United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
(1) OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS (ECF #23) TO THE
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (ECF #22),
(2) ADOPTING THE DISPOSITION RECOMMENDED BY THE MAGISTRATE
JUDGE, (3) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (ECF #19), AND (4) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF #18)
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
action, Plaintiff Lakkisha Marie Carter challenges the denial
of her applications for disability insurance benefits and
supplemental security income benefits. (See Compl.,
ECF #1.) Both parties have moved for summary judgment.
(See Motions, ECF ## 18, 19.) On July 26, 2019, the
assigned Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation
in which he recommended that the Court grant Defendant
Commissioner of Social Security's motion and deny
Carter's motion (the “R&R, ” ECF #22.)
Carter has now filed timely objections to the R&R (the
“Objections”). (See Objections, ECF
#23.) For the reasons explained below, the Court
OVERRULES the Objections,
ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's recommend
disposition, GRANTS the Commissioner's
motion for summary judgment (ECF #19), and
DENIES Carter's motion for summary
judgment (ECF #18).
issue Carter raises in the Objections is straightforward and
does not require a detailed discussion of the factual or
procedural background of this action. The essential
background is as follows.
alleges that she suffers from degenerative joint disease of
the left knee, a severed left ulnar nerve, depression, and an
anxiety disorder. (See ECF #15-2 at Pg. ID 33.) She
says that these conditions render her unable to work and
entitle her to disability benefits.
Social Security Administration denied Carter's
applications for benefits on July 23, 2015. (See ECF
#15-3 at Pg. ID 147-70; ECF #15-4 at Pg. ID 174-75, 182-83.)
It denied her applications because it determined that she was
“not disabled.” (ECF #15-4 at Pg. ID 174.)
thereafter requested a hearing before an Administrative Law
Judge (the “ALJ”). (See Id. at Pg. ID
190.) That hearing took place on May 18, 2017. (See
ECF #15-2 at Pg. ID 90.) Carter and a vocational expert both
testified at the hearing. (See id.)
issued his decision on Carter's applications for benefits
on November 20, 2017. (See ALJ's Decision, ECF
#15-2 at Pg. ID 72-82.) In that ruling, the ALJ followed
“a five-step sequential evaluation process for
determining whether [Carter was] disabled.”
(Id. at Pg. ID 73.) This five-step evaluation
process proceeds as follows:
Step One: Has claimant engaged in
substantial gainful activity? If not, move to Step Two.
Step Two: Does claimant suffer from one or
more severe impairments? If so, move to Step Three.
Step Three: Do the claimant's
impairments or combination of impairments meet or medically
equal the criteria of an impairment listed in the
Commissioner's Listing of Impairments, 20 C.F.R. Part
404, Subpart P, Appendix 1? If so, claimant is
disabled. If not, move to Step Four.
Step Four: Considering claimant's
residual functional capacity, can the claimant perform his or
her past relevant work? If not, move to Step Five.
Step Five: Considering claimant's age,
education, past work experience, and residual functional
capacity, can the claimant perform other work available in
the national ...