United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Stephen J. Murphy, III United States District Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (DKTS. 16, 17)
Stephanie Dawkins Davis United States Magistrate Judge.
Proceedings in this Court On January 26, 2018,
plaintiff O'Shea Pettway filed the instant suit. (Dkt.
1). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule
72.1(b)(3), District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III, referred
this matter to the undersigned for reviewing the
Commissioner's unfavorable decision denying Pettway's
claim for disability benefits. (Dkt. 3). This matter is
before the Court on cross-motions for summary judgment. (Dkt.
16, 17). Pettway also filed a reply in support of her motion
for summary judgment. (Dkt. 18).
15, 2014, Pettway filed an application for supplemental
security income, alleging disability beginning on July 15,
2014. (Tr. 11). The claims were initially disapproved by
the Commissioner on October 16, 2014. Id. Pettway
requested a hearing and on April 25, 2016, she appeared with
counsel before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Therese Tobin,
who considered the case de novo. (Tr. 189-226). In a
decision dated August 30, 2016, the ALJ found that Pettway
was not disabled. (Tr. 8-22). The ALJ's decision became
the final decision of the Commissioner when the Appeals
Council, on November 24, 2017, denied Pettway's request
for review. (Tr. 1-7); Wilson v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 378 F.3d 541, 543-44 (6th Cir. 2004).
reasons set forth below, the undersigned
RECOMMENDS that plaintiff's motion for
summary judgment be DENIED, that
defendant's motion for summary judgment be
GRANTED, and that the findings of the
Commissioner be AFFIRMED.
was born in 1991 and was 22 years old on the date the
application was filed. (Tr. 20). She has a high school
education and past relevant work experience as a cashier,
which is light and unskilled. (Tr. 20). Pettway claims she is
disabled because of her scoliosis and intolerable back pain.
(Tr. 198). At the hearing, in addition to discussing back and
neck pain, she said that she has bipolar disorder which is
being treated with medication and difficulty sleeping because
of the pain. (Tr. 193, 199). Following the hearing, the ALJ
considered the record evidence within the framework of the
five-step disability analysis and found at step one that
Pettway had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since
the application date. (Tr. 13). At step two, the ALJ found
that Pettway's scoliosis was “severe” within
the meaning of the second sequential step. Id. The
ALJ found that her affective disorder was nonsevere. (Tr.
14). However, at step three, the ALJ found no evidence that
Pettway's impairments singly or in combination meet or
medically equal one of the listings in the regulations. (Tr.
the ALJ assessed Pettway's residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) as follows:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 416.967(b) except she needs a sit stand option permitting
change in position every 30 minutes if needed and without
disturbing the workplace; can occasionally climb ramps and
stairs; never climb ladders, ropes and scaffolds;
occasionally balance; occasionally stoop; never kneel, crouch
and crawl; never be exposed to unprotected heights and moving
mechanical parts; and never operate a motor vehicle.
(Tr. 15). At step four, the ALJ found that Pettway could not
perform her past relevant work. (Tr. 20). At step five, the
ALJ concluded that there were sufficient jobs in the national
economy that Pettway could perform, based on the RFC, and
thus, found she was not disabled. (Tr. 21).