor child, by Cora E. Williams, parent and next friend (“Plaintiff” or “Claimant”), applied for supplemental security income with an alleged disability onset date of October 12, 2002. Claimant's application was initially denied on February 11, 2014. Claimant requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The hearing was held on May 20, 2015, after which the ALJ issued a decision finding that JNN was not disabled. The Appeals Council denied review. Plaintiff sought review in this Court on October 10, 2016. The case was referred to Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen. The parties filed cross motions for summary judgment. Judge Whalen issued a report recommending that the Court grant Defendant's motion and deny Plaintiff's motion. Plaintiff filed timely objections to Judge Whalen's report and recommendation.

         I.

         Neither party has specifically objected to Judge Whalen's summary of the facts and history of the administrative proceedings in the case. That summary is therefore adopted in full. Notably, the ALJ found that JNN had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset of the disability. ECF No. 12-2 at 26. The ALJ found that JNN was a school aged child on the date the application was filed and is currently an adolescent under 20 CFR 416.926a(g)(2). Id. The ALJ found that JNN suffered from the following severe impairments: asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Id. The ALJ determined that JNN does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. Id. (citing 20 CFR 416.924-419.926). Finally, the ALJ found that JNN does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that functionally equals the severity of a listing under 20 CFR 416.924(d) and 414.926(a), and that JNN was therefore not disabled. Id. at 26-40.

         II.

         A.

         When reviewing a case under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the Court must affirm the Commissioner's conclusions “absent a determination that the Commissioner has failed to apply the correct legal standards or has made findings of fact unsupported by substantial evidence in the record.” Walters v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 127 F.3d 525, 528 (6th Cir. 1997) (citations omitted). Substantial evidence is “such evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Id. (citation omitted).

         42 U.S.C. § 1382c (a)(3)(C)(I) provides that “[a]n individual under the age of 18 shall be considered disabled” if he or she “has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which results in marked and severe functional limitations.” In evaluating whether a child is disabled, the Commissioner is to consider, in sequence, whether the child claimant 1) is “doing substantial gainful activity, ” 2) has a severe impairment, and 3) has “an impairment(s) that meets, medically equals, or functionally equals the listings.” 20 C.F.R. § 416.924(a). In determining whether the child claimant is disabled at the third step, the Commissioner determines functional ability in six domains: (1) acquiring and using information; (2) attending and completing tasks; (3) interacting and relating with others; (4) moving about and manipulating objects; (5) caring for oneself; and (6) health and physical well-being. 20 CFR § 926a(b)(1). In order to functionally equal the listings, the claimant must establish “marked” limitations in two of these domains, or “extreme” limitations in one domain. 20 CFR § 416.926a. A “marked” limitation is defined as an impairment(s) that “interferes seriously” with the ability “to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities.” 20 C.F.R. § 416.926a(e)(2). An “extreme” limitation “interferes very seriously” with the ability “to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities” (emphasis added). 20 C.F.R. § 416.926a(e)(3).

         B.

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72, a party may object to and seek review of a Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). Objections must be stated with specificity. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 151 (1985) (citation omitted). If objections are made, “[t]he district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). De novo review requires at least a review of the evidence before the Magistrate Judge; the Court may not act solely on the basis of a Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation. See Hill v. Duriron Co., 656 F.2d 1208, 1215 (6th Cir. 1981). After reviewing the evidence, the Court is free to accept, reject, or modify the findings or recommendations of the Magistrate Judge. See Lardie v. Birkett, 221 F.Supp.2d 806, 807 (E.D. Mich. 2002).

         Only those objections that are specific are entitled to a de novo review under the statute. Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th Cir. 1986). “The parties have the duty to pinpoint those portions of the magistrate's report that the district court must specially consider.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). A general objection, or one that merely restates the arguments previously presented, does not sufficiently identify alleged errors on the part of the magistrate judge. See VanDiver v. Martin, 304 F.Supp.2d 934, 937 (E.D. Mich. 2004). An “objection” that does nothing more than disagree with a magistrate judge's determination, “without explaining the source of the error, ” is not considered a valid objection. Howard v. Sec'y of Health and Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991). Without specific objections, “[t]he functions of the district court are effectively duplicated as both the magistrate and the district court perform identical tasks. This duplication of time and effort wastes judicial resources rather than saving them, and runs contrary to the purposes of the Magistrate's Act.” Id.

         III.

...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.