United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Stephanie Dawkins Davis United States Magistrate Judge.
AND ORDER: (1) OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS (ECF NO.
17); (2) ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE
JUDGE STEPHANIE DAWKINS DAVIS (ECF NO. 16); (3) DENYING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF NO. 12); (4)
GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF NO.
14); and (5) AFFIRMING THE FINDINGS OF THE
D. Borman United States District Judge.
August 26, 2019, Magistrate Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis
issued a Report and Recommendation addressing the
cross-motions for summary judgment in this action. (ECF No.
16, Report and Recommendation.) In the Report and
Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Davis recommended that the
Court deny Plaintiff's January 2, 2019 Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 12), grant Defendant's March 4, 2019
Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 14), and affirm the
findings of the Commissioner.
before the Court are Plaintiff's Objections to the Report
and Recommendation. (ECF No. 17, Plaintiffs Objections.)
Defendant filed a timely Response. (ECF No. 18,
Defendant's Response.) Having conducted a de
novo review of the parts of the Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendation to which objections have been filed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the Court will reject
Plaintiffs Objections, adopt the Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendation, and affirm the findings of the
Court has reviewed the background in light of the record and
finds that the Magistrate Judge's summary of the
background of this case in the August 26, 2019 Report and
Recommendation is accurate. (ECF No. 16, Report and
Recommendation 3-4.) In addition, plaintiff has not
specifically objected to the background as described in the
Report and Recommendation. Therefore, the Court adopts the
background section in full. (Id.)
Standard of review
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b) and 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1), the Court conducts a de novo review of
the portions of the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation to which a party has filed “specific
written objections” in a timely manner. Lyons v.
Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 351 F.Supp.2d 659, 661 (E.D.
Mich. 2004). A district court “may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations
made by the magistrate judge.” Id. Only those
objections that are specific are entitled to a de
novo review under the statute. Mira v.
Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th Cir. 1986). “The
parties have the duty to pinpoint those portions of the
magistrate's report that the district court must
specially consider.” Id. (internal quotation
marks omitted). A general objection, or one that merely
restates arguments previously presented, does not
sufficiently identify alleged errors on the part of the
magistrate judge. An “objection” that does
nothing more than disagree with a magistrate judge's
determination “without explaining the source of the
error” is not a valid objection. Howard v.
Sec'y of Health and Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509
(6th Cir. 1991).
Court's review of the findings of the Administrative Law
Judge (ALJ) is limited to determining whether those findings
are supported by substantial evidence and made pursuant to
proper legal standards. See Rogers v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 486 F.3d 234, 241 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing 42
U.S.C. § 405(h)); see also Cutlip v. Sec'y of
Health and Human Servs., 25 F.3d 284, 286 (6th Cir.
1994). Substantial evidence is “such relevant evidence
as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Kyle v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec.,
609 F.3d 847, 854 (6th Cir. 2010). It is “more than a
scintilla of evidence but less than a preponderance.”
McGlothin v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 299 Fed.Appx.
516, 522 (6th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks omitted).
“If the Commissioner's decision is supported by
substantial evidence, [the court] must defer to that
decision, ‘even if there is substantial evidence in the
record that would have supported an opposite conclusion.'
” Colvin v. Barnhart, 475 F.3d 727, 730 (6th
Cir. 2007) (quoting Longworth v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec.
Admin., 402 F.3d 591, 595 (6th Cir. 2005)).
whether proper legal criteria were followed, a decision of
the Social Security Administration (SSA) supported by
substantial evidence will not be upheld “where the SSA
fails to follow its own regulations and where that error
prejudices a claimant on the merits or deprives the claimant
of a substantial right.” Bowen v. Comm'r of
Soc. Sec., 478 F.3d 742, 746 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing
Wilson v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 378 F.3d 541,
546-47 (6th Cir. 2004)).
Court does not “try the case de novo, nor resolve
conflicts in the evidence, nor decide questions of
credibility.” Cutlip, 25 F.3d at 286.
“It is of course for the ALJ, and not the reviewing
court, to evaluate the credibility of witnesses, including
that of the claimant.” Rogers, 486 F.3d at
247; see also Cruse v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 502
F.3d 532, 542 (6th Cir. 2007) (noting that the
“ALJ's credibility determinations about the
claimant are to be given great weight, ‘particularly
since the ALJ is charged with observing the claimant's
demeanor and credibility' ”) (quoting Walters
v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 127 F.3d 525, 531 (6th Cir.
has advanced two objections to the Magistrate Judge's
Report: (1) the Magistrate Judge erred in concluding that
there was substantial evidence supporting the ALJ's
finding that Plaintiff does not require the use of a cane
because the Magistrate Judge applied the wrong legal
standards; and (2) the Magistrate Judge erred in finding
substantial evidence supporting the ALJ's conclusion that
Plaintiff has a limited ability to communicate in English.
(ECF No. 17, Plaintiffs Objections.) The Court finds that
Magistrate Davis applied the correct legal standards when
evaluating the ALJ's finding that Plaintiff does not