Wolte-Rotondo v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER Adopting Report and Recommendation 21 granting deft's motion for summary judgment 18 and denying pltf's motion for summary judgment 16 Signed by District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds. (CBet)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 15-13093
Honorable Nancy G. Edmunds
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
ORDER ACCEPTING AND ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ,
GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT , AND
DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT 
This matter comes before the Court on the Magistrate Judge’s report and
recommendation. (Dkt. 21.) The Magistrate Judge recommends granting Defendant’s
motion for summary judgment and denying Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment. (Dkt.
18, 16.) Plaintiff filed one objection to the report and recommendation and the
Commissioner responded. For the reasons stated herein, the Court OVERRULES Plaintiff’s
objection and ACCEPTS AND ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge’s report and
recommendation. Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is therefore GRANTED,
Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment is DENIED, the ALJ’s decision is AFFIRMED, and
this case is DISMISSED.
Standard of Review
When a party properly objects to a report and recommendation, the Court must
conduct a de novo review of the specific objected portion. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). The
Court has jurisdiction to review the Commissioner’s final administrative decision pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. §405(g). “This 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). Substantial evidence is “such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Id. That is, substantial evidence is more than a scintilla but less than a
preponderance of evidence. See Rogers v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 486 F.3d 234, 241 (6th
Cir. 2007). When reviewing the Commissioner’s decision, this Court does “not try the case
de novo, resolve conflicts in evidence, or decide questions of credibility.” Bass v. McMahon,
499 F.3d 506, 509 (6th Cir. 2007). Rather, if substantial evidence supports the
Commissioner’s decision, it must be affirmed regardless of whether this Court would decide
the matter differently or even if substantial evidence supports another conclusion. See
Cutlip v. Sec’y of Health and Human Servs., 25 F.3d 284, 286 (6th Cir. 1994).
Plaintiff’s only objection to the report and recommendation is that the Administrative
Law Judge (“ALJ”) failed to provide a “function-by-function analysis” at step four of
Plaintiff’s disability determination. This objection, however, is merely a recitation of an
argument that was properly considered and rejected by the Magistrate Judge. (See Dkt.
16, at 11 (“the assessment of residual functional capacity must reflect a function-byfunction analysis of an individual’s capabilities ... which clearly ALJ Pope did not do in his
decision”).) The Court is not obligated to address objections that merely rehash prior
arguments and fail to specifically identify errors in the report and recommendation. See
Nork v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., No. 14-12511, 2015 WL 3620482, at *1 (E.D. Mich. June 9,
But even if the Court considered the merits of Plaintiff’s objection, it would fail. The
fourth step of an ALJ’s five-step sequential evaluation is an assessment of the individual’s
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) and past relevant work. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4)(iv).
Plaintiff argues that the ALJ’s limitation of Plaintiff to “unskilled work” did not fulfill the
function-by-function RFC analysis requirement. The Court disagrees. Although SSR 96-8p
requires a “function-by-function evaluation” to determine a claimant’s RFC, the ALJ does
not have to present a detailed writing of the analysis. See Delgado v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec.,
30 F. App’x 542, 547-48 (6th Cir. 2002) (citing Bencivengo v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 251
F.3d 153 (table), No. 99-1995 (3d Cir. Dec. 19, 2000)). Rather, the ALJ need only show
how the evidence supported the RFC determination, discuss the individual’s ability to
perform work-related activities, and explain the resolution of any inconsistencies in the
record. Id. at 548. Here, at Step Four, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff was unable to
perform her past relevant work and, despite “some ongoing anxiety and depression,”
Plaintiff “retains sufficient mental functioning to perform unskilled work.” (Dkt. 14-2, at 3436.). (Dkt. 21, at 12.) The ALJ supported his findings with a detailed discussion of the
evidence, including Plaintiff’s Global Assessment of Function (“GAF”) scores, treatment
history, physical and mental symptoms, daily activities, and work history. We agree with the
Magistrate Judge that the ALJ’s analysis at step four was sufficient.
For the above-stated reasons, the Court hereby OVERRULES Plaintiff’s objection and
ACCEPTS AND ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation. It is further
ordered that Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED, Plaintiff’s motion for
summary judgment is DENIED, and the case is hereby DISMISSED.
S/Nancy G. Edmunds
Nancy G. Edmunds
United States District Judge
Dated: August 2, 2016
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon counsel of record
on August 2, 2016, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
S/Carol J. Bethel
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