United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
T. NEFF, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
seeks judicial review of a decision of the Commissioner of
the Social Security Administration. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
The matter was referred to the Magistrate Judge, who issued a
Report and Recommendation (R & R), recommending that this
Court affirm the Commissioner's decision to deny
Plaintiffs claim for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Titles II and XVI of
the Social Security Act. The matter is presently before the
Court on Plaintiffs objections to the Report and
Recommendation (ECF No. 15). Defendant filed a response to
the objections (ECF No. 16). In accordance with 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3), the Court has
performed de novo consideration of those portions of the R
& R to which objections have been made. The Court denies
the objections and issues this Opinion and Order.
argues that the Report and Recommendation should not be
adopted because the ALJ's residual functional capacity
(RFC) findings are not supported by the record. First, the
ALJ failed to give proper weight to the opinion of treating
physician, Dr. Luis Vega. Second, the ALJ gave more weight to
the opinion of a consulting physician who did not review the
entire record, and the ALJ impermissibly made his own medical
conclusions. Finally, the ALJ did not properly assess
response, Defendant argues that Plaintiffs objections should
be rejected because the Report and Recommendation properly
found that the Commissioner's decision is supported by
substantial evidence. Moreover, Plaintiff merely rehashes her
threshold matter, to the extent Plaintiffs objections merely
reiterate arguments made before the Magistrate Judge, they
are not proper objections and will not be considered by this
Court. Rehashing the same arguments made previously defeats
the purpose and efficiency of the Federal Magistrate's
Act, 28 U.S.C. § 636. See Howard v. Sec'y of
Health & Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir.
1991); Owens v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec, No.
1:12-CV-47, 2013 WL 1304470, at *3 (W.D. Mich. Mar. 28,
2013). Such duplication defeats the purpose of the Federal
Magistrates Act, which is to "'relieve courts of
unnecessary work.'" See Howard, 932 F.2d at
509 (citation omitted). A party filing objections to a report
and recommendation is required to "specifically identify
the portions of the proposed findings, recommendations or
report to which objections are made and the basis for such
objections." W.D. Mich. LCivR 72.3(b); see also
Freeman v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 972
F.2d 347, 1992 WL 197286, at *2 (6th Cir. 1992) (unpublished
arguments otherwise demonstrate no factual or legal error by
the Magistrate Judge in his review of the ALJ's decision.
contends that the Report and Recommendation should not be
adopted because the opinions of treating physician Luis Vega,
M.D., were entitled to substantial if not controlling weight.
As Defendant points out, Plaintiffs arguments in this regard
merely rehash the arguments made to the Magistrate Judge
(see ECF No. 11 at PageID.528-532).
Magistrate Judge considered the record and Plaintiff s
arguments of error with respect to Dr. Vega's opinion and
properly found no violation of any aspect of the treating
physician rule. The Magistrate Judge's reasoning soundly
supports his conclusions that (1) Dr. Vega's opinion
regarding Plaintiffs RFC was not entitled to controlling
weight, and (2) substantial evidence supported the ALJ's
finding that the level of restriction suggested by Dr. Vega
is not supported by his own treatment notes and other
evidence of record. (ECF No. 14 at PageID.573-574). This
objection is without merit.
argues that the ALJ's RFC finding is not otherwise
supported by substantial evidence, as set forth in
Plaintiffs Initial Brief' (ECF No. 15 at
PageID.585). She contends the ALJ made other errors in
determining Plaintiffs RFC. That is, the ALJ did not follow
applicable law when he assessed Plaintiffs functional
capacity or the opinion of R. Scott Lazzara, M.D., and he
improperly interpreted raw medical data in reaching his RFC
findings, and he did not properly address Plaintiffs
arguments fail to adhere to the standards for objections to a
Report and Recommendation, as noted above. Instead, Plaintiff
merely reiterates arguments made to the Magistrate
Judge. Plaintiffs arguments are properly rejected on this
instance, Plaintiff argues that the ALJ failed to
give proper weight to the opinion of occupational therapist
Amy Vincent, MS, OTPJL. The Magistrate Judge considered and
rejected Plaintiffs argument (ECF No. 14 at PagelD. 572-573).
Plaintiff identifies no specific portions of the Magistrate
Judge's analysis to which she objects.
event, Plaintiff fails to point to any error in the
Magistrate Judge's analysis or conclusions regarding the
RFC issu ei raised. Th e Magistrate Judge addressed
Plaintiffs contention that because no medical opinion
supports the RFC, the ALJ's RFC finding is not supported
by substantial evidence (ECF No. 14 at 574-575). The
Magistrate Judge applied the proper legal standards and
concluded that the ALJ gave an ...