Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Magistrate Judge lacks authority to enter dispositive order without consent

United States v. Browning, No. 10-7059 (4th Cir. Oct. 22, 2010):

A United States magistrate judge only has the authority to enter a final, appealable order on the consent of all parties. 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).  When such consent does not exist, a magistrate judge lacks authority to enter a final dispositive order; a district court must review the magistrate judge’s order or proposed findings and make a ruling.  Otherwise, such non-consented dispositive order is subject to remand.

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