United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL H. WATSON, JUDGE
December 14, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and
Recommendation ("R&R") recommending that the
Court overrule Plaintiffs Statement of Errors and affirm the
Commissioner's decision. R&R, ECF No. 17. Plaintiff
objected to the R&R. ECF No. 18. For the following
reasons, the Court OVERRULES Plaintiffs
objections, AFFIRMS and
ADOPTS the R&R, and
DISMISSES Plaintiffs Complaint.
protectively filed for Social Security Disability Insurance
benefits and Period of Disability benefits on April 26, 2013,
alleging that she had been disabled since March 20, 2007. ALJ
Decision, ECF No. 10-2, at PAGEID # 67. After her initial
applications were denied, Plaintiff went before
Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Irma J. Flottman
for a hearing. Id. at PAGEID ## 82-110. On September
17, 2015, the ALJ issued an opinion denying Plaintiff
benefits. Id. at PAGEID ## 56-71. Following the
Appeals Council's denial of her request for review, the
ALJ's opinion became final on August 27, 2016. Appeals
Council Decision, ECF No. 10-2, at PAGEID ## 51-53.
subsequently filed a timely Complaint for review in this
Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The Magistrate
Judge analyzed Plaintiffs Statement of Errors and recommended
the Court affirm the Commissioner's decision. Plaintiff
objected to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation.
party objects to the Magistrate Judge's summary of the
facts as set forth in her R&R. R&R 1-15, ECF No. 17.
The Court consequently adopts the fact summary and repeats
only those facts relevant to the resolution of Plaintiffs
STANDARD OF REVIEW
party objects to an R&R within the allotted time, the
Court "shall make a de novo determination of
those portions of the report or specified proposed findings
or recommendations to which objection is made." 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see also Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(b). Upon review, the Court "may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations
made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. §
well settled that, when objecting to an R&R, a party must
make "specific written objections" to the
magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations.
Fed R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). A general statement that the
magistrate judge erred does not aid judicial efficiency, the
purpose "for which the use of magistrates [was]
authorized." Howard v. Sec'y of Health &
Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir.
1991); see also Holl v. Potter, No. C-1-09-618, 2011
WL 4337038, at *1 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 15, 2011),
aff'd, 506 Fed.Appx. 438 (2012)
("Objections that merely restate arguments raised in the
memoranda considered by the Magistrate Judge are not proper,
and the Court may consider such repetitive arguments
in Social Security cases, the Court's review "is
limited to determining whether the Commissioner's
decision 'is supported by substantial evidence and was
made pursuant to the proper legal standards.'"
Ealy v. Comm'rof Soc. Sec, 594 F.3d 504, 512
(6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Rogers v. Comm'rof Soc.
Sec, 486 F.3d 234, 241 (6th Cir. 2007)). In this context,
"[substantial evidence is defined as 'more than a
scintilla of evidence but less than a preponderance
....'" Rogers, 486 F.3d at 421 (quoting
Cutlip v. Sec'yof Health & Human Servs., 25
F.3d 284, 286 (6th Cir. 1994)). Put another way,
"[substantial evidence exists when a 'reasonable
mind might accept' the relevant evidence 'as adequate
to support a conclusion.'" Warner v,
Comm'rof Soc. Sec, 375 F.3d 387, 390 (6th Cir. 2004)
(quoting Kirk v. Sec'y of Health & Human
Servs., 667 F.2d 524, 535 (6th Cir. 1997)).
objects to the R&R on the basis that the Magistrate Judge
failed to adequately address the ALJ's step two
determination that Plaintiffs degenerative disc disease and
spinal stenosis were not severe. Obj. 2-4, ECF No. 18.
Plaintiff goes on to argue that this misclassification at
step two was not harmless, as the Magistrate Judge concluded,
because the ALJ did not take her conditions into