United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
K. MAJZOUB MAGISTRATE JUDGE
OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
 GRANTING COMMISSIONER'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
 AND DENYING EDDINS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
J. MICHELSON U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Eddins applied for Social Security Income (“SSI”)
based upon his seizure disorder, shoulder injury,
degenerative joint disease in his knees, neurocognitive
disorder, and several other ailments. After his claim was
denied, Eddins appeared at a hearing before an Administrative
Law Judge (ALJ) in December 2016. The ALJ issued an
unfavorable decision about a month later. The Appeals Council
denied his request for a review of the decision. In April
2017, Eddins filed the present action. The Court referred all
pretrial proceedings to Magistrate Judge Mona Majzoub who
issued a Report and Recommendation to grant the
Commissioner's motion for summary judgment and to deny
Eddins'. Eddins raises six objections to the Report.
reasons that follow, the Court will overrule Eddins'
objections and adopt the Report.
Court performs a de novo review of those portions of
the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation to which
the parties have objected. See 28 U.S.C. §
636(b). The Court need not and does not perform a de
novo review of the report's unobjected-to findings.
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985);
Garrison v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, No. 10-13990,
2012 WL 1278044, at *8 (E.D. Mich. Apr. 16, 2012).
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.”
Warner v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 375 F.3d 387, 390
(6th Cir. 2004) (citation omitted). “The substantial
evidence standard is met if a reasonable mind might accept
the relevant evidence as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Longworth v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 402 F.3d 591, 595 (6th Cir. 2005) (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted). Supporting a conclusion
means there is more than a “scintilla” of
evidence but it need not amount to a preponderance. See
Rogers v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 486 F.3d 234, 241
(6th Cir. 2007). “Even if supported by substantial
evidence, however, a decision of the Commissioner will not be
upheld where the SSA 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); see also Cole v. Astrue, 661 F.3d
931, 937 (6th Cir. 2011) (“An ALJ's failure to
follow agency rules and regulations denotes a lack of
substantial evidence, even where the conclusion of the ALJ
may be justified based upon the record.” (citations and
begin, the Court notes that most of Eddins' objections
refer to arguments made in his motion for summary judgment
without identifying how the Magistrate Judge erred in
analyzing those arguments in her Report. (See R.
15.) These are not proper objections and will not be
considered by the Court. See VanDiver v. Martin, 304
F.Supp.2d 934, 937 (E.D. Mich. 2004) (finding that an
objection “that merely restates the arguments
previously presented is not sufficient to alert the court to
alleged errors on the part of the magistrate judge.”).
The Court will therefore only address those objections that
actually identify an issue with the Report.
first objection touches on the treating-physician rule. Dr.
Michael Owczarzak provided a medical source treatment opinion
that Eddins could stand or walk less than two hours in an
eight-hour work day, and that he could never climb, balance,
kneel, crouch, crawl or stoop. (R. 9-8, PID 858-59.) The ALJ
assigned little weight to this opinion because the statement
was not supported by the treating records and because
“the language reflects that the primary care physician
simply wrote down limitations based upon the claimant's
report of what he could do rather than reflecting a medical
opinion based upon diagnoses and symptoms.” (R. 9-2,
PID 50.) In finding that the ALJ did not err in giving Dr.
Owczarzak's opinion less than controlling weight, the
Magistrate Judge stated, “[Dr. Owczarzak's]
opinions are inconsistent with the records of [Eddins']
treatment with Dr. Owczarzak, which often reflected that
[Eddins] had ‘no difficult[y] walking or
standing.'” (R. 14, PID 1456). In support, the
Magistrate Judge cited two pages of the medical record which
contained Dr. Owczarzak's note that Eddins had no
difficulty walking or standing. (Id. (citing R. 9-7,
PID 533; R. 9-8, PID 685).) Eddins believes that other
information on these two pages actually supports Dr.
Owczarzak's opinions. (R. 15, PID 1466.)
Court has reviewed the records in question and disagrees with
Eddins' interpretation of them. True, the records note
that Eddins has a “decreased range of motion of the
lumbar spine, positive tenderness to motion, positive muscle
spasms and positive crepitus in the low back” as well
as “decreased range of motion in the right
shoulder” and “decreased range of motion in
[Eddins'] knees.” (R. 15, PID 1466.) But this is
not necessarily inconsistent with Dr. Owczarzak's other
observation that Eddins had “no difficulty walking or
standing, ” (R. 14, PID 1456), nor does it render the
medical source statement well supported by the record. The
Magistrate Judge therefore did not err in citing those two
pages as support for her overall conclusion that the ALJ
cited good reasons for finding that the doctor's opinion
should be afforded little weight.
summary judgment motion, Eddins argued that the ALJ committed
procedural error in not considering all of his impairments in
determining his Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). (R. 12,
PID 1405-08.) Eddins' second and third objections concern
the Magistrate Judge's treatment of this argument. (R.
15, PID 1467.) To better ...