United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WILLIAM L. CAMPBELL, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is a Report and Recommendation (Doc. No.
31), in which Magistrate Judge Terence P. Kemp finds that the
decision of the Social Security Administration denying
Plaintiff's claim for benefits is supported by
substantial evidence, and recommends that the Plaintiff's
Motion For Judgment (Doc. No. 23) be denied. Plaintiff has
filed Objections (Doc. No. 32) to the Report and
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rule 72.03(b)(3), the
court reviews de novo any portion of a report and
recommendation to which a specific objection is made.
United States v. Curtis, 237 F.3d 598, 603 (6th Cir.
2001). General objections are insufficient and may result in
waiver of review. See, e.g., Zimmerman v. Cason, 354
Fed.Appx. 228, 230 (6th Cir. 2009). In conducting the 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. § 636(b)(1).
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 proper legal standards.'” Ealy
v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 594 F.3d 504, 512 (6th Cir.
2010) (quoting Rogers v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec.,
486 F.3d 234, 241 (6th Cir.2007)). “Substantial
evidence, ” for purposes of this review, is
“‘such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind
might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.'”
Id. (quoting Lindsley v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 560 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir.2009)). If substantial
evidence supports the Commissioner's decision, the court
must affirm “even if substantial evidence exists in the
record supporting a different conclusion.” Id.
first objection to the Report And Recommendation states as
follows: “As stated in Motions Plaintiff meets criteria
for appointment of counsel (review Motions filed).”
(Doc. No. 32, at 1). Plaintiff fails to cite any portion of
the record, or any legal authority, in support of his
objection. In an Order entered on December 13, 2017 (Doc. No.
26), Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes denied
Plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel, and described the
efforts of the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
to persuade Plaintiff to obtain counsel:
Additionally, there is no indication in Plaintiff's
motion that he has made any effort to obtain an attorney.
This is significant in light of the underlying administrative
hearing that took place in October of 2010, during which the
administrative law judge (‘ALJ') repeatedly offered
to postpone the hearing to allow Plaintiff an opportunity to
secure counsel. (See Transcript of the
Administrative Record (Docket Entry No. 21) at 43-48). The
ALJ carefully explained that a claimant is not entitled to an
attorney as a matter of right in Social Security cases, but
that Plaintiff would likely be able to obtain an attorney on
a contingency basis and thus avoid the potential dilemma of
not being able to afford representation. (Id. at
43-44, 46). The ALJ also offered to provide Plaintiff with
the contact information for Legal Aid Society, an
organization dedicated to providing free legal assistance to
low-income clients, and to postpone the hearing to allow
Plaintiff an opportunity to contact the organization.
(Id. at 44-45). The ALJ even advised Plaintiff two
separate times that if he elected to participate in the
hearing without representation, he could later retain counsel
to appeal any unfavorable decision issued by the ALJ.
(Id. at 46-48).
Despite such admonitions from the ALJ, Plaintiff elected to
‘knowingly and intelligently and voluntarily waive 
his right to representation . . . ‘ and proceed with
the administrative hearing. (Id. at 47). . . .
(Doc. No. 26, at 2-3) (footnote omitted). Plaintiff appealed
the Magistrate Judge's decision on this issue, and this
Court affirmed. (Doc. No. 30).
objection fails to explain why the decisions of the
Magistrate Judge and/or the ALJ regarding appointment of
counsel were in error. This objection is overruled.
second objection is to the ALJ's failure to subpoena his
prison medical file. In the Report And Recommendation, the
Magistrate Judge addressed this issue as follows:
Finally, Plaintiff argues that the ALJ should have subpoenaed
records from litigation which is ongoing between Plaintiff
and the Department of Corrections. However, Plaintiff made no
showing as to how such records might shed light on the issues
considered by the ALJ, nor did he demonstrate why he could
not have obtained copies of his prison medical file. Under
these circumstances, the ALJ had no obligation to subpoena
the records in question. See Luukkonen v. Comm'r of
Social Security, 653 Fed. App'x 393 (6th
Cir. June 22, 2016). Consequently, this claim provides no
basis for overturning the ALJ's decision.
(Doc. No. 31, at 8).
objection on this point fails to explain why the decision of
the Magistrate Judge and/or the ALJ regarding his prison