IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
March 17, 2010
BRUCE F. STANFORD, PLAINTIFF,
ROBERT L. COCKRELL, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, brings this civil action. Pending before the court is plaintiff's response to the court's February 12, 2010, order to show cause. In the February 2010 order, the court stated:
Upon filing of this action on August 10, 2009, a status/scheduling conference was set for January 7, 2010. As of December 29, 2009, the docket reflected that plaintiff had not effected service of process on defendant and the court sua sponte continued the status/scheduling conference to February 11, 2010. Plaintiff failed to appear at the continued hearing or file a status/scheduling conference statement. Plaintiff has also failed to effect service of process within 120 days of the filing of the action as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m).
In his response, plaintiff states that he believed submission of a form declining Magistrate Judge jurisdiction and requesting assignment of a District Judge obviated any need to appear before the Magistrate Judge for the scheduling conference. Plaintiff does not address failure to effect timely service of process. The court notes, however, that defendant has now been served and filed an answer to the complaint.
As to his request for assignment of this matter to a District Judge, plaintiff is informed that notwithstanding such request, the matter will continue to be referred to a Magistrate Judge to hear certain matters as outlined in the court's local rules. In some instances, the Magistrate Judge may issue an order disposing of a particular matter. In other instances, the Magistrate Judge may issue findings and recommendations which will be considered de novo by the District Judge. The assignment of a District Judge does not excuse plaintiff's obligations with respect to matters referred to the Magistrate Judge. Given plaintiff's apparent good-faith misunderstanding of the role of the Magistrate Judge in cases assigned to a District Judge, however, the court will discharge the order to show cause and re-set this matter for an initial status/scheduling conference. Plaintiff is warned that further non-compliance with any order issued by a District Judge or Magistrate Judge may be cause for dismissal of the action. See Local Rule 110.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. The order to show cause issued on February 12, 2010, is discharged;
2. This matter is set for an initial status/scheduling conference on April 22, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. before the undersigned at 2986 Bechelli Lane, 3rd Floor, Redding, California; and
3. The parties shall each file separate status/scheduling conference statements on or before April 15, 2010.
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