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Info: Handling Magistrate Orders

Background: A magistrate judge is overseeing your federal lawsuit
Problem: You're unsure what the magistrate's involvement will entail
Solution: You read this information on how to handle federal magistrates

I. Definitions

Federal Magistrate
"UNITED STATES [FEDERAL] MAGISTRATE: appointed by US District Court judges, magistrates have powers that include the ability to hear and determine specified pretrial motions pending before a district court, to conduct hearings, including evidentiary hearings, and to submit proposed findings of facts and recommendations for disposition."
"a procedure whereby a party asserts that a particular witness, line of questioning, piece of evidence, or other matter is improper and should not be continued, and asks the court to rule on its impropriety or illegality. A timely objection on the record, stating the grounds thereof, must be made to evidence rulings admitting or excluding evidence if the ruling is to be challenged later on appeal. This is necessary to preserve the point on appeal. As to other rulings or orders entered by a trial court, the failure to object will not prejudice a party's right to challenge on appeal the action taken if he or she had no opportunity to object. See also challenge; motion [MOTION IN LIMINE]."

II. Legal Citations

"a judge may designate a magistrate judge to hear and determine any pretrial matter pending before the court, except a motion for injunctive relief, for judgment on the pleadings, for summary judgment, to dismiss or quash an indictment or information made by the defendant, to suppress evidence in a criminal case, to dismiss or to permit maintenance of a class action, to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and to involuntarily dismiss an action. A judge of the court may reconsider any pretrial matter under this subparagraph (A) where it has been shown that the magistrate judge’s order is clearly erroneous or contrary to law."
"(2) Objections. Within 14 days after being served with a copy of the recommended disposition, a party may serve and file specific written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations. A party may respond to another party’s objections within 14 days after being served with a copy. Unless the district judge orders otherwise, the objecting party must promptly arrange for transcribing the record, or whatever portions of it the parties agree to or the magistrate judge considers sufficient."
Local Rule 3-1 11th Cir. R. |
"A party failing to object to a magistrate judge’s findings or recommendations contained in a report and recommendation in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1) waives the right to challenge on appeal the district court’s order based on unobjected-to factual and legal conclusions if the party was informed of the time period for objecting and the consequences on appeal for failing to object. In the absence of a proper objection, however, the court may review on appeal for plain error if necessary in the interests of justice."

III. Notes

V. Bibliography

VI. Conclusion

Beware that if you fail to object to a magistrate's ruling then the appellate court will probably say you've waived that issue.


Congratulations! You're now booked up on how to handle orders from Magistrate Judges.

Please get the justice you deserve.


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