Ebel v. Social Security
ORDER Accepting 18 Report and Recommendation and Remanding Matter Pursuant to Sentence Four. Signed by District Judge Denise Page Hood. (JOwe)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
JOEL EDWARD EBEL,
Case No. 16-11995
Hon. Denise Page Hood
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
ORDER ACCEPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
AND REMANDING MATTER PURSUANT TO SENTENCE FOUR
This matter is before the Court on Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub’s
Report and Recommendation. [Doc. No. 18] Timely objections, a response to the
objections, and a reply to the response were filed in this matter. [Doc. Nos. 19, 20
Judicial review of the Commissioner’s decision is limited in scope to
determining whether the Commissioner employed the proper legal criteria in
reaching his conclusion. Garner v. Heckler, 745 F.2d 383 (6th Cir. 1984). The
credibility findings of an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) must not be discarded
lightly and should be accorded great deference. Hardaway v. Secretary of Health
and Human Services, 823 F.2d 922, 928 (6th Cir. 1987). A district court’s review
of an ALJ’s decision is not a de novo review. The district court may not resolve
conflicts in the evidence nor decide questions of credibility. Garner, 745 F.2d at
397. The decision of the Commissioner must be upheld if supported by substantial
eidence, even if the record might support a contrary decision or if the district court
arrives at a different conclusion. Smith v. Secretary of HHS, 893 F.2d 106, 108 (6th
Cir. 1984); Mullen v. Bowen, 800 F.2d 535, 545 (6th Cir. 1986).
The Court has had an opportunity to review this matter and finds that the
Magistrate Judge reached the correct conclusions for the proper reasons. In
reviewing Plaintiff’s objections, the Court finds that Plaintiff has not identified his
objections as expressly set forth in the Report and Recommendation. See Doc. No.
18, PgID 1133-34 (“Failure to file specific objections constitutes a waiver of any
further right of appeal.”). The objections Plaintiff has filed generally consist of a
restatement of the arguments he presented in his summary judgment brief, an
approach that is not appropriate or sufficient. See, e.g., O’Connell v. Comm’r of
Soc. Sec., 2016 WL 537771, at *1 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 11, 2016) (citing Betancourt v.
Ace Ins. Co. of Puerto Rico, 313 F.Supp.2d 32, 34 (D.P.R. 2004)); Davis v.
Caruso, No. 07-10115, 2008 WL 540818, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 25, 2008)
(denying an objection to an R&R where, among other things, Plaintiff “merely
rehashe[d] his arguments”).
As the Western District of Michigan has explained:
This Court is not obligated to address objections made in this form
because the objections fail to identify the specific errors in the
magistrate judge’s proposed recommendations, and such objections
undermine the purpose of the Federal Magistrate’s Act…which serves
to reduce duplicative work and conserve judicial resources.”
Owens v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., No. 12-47, 2013 WL 1304470, at *3 (W.D. Mich.
Mar. 28, 2013) (citations omitted) (emphasis in original). See also Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(b)(2) (objecting party is required to “file specific written objections to the
proposed findings and recommendations” ).
The Court particularly notes the
regurgitated arguments pertaining to the weight given to the opinions of three
physicians, Dr. Hayes, Dr. Martinez and Dr. Owi, and Plaintiff’s contention that
the ALJ substituted his own medical judgment for that of Dr. Hayes’s opinion.
And, like the Magistrate Judge, the Court finds that the substantive nature of
Plaintiff’s objections on these matters is not meritorious because substantial
evidence supports the ALJ’s findings.
The Court also is not persuaded by Plaintiff’s argument regarding the ALJ’s
assessment of Plaintiff’s RFC limitations. Plaintiff’s argument that he “should not
be assessed a capacity to work based on a lack of evidence” is contradicted by
substantial evidence that supports the capacity to work assessed by the ALJ.
(emphasis in original).
And, as the Government notes, it is not the
Commissioner’s duty to rule out RFC limitations (even if it is the Commissioner’s
duty to show a plaintiff cannot do work available in the national economy at stepfive). See, e.g., Ferriel v. Comm’r of Soc. Security, 614 F.3d 611, 621 (6th Cir.
2010) (“lack of evidence” reasonably detracted from disability claim).
Having reviewed the Report and Recommendation and the parties’
subsequent filings (the objections, response to objections, and reply the response),
the Court accepts the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation as this
Court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law.
For the reasons set forth above,
IT IS ORDERED that the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge
Mona K. Majzoub [Doc. No. 18, filed July 24, 2017] is ACCEPTED and
ADOPTED as this Court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Objections [Doc. No. 19,
filed August 7, 2017] are OVERRULED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary
Judgment [Doc. No. 13, filed October 12, 2016] is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant’s Motion for Summary
Judgment [Doc. No. 16, filed December 19, 2016] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED with
S/Denise Page Hood
Denise Page Hood
Chief Judge, United States District Court
Dated: September 25, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon counsel of
record on September 25, 2017, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
s/Julie Owens Acting in the Absence of LaShawn R. Saulsberry
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?