United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS ,
ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION , DENYING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT , AND
GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
("SSA") denied the application of Donita Hudson for
supplemental security income and disability insurance
benefits in a decision issued by an Administrative Law Judge
("ALJ"). After the SSA Appeals Council declined to
review the ruling, Hudson appealed. ECF 1. The Court referred
the matter to Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Stafford, and the
parties cross-motions for summary judgment. ECF 3, 15, 16.
The magistrate judge issued a Report and Recommendation
("Report") advising the Court to deny Hudson's
motion and grant the Commissioner's motion. ECF 17.
Hudson filed timely objections to the Report. ECF 18. After
examining the record and considering Hudson's objections
de novo, the Court concludes that her arguments lack merit.
The Court will therefore overrule the objections, adopt the
Report, deny Hudson's motion for summary judgment, and
grant the Commissioner's motion for summary judgment.
Report properly details the events giving rise to
Hudson's action against the Commissioner. ECF 17, PgID
501-03. The Court will adopt that portion of the Report.
Rule 72(b) governs the review of a magistrate judge's
report. A district court's standard of review depends
upon whether a party files objections. The Court need not
undertake any review of portions of a Report to which no
party has objected. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140,
149-50 (1985). De novo review is required, however, if the
parties "serve and file specific written objections to
the proposed findings and recommendations." Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b)(2). In conducting a de novo review, "[t]he
district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended
disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter
to the magistrate judge with instructions." Fed.R.Civ.P.
who receive an adverse final decision from the Commissioner
of Social Security may appeal the decision to a federal
district court. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). When reviewing a
case under § 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 consists of
"more than a scintilla of evidence but less than a
preponderance" such that "a reasonable mind might
accept [the evidence] as adequate to support a
conclusion." Cutlip v. Sec'y of Health &
Human Servs., 25 F.3d 284, 286 (6th Cir. 1994) (citation
omitted). An ALJ may consider the entire body of evidence
without directly addressing each piece in his decision. Loral
Def. Sys. - Akron v. N.L.R.B., 200 F.3d 436, 453
(6th Cir. 1999) (citation omitted). "Nor must an ALJ
make explicit credibility findings as to each bit of
conflicting testimony, so long as his factual findings as a
whole show that he implicitly resolved such conflicts."
Id. (internal quotations and citation omitted)
raises two objections. The Court will address each in turn.
Hudson objects to the proposed finding that she "could
perform jobs that were in significant No. in the economy
including bench assembler and inspector." ECF 18, PgID
510. Hudson then provides her own assessment for why she
currently does not think it "would be good for [her] to
be engaging in the work force." Id. at 511. But
Hudson does not contest the magistrate judge's analysis
or any proposed factual findings. Id. Non-specific
objections to a magistrate judge's report and
recommendation are improper and do not require de novo
review. See Jidas v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., No.
17-cv-14198, 2019 WL 1306172, at *1-2 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 2,
2019). The Court therefore need not review the Report de
the magistrate judge was correct in determining that the
ALJ's finding that there were jobs existing in
significant No. that Hudson could perform was supported by
substantial evidence. The only evidence in the record
supporting a finding that Hudson was unable to work was a
letter from her treating physician opining that Hudson
"is currently unable to participate in the daily work
force for at least a [two-]month period when she will be
re-evaluated." ECF 13-7, PgID 326. As the magistrate
judge noted, "a treating physician's opinion is only
entitled to" controlling weight "when it is a
medical opinion." Turner v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 381 Fed.Appx. 488, 492-93 (6th Cir. 2010)
(citations omitted). When, instead, a treating physician
"submits an opinion on an issue reserved to the
Commissioner" such as whether the claimant is
"unable to work," then "the opinion is not
entitled to any particular weight." Id.
there was evidence in the record contradicting the treating
physician's bare conclusion. For example, Hudson
testified at her administrative hearing that she lives on her
own in an apartment, goes grocery shopping, sometimes
prepares her own meals, sometimes cleans her own apartment,
and does her own laundry, although her boyfriend helps her
out with these tasks. ECF 13-2, PgID 64- 67. She also
testified that she declined an increase in her medication
dosage because she "was fine." Id. at
72-73. Treatment records demonstrate that Hudson consistently
showed "fair attention/concentration." ECF 13-9,
PgID 451, 454, 457, 460, 463, 466. Given the evidence, even
if Hudson had properly objected to the Report, ...