United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER (1) ADOPTING MAGISTRATE
JUDGE’S JULY 22, 2019 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [ECF
NO. 18]; (2) DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 14]; (3) GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 16]; AND (4) AFFIRMING
V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
filed this lawsuit on April 5, 2018, challenging
Defendant’s final decision denying his application for
benefits under the Social Security Act. On the same date, the
matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti 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. 3.) The parties
subsequently filed cross-motions for summary judgment. (ECF
Nos. 14, 16.)
22, 2019, Magistrate Judge Patti issued an R&R in which
he 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. 18.) Magistrate Judge Patti finds
substantial evidence in the record to support the
administrative law judge’s conclusion that Plaintiff
can perform a limited range of light work. Specifically,
Magistrate Judge Patti concludes that the evidence does not
mandate a finding that Plaintiff’s physical and/or
psychological severe impairments prevent him from performing
jobs for which there exist significant numbers in the
national economy. In reaching this conclusion, Magistrate
Judge Patti rejects Plaintiff’s arguments that the
administrative law judge (“ALJ”) (1) failed to
develop the record by not ordering a consultative examination
to obtain an opinion regarding Plaintiff’s physical
limitations; and (2) improperly subordinated the opinion of
Plaintiff’s treating psychiatrist to the non-examining
state agency psychological opinion.
conclusion of the R&R, Magistrate Judge Patti advises the
parties that they may object to and seek review of the
R&R within fourteen days of service upon them. He 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 5, 2019. (ECF No. 19.) Defendant filed a
response on August 19, 2019. (ECF No. 20.)
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 Cir. 1987).
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 Listing, he or she is determined to be
disabled regardless of other factors. Id.
4. At the fourth step, the ALJ assesses the claimant’s
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) and past
relevant work to determine whether the claimant can perform
his or her past ...