United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
AND ORDER (1) ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S AUGUST 13, 2019
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [ECF NO. 16]; (2) DENYING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 12]; (3)
GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NO.
15]; AND (4) AFFIRMING DEFENDANT'S DECISION
V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
filed this lawsuit on August 9, 2018, challenging
Defendant's final decision denying her application for
benefits under the Social Security Act. The matter was
referred to Magistrate Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis the
following day for all pretrial proceedings, including a
hearing and determination of all non-dispositive matters
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and/or a report and
recommendation (“R&R”) on all dispositive
matters pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). (ECF No.
2.) The parties subsequently filed cross-motions for summary
judgment. (ECF Nos. 12, 15.)
August 13, 2019, Magistrate Judge Davis issued an R&R in
which she recommends that this Court deny Plaintiff's
motion, grant Defendant's motion, and affirm
Defendant's decision finding Plaintiff not disabled under
the Social Security Act. (ECF No. 16.) Magistrate Judge Davis
finds substantial evidence in the record to support the
administrative law judge's conclusion that Plaintiff can
perform a limited range of light work. In reaching this
conclusion, Magistrate Judge Davis rejects Plaintiff's
argument that the ALJ erred in assessing her subjective
complaints of pain and her reason for her failure to obtain
aggressive treatment. Magistrate Judge Davis further rejects
Plaintiff's argument that the ALJ erred in considering
the evaluation of the state agency examining consultant, Dr.
conclusion of the R&R, Magistrate Judge Davis advises the
parties that they may object to and seek review of the
R&R within fourteen days of service upon them. She
further specifically advises the parties that
“[f]ailure to file specific objections constitutes a
waiver of any further right to appeal.” Plaintiff filed
objections to the R&R on August 27, 2019. (ECF No. 17.)
42 U.S.C. § 405(g), a claimant may file a civil action
seeking review of a final decision of the Commissioner of
Social Security. The court may thereafter enter a judgment
affirming, modifying, or reversing the Commissioner's
decision, with or without remanding the matter for a hearing.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The court must affirm the
Commissioner's decision if “supported by
substantial evidence” and made pursuant to
“proper legal standards.” Cutlip v. Sec. of
Health & Human Servs., 25 F.3d 284, 286 (6th Cir.
1994) (citing Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389,
401 (1971)); see also 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
evidence is defined as ‘such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.'” Abbott v. Sullivan, 905 F.2d
918, 922-23 (6th Cir. 1990) (quoting Perales, 402
U.S. at 401). The Commissioner's findings are not subject
to reversal because substantial evidence exists in the record
to support a different conclusion. Mullen v. Brown,
800 F.2d 535, 545 (6th Cir. 1986) (citing Baker v.
Kechler, 730 F.2d 1147, 1150 (8th Cir. 1984)). If the
Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial
evidence, a reviewing court must affirm. Studaway v. Sec.
of Health & Human Servs., 815 F.2d 1074, 1076 (6th
objections are filed to a magistrate judge's R&R on a
dispositive matter, the Court “make[s] a de novo
determination of those portions of the report or specified
proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is
made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The Court, however,
“is not required to articulate all of the reasons it
rejects a party's objections.” Thomas v.
Halter, 131 F.Supp.2d 942, 944 (E.D. Mich. 2001)
(citations omitted). A party's failure to file objections
to certain conclusions of the report and recommendation
waives any further right to appeal on those issues. See
Smith v. Detroit Fed'n of Teachers Local 231, 829
F.2d 1370, 1373 (6th Cir. 1987). Likewise, the failure to
object to certain conclusions in the magistrate judge's
report releases the Court from its duty to independently
review those issues. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S.
140, 149 (1985).
ALJ's Decision and the R&R
considering a disability claim is required to follow a
five-step sequential process to evaluate the claim. 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1520(a)(4). The five-step process is as follows:
1. At the first step, the ALJ considers whether the claimant
is currently engaged in substantial gainful activity. 20
C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4)(i).
2. At the second step, the ALJ considers whether the claimant
has a severe medically determinable physical or mental
impairment that meets the duration requirement of the
regulations and which significantly limits the claimant's
ability to do basic work activities. 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520(a)(4)(ii) and (c).
3. At the third step, the ALJ again considers the medical
severity of the claimant's impairment to determine
whether the impairment meets or equals an impairment listed
in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1520(a)(4)(iii). If the claimant's impairment
meets any ...