United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER ACCEPTING AND ADOPTING THE
MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S AUGUST 15, 2019 REPORT AND
G. Edmunds United States District Judge.
filed this action seeking review of the Commissioner of
Social Security’s decision denying her applications for
disability insurance benefits and supplemental security
income. The Court referred the matter to the Magistrate
Judge, who recommends denying Plaintiff’s motion to
remand, granting Defendant’s motion for summary
judgment, and affirming the Commissioner’s decision.
(Dkt. 20.) Plaintiff makes two objections to the Magistrate
Judge’s report and recommendation, and Defendant has
responded to those objections. (Dkts. 21, 22.) Having
conducted a de novo review of the parts of the
Magistrate Judge’s report to which specific objections
have been filed, the Court OVERRULES Plaintiff’s
objections and ACCEPTS and ADOPTS the report and
recommendation. As a result, the Court DENIES
Plaintiff’s motion to remand (Dkt. 15); GRANTS
Defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 17); and
AFFIRMS the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Standard of Review
De Novo Review of Objections
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(3), “[t]he
district judge must determine de novo any part of the
magistrate judge’s disposition that has been properly
objected to. The district judge may accept, reject, or modify
the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or
return the matter to the magistrate judge with
instructions.” See also 28 U.S.C. §
Substantial Evidence Standard
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) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)).
Substantial evidence is “‘more than a scintilla
of evidence but less than a preponderance; it is such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.’” Rogers v.
Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 486 F.3d 234, 241 (6th Cir.
2007) (quoting Cutlip v. Sec’y of Health &
Human Servs., 25 F.3d 284, 286 (6th Cir. 1994)).
Commissioner’s decision is supported by substantial
evidence, it must be affirmed, even if the reviewing court
would decide the matter differently, see Kinsella v.
Schweiker, 708 F.2d 1058, 1059 (6th Cir. 1983), and even
if substantial evidence also supports another conclusion,
Her v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 203 F.3d 388,
389-90 (6th Cir. 1999). “The substantial evidence
standard presupposes that there is a ‘zone of
choice’ within which the [Commissioner] may proceed
without interference from the courts.” Felisky v.
Bowen, 35 F.3d 1027, 1035 (6th Cir. 1994) (quoting
Mullen v. Bowen, 800 F.2d 535, 545 (6th Cir. 1986)).
makes two objections to the Magistrate Judge’s report
and recommendation. First, Plaintiff argues that the
Magistrate Judge erred when he found that the administrative
law judge (“ALJ”) gave proper consideration to
the opinion of Plaintiff’s mental health professional,
Ms. Samantha Schalk. Second, Plaintiff argues that the
Magistrate Judge did not address her argument that the
ALJ’s residual functional capacity (“RFC”)
assessment was not supported by substantial evidence.
Plaintiff’s First Objection
argues that because the medical evidence supports the
findings of Ms. Schalk, not only did the ALJ err when he did
not make a finding of disability at step three of the
analysis but also the RFC is defective because it did not
encompass Ms. Schalk’s findings.
Defendant notes, Plaintiff is primarily rehashing an argument