United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER WITHDRAWING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
REGARDING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF (ECF NO.
S. AUSTIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Garcia (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in
this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff filed the Complaint commencing this action on
September 10, 2019. (ECF No. 1.)
September 27, 2019, the court entered findings and
recommendations, recommending that Plaintiff's motion for
preliminary injunction be denied. (ECF No. 10.) On October
18, 2019, Plaintiff filed objections to the findings and
recommendations. (ECF No. 14.) In the objections Plaintiff
argues that the court mistook his statement in the Complaint
that he was seeking injunctive relief for a motion for
preliminary injunctive relief. Plaintiff asserts that he did
not file a motion, and a ruling on his intention to seek
injunctive relief is premature.
also contends that under 28 U.S.C. § 636(A), the
Magistrate Judge has no authority to decide issues of
injunctive relief. Plaintiff accuses the Magistrate Judge of
conducting litigation on behalf of the defendants, since
“the judgment forecloses Plaintiff's injunction
motion and creates a defense for the Defendants” by
ruling that the injunction be denied to Plaintiff. (ECF No.
14 at 1.)
AUTHORITY OF MAGISTRATE JUDGES
28 U.S.C. § 636 governs the jurisdiction, powers, and
temporary assignment authority of Magistrate Judges. The
statute provides at § 636(b)(1):
(A) a [district] 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...;
(B) a [district] judge may also designate a magistrate judge
to conduct hearings, including evidentiary hearings, and to
submit to a judge of the court proposed findings of fact and
recommendations for the disposition, by a judge of the court,
of any motion excepted in subparagraph (A)...;
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A-B).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, regarding findings
and recommendations on dispositive motions, states that
“[a] magistrate judge must promptly conduct the
required proceedings when assigned, without the parties'
consent, to hear a pretrial matter dispositive of a claim or
defense . . ., ” and that “[t]he magistrate judge
must enter a recommended disposition, including, if
appropriate, proposed findings of fact.” Rule 72(b)(1).
Furthermore, Local Rule 302 for the Eastern District of
California states, in part, “It is the intent of this
Rule that Magistrate Judges perform all duties permitted by
28 U.S.C. § 636(a), (b)(1)(A), . . . [and] Magistrate
Judges will perform the duties described in 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B).” L.R. 302(a).
is correct that 28 U.S.C. § 636(B)(1)(A) does not
provide authority for magistrate judges to resolve
dispositive motions, including motions for injunctive relief.
28 U.S.C. § 636(B)(1)(A). See Leskinen v.
Perdue, No. 218CV453TLNKJNPS, 2019 WL 2567142, at *2-3
(E.D. Cal. June 21, 2019), report and recommendation
adopted, No. 218CV00453TLNKJN, 2019 WL 4011076 (E.D.
Cal. Aug. 26, 2019). However, in so arguing, Plaintiff
conveniently omits reference to section B, which provides
explicit authority for a magistrate judge to conduct
proceedings for injunctive relief and submit proposed
findings of fact and recommendations to a district judge.
Id. (citing see § 636(b)(1)(B);
see also United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d
1114, 1118 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc) (reminding that
“certain matters (for example, non-dispositive pretrial
matters) may be referred to a magistrate judge for decision,
while certain other matters (such as case-dispositive motions
[and] petitions for writs of habeas corpus) may be referred
only for evidentiary hearing, proposed findings, and
recommendations.”) (emphasis added)). Local Rule
302(a) derives from § 636, and the Ninth Circuit has
upheld this allocation of judicial resources in numerous
instances. See Leskinen, 2019 WL 2567142, at *3
(citing see Houghton v. Osborne, 834 F.2d 745, 748
(9th Cir. 1987) (“[28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)]
authorizes a magistrate to ...