United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Steven Whalen, Magistrate Judge.
ORDER: (1) ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION (Doc. # 21); (2) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Doc. # 19); AND (3) DENYING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND (Doc. # 16)
Victoria A. Roberts, United States District Judge.
April 3, 2014, Plaintiff Jack David Sandersfield
(“Sandersfield”) filed an application for
Supplemental Security Income, alleging that he had been
disabled since November 6, 2000. After the Commissioner of
Social Security (the “Commissioner”) denied
Sanderfield's initial claim, he requested an
administrative hearing. On October 12, 2017, Administrative
Law Judge (“ALJ”) Laura Chess issued a decision
finding that Sandersfield was not disabled. On January 30,
2017, the Appeals Council declined to review the
administrative decision; ALJ Chess' decision became
final. Sandersfield filed a motion to remand, which the court
is treating as a motion for summary judgment; the
Commissioner filed a motion for summary judgment. The Court
referred those motions to Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen.
motion to remand, Sandersfield argues that: (1) the
hypothetical question which formed the basis of the residual
functional capacity (“RFC”) did not account for
his full degree of physical and mental limitation; (2) the
ALJ erred by declining to find at Step Three of the
sequential analysis that he met Listing 1.04(A); (3) the
hypothetical question and corresponding RFC did not
adequately address workplace limitations brought about by his
speech impairment; and (4) the ALJ erred in her assessment of
credibility of Sandersfield's allegations of limitation.
Commissioner argues in its motion for summary judgment that:
(1) substantial evidence supports the ALJ's Step-Three
determination that Sandersfield did not meet Listing 1.04(A);
(2) substantial evidence supports the ALJ's partial
rejection of Sandersfield's subjective statements; and
(3) substantial evidence supports the ALJ's assessment of
Sandersfield's residual functional capacity and
consequent Step-Five determination.
Judge Whalen issued a Report and Recommendation (the
“R&R”) recommending that the Court grant the
Commissioner's Motion for Summary Judgment and deny
Sandersfield's. Magistrate Judge Whalen concluded that
the ALJ did not commit legal error and her decision was
supported by substantial evidence, because: (1) the ALJ
properly discounted Sandersfield's allegations based on
contradictory medical and other evidence; (2) Sandersfield
did not meet all of the criteria of Listing 1.04(A); and (3)
the ALJ's hypothetical question and RFC accounted for all
of Sandersfield's workplace limitations.
claims that Magistrate Judge Whalen made three erroneous
findings which this Court should reject: (1) that the
ALJ's partial rejection of Sandersfield's complaints
was supported by substantial evidence, well-articulated and
should not be disturbed; (2) that the ALJ was justified in
determining that Sandersfield was not disabled under Listing
1.04(A); and (3) that the hypothetical question and RFC
determinations of by the ALJ were accurate and generously
within the “zone of choice” afforded to the fact
finder at the administrative hearing level.
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).
the Magistrate Judge Act, 28 U.S.C. § 631 et seq.,
permits de novo review …, absent compelling reasons,
it does not allow parties to raise at the district court
stage new arguments or issues that were not presented to the
magistrate.” Murr v. United States, 200 F.3d
895, 902 n.1 (6th Cir. 2000) “[A] claim raised for the
first time in objections to a magistrate judge's report
is deemed waived.” Swain v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 379 Fed.Appx. 512, 517-518 (6th Cir. 2010).