Mitchell v. Commissioner
ORDER accepting 17 Report and Recommendation (granting 15 defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment) Signed by District Judge George Caram Steeh. (MBea)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
DAVID A. MITCHELL,
Case No. 16-CV-12534
HON. GEORGE CARAM STEEH
MAG. JUDGE STAFFORD
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
ORDER ACCEPTING MAGISTRATE
JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [DOC. 17]
Plaintiff David A. Mitchell challenges defendant Commissioner of
Social Security=s denial of his claim for social security disability benefits.
Before the court are cross motions for summary judgment, which were
referred to the magistrate judge for a report and recommendation. On
August 11, 2017, Magistrate Judge Stafford issued a report recommending
that defendant=s motion for summary judgment be granted and that
plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment be denied. The court has reviewed
the file, record, and magistrate judge's report and recommendation.
Plaintiff filed timely objections to that report which this court has duly
considered. For the reasons set forth below, this court shall accept and
adopt the magistrate judge=s report.
STANDARD OF LAW
AA judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those
portions of a report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to
which objection is made.@ 28 U.S.C. ' 636(b)(1). "A judge of the court may
accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or
recommendations made by the magistrate." Id. A district court may affirm,
modify, or reverse the Commissioner=s decision, with or without remand.
See 42 U.S.C. ' 405(g). Findings of fact by the Commissioner are
conclusive if supported by substantial evidence. Id. The court must affirm
the decision if it is "based on [an appropriate] legal standard and is
supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole." Studaway v.
Secretary of Health and Human Servs., 815 F.2d 1074, 1076 (6th Cir.
1987). Substantial evidence is Asuch relevant evidence as a reasonable
mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.@ Richardson v.
Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971).
Plaintiff makes a single objection to the report and recommendation
related to misapplication of the treating physician rule. Plaintiff objects on
the basis that the ALJ gave little weight to the opinions of his treating
physician that he was disabled and unable to work, concluding that such
issues are reserved for the Commissioner. Plaintiff contends that the ALJ
dismissed not just the opinions of his treating physician, but also the
treatment records and methods used in his treatment. Finally, plaintiff
maintains that the magistrate and the ALJ were wrong to rely on an alleged
admission of performing side jobs because the documentation comprised a
very small part of his treatment record. Plaintiff states that the report and
recommendation improperly adopted the ALJ’s reasoning and requests a
remand to further evaluate the opinion of his treating physician.
The Commissioner argues that the court should not consider
plaintiff=s objections on the merits as they are merely recitations of the
identical arguments that were before the magistrate judge and fail to
identify any specific errors in the magistrate judge=s proposed
recommendations. See Davis v. Caruso, No. 07-10115, 2008 WL 540818,
at *2 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 25, 2008); Owens v. Comm=r of Soc. Sec., No. 1:1247, 2013 WL 1304470, at *3 (W.D. Mich. Mar. 28, 2013). The
Commissioner characterizes plaintiff’s objections as an attack on the ALJ’s
decision and not on the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation,
and argues that as such they are waived. A review of plaintiff’s arguments
in his motion for summary judgment and reply confirms the Commissioner’s
characterization. (See Dkt. No. 14 at 4-6, 16 at 1-3). “This court is not
obligated to address objections [that restate the same arguments
presented to the magistrate judge] 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, 2013 WL 1304470, at *3 (citations omitted).
Because plaintiff’s objection is a restatement of the arguments he
raised before the magistrate, the court finds that plaintiff has waived his
IT IS ORDERED that the court ACCEPTS and ADOPTS the
magistrate judge's report and recommendation (Doc. 17).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commissioner=s motion for
summary judgment (Doc. 15) is GRANTED, plaintiff=s objections (Doc. 18)
are OVERRULED, and plaintiff=s claim is DISMISSED with prejudice.
Dated: September 19, 2017
s/George Caram Steeh
GEORGE CARAM STEEH
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
Copies of this Order were served upon attorneys of record on
September 19, 2017, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
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