UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
April 15, 2013
KEVIN E. FIELDS, PLAINTIFF,
MAURICE JUNIOUS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
ORDER REQUESTING THE PARTIES NOTIFY THE COURT WHETHER THEY ARE WILLING TO CONSENT TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE JURISDICTION WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS
Plaintiff Kevin E. Fields ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action proceeds against Defendants Hernandez, Molina, Marsh, and Tucker for deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's conditions of confinement in Plaintiff's cell in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
The parties are reminded of the availability of a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct all proceedings in this action. A United States Magistrate Judge is available to conduct trials, including entry of final judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 28 U.S.C. 636(c), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73, and Local Rule 305. The same jury pool is used by both United States Magistrate Judges and United States Article III District Court Judges. Any appeal from a judgment entered by a United States Magistrate Judge is taken directly to the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. However, the parties are hereby informed that no substantive rulings or decisions will be affected by whether a party chooses to consent.
Out of fairness, the Court believes it is necessary to forewarn litigants that the Fresno Division of the Eastern District of California now has the heaviest District Judge caseload in the entire nation. While the Court will use its best efforts to resolve this case and all other civil cases in a timely manner, the parties are admonished that not all of the parties' needs and expectations may be met as expeditiously as desired. As multiple trials are now being set to begin upon the same date, parties may find their case trailing with little notice before the trial begins. The law requires the Court give any criminal case priority over civil trials and other matters, and the Court must proceed with criminal trials even if a civil trial is older or was set earlier. Finally, for the parties' information, the Fresno Division, whenever possible, is utilizing United States Article III District Court Judges from throughout the country as Visiting Judges. Pursuant to the Local Rules, Appendix A, such reassignments will be random, and the parties will receive no advance notice before their case is reassigned to an Article III District Court Judge from outside of the Eastern District of California.
Accordingly, the Court ORDERS that:
1. The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to send the parties a form, allowing them to consent or decline Magistrate Judge Jurisdiction; and
2. Within fifteen (15) days of this order's date of service, the parties shall return the completed consent/decline form to the Court.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
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