United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
CLIFFORD SHIRLEY, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b), Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
and the consent of the parties [Doc. 12]. Now before the
Court is the Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and
Memorandum in Support [Docs. 13 & 14] and the
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in
Support [Docs. 15 & 16]. Patsy Kathrine Harvey
(“the Plaintiff”) seeks judicial review of the
decision of the Administrative Law Judge (“the
ALJ”), the final decision of the Defendant Nancy A.
Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security (“the
Commissioner”). For the reasons that follow, the Court
will DENY the Plaintiff's motion, and GRANT the
August 22, 2012, the Plaintiff filed an application for
disability insurance benefits (“DIB”), claiming a
period of disability which began March 31, 2012. [Tr.
116-23]. After her application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration, the Plaintiff requested a hearing. [Tr.
76-77]. On April 30, 2014, a hearing was held before the ALJ
to review determination of the Plaintiff's claim. [Tr.
22-41]. On July 14, 2014, the ALJ found that the Plaintiff
was not disabled. [Tr. 6-21]. The Appeals Council denied the
Plaintiff's request for review [Tr. 1-5]; thus, the
decision of the ALJ became the final decision of the
exhausted her administrative remedies, the Plaintiff filed a
Complaint with this Court on October 1, 2015, seeking
judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision
under Section 405(g) of the Social Security Act. [Doc. 1].
The parties have filed competing dispositive motions, and
this matter is now ripe for adjudication.
made the following findings:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through September 30, 2015.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since March 31, 2012, the alleged onset date. (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq.)
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
fractured left hand, status post-surgery. (20 CFR
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b). She can lift or carry up to 20 pounds
occasionally, 10 pounds frequently; sit, stand, and walk up
to a total of 6 hours each in an 8-hour day. She is limited
to frequently performing manipulative activities and
operating foot controls. She has no postural activity
limitations, and no visual, communicative or environmental
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as an office manager and housekeeping/cleaner job. This work
does not require the performance of work-related activities
precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity
(20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from March 31, 2012, through the
date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(f)).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
reviewing the Commissioner's determination of whether an
individual is disabled pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g),
the Court is limited to determining whether the ALJ's
decision was reached through application of the correct legal
standards and in accordance with the procedure mandated by
the regulations and rulings promulgated by the Commissioner,
and whether the ALJ's findings are supported by
substantial evidence. Blakley v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 581 F.3d 399, 405 (6th Cir. 2009) (citation
omitted); Wilson v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 378
F.3d 541, 544 (6th Cir. 2004).
evidence is “more than a scintilla of evidence but less
than a preponderance; it is such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Cutlip v. Sec'y of Health &
Human Servs., 25 F.3d 284, 286 (6th Cir. 1994)
(citations omitted). It is immaterial whether the record may
also possess substantial evidence to support a different
conclusion from that reached by the ALJ, or whether the
reviewing judge may have decided the case differently.
Crisp v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 790
F.2d 450, 453 n.4 (6th Cir. 1986). The substantial evidence
standard is intended to create a “‘zone of
choice' within which the Commissioner can act, without
the fear of court interference.” Buxton v.
Halter, 246 F.3d 762, 773 (6th Cir. 2001) (quoting
Mullen v. Bowen, 800 F.2d 535, 545 (6th Cir. 1986)).
Therefore, the Court will not “try the case de
novo, nor resolve conflicts in the evidence, nor decide
questions of credibility.” Garner v. Heckler,
745 F.2d 383, 387 (6th Cir. 1984) (citation omitted).
review, the plaintiff “bears the burden of proving his
entitlement to benefits.” Boyes v. Sec'y. of
Health & Human Servs., 46 F.3d ...